IACA Journal, Fall 2014 - page 8

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IACA Journal | Fall 2014
1998:
Bruce Contway
(Sioux/Chippewa/Cree)
Bruce P. Contway
was born in Montana
of Chippewa/Cree descent. He is the
grandson of First Holy Woman, Wan Mni
Awacin and the son of Jay (Jake) Contway,
a renowned bronze sculptor. Bruce learned
the casting process from his father and just
after college built a foundry in Bozeman,
Montana. As an active participant in
rodeo, Bruce lives the western lifestyle and
portrays it in his sought after bronzes. His
pieces feature Native Americans, wild an-
imals, horses and cowboys, and are highly
sought after. “My grandparents held me up
to be proud. I make art to honor them. I
want to carry on as my elders would want.
I dedicate any success to my wife Kathy.”
(Artist statement from American Indian Jewelry
II: A – L by Gregory Schaaf)
1999:
Pahponee
(Kickapoo/Potawatomi)
Pahponee
has been work-
ing with clay for more
than 30 years. She is a de-
scendant of the Kickapoo
and Potawatomi Nations,
originally from the Great
Lakes. Her Kickapoo name, “Pahponee”
translates into Snow Woman. Her pottery
is inspired by her dreams, personal life
experiences, and is still being guided by
the White Buffalo. The shapes, colors, and
textures vary but they are always sophis-
ticated and elegant with clean lines and
graceful forms. Some develop modeled fire
cloud patterns from outdoor firing, others
are sculptural with White Buffalo or other
animal carvings and some are burnished
with petroglyphs or dragonflies incised
into the surface.
2000:
George Shukata Willis
(Choctaw)
Born in Quanah,
Texas,
George “Shu-
kata” Willis
has been a
working jeweler since
1964. Schooled in art at
the University of Texas,
George later moved to California where
he furthered his training at the Southern
California College of Jewelry Design and
the Starline Jewelry School in Los Angeles.
He then opened his own jewelry busi-
ness and studio in California and began
teaching jewelry making as a trade to
disabled American Veterans through the
Veterans Administration. George creates
his designs using a wide variety of materials
and techniques and creates one of a kind
and limited edition pieces. His designs are
original and many have been copyrighted.
In 1990 George made the decision to close
his retail jewelry shop in order to pursue
his dream of creating jewelry as art that
reflected his sense of connection to his
Choctaw heritage. Since then, he has been
showing his work at art shows around the
country where he has won many awards.
2001 & 2009:
Alfred Joe
(Navajo)
Al Joe
is a master
Navajo jeweler whose
exquisite jewelry is
created using the finest
materials. He considers
his work both tradition-
al and contemporary, with an emphasis on
the contemporary. Al creates masterpieces
through the use of a variety of metal-smith-
ing techniques, such as hollow forming,
overlay and raising metal. Working in gold
and silver, his pieces are often set with
high quality natural turquoise stones from
famous older American mines, but he also
uses lapis, coral and other stones. In 2001,
he won the IACA Artist of the Year title for
one of his prized double-sided pendants,
strung on exceptional handmade silver
beads. Each side had a different sign, set
with a different stone. In 2009, Al won his
second Artist of the Year Award for a stun-
ning 14k gold necklace with smooth saucer
beads interspersed with elegant fluted beads
that were hand textured with sand.
2002 & 2010:
Mary Small
(Jemez Pueblo)
From the age of eight,
Mary Small
helped her
mother make pottery
and weave yucca bas-
kets. Today, she is one of
the leading potters from
the Jemez Pueblo in
New Mexico. In 1975 Mary stopped using
paint and started using only clay glazes.
She developed her own technique for a gray
glaze and is now known for her white and
gray designs on a light red base. She uses
white clay from San Felipe Pueblo for pure
white designs. The delicate matte gray has
become a trademark of her pots. The gray
glaze is made from the Rocky Mountain
bee plant that is boiled down into a sticky
pigment and then mixed with white clay.
Her work includes traditional and contem-
porary designs, and large pieces often have
insets of turquoise.
2003:
Lorraine Caté
(Santo Domingo Pueblo)
As early as five-years-
old,
Lorraine Caté
showed an interest
in making jewelry.
Lorraine makes her
necklaces from a variety
of stones and shell—turquoise, clam shell,
olive shell, pipestone, jet and others. While
attending the Sherman Indian High School
in California, Lorraine sold her jewelry to
other students and even to a few local gal-
leries. After high school she continued her
studies and jewelry making at the Institute
of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, also
studying pottery and museum studies, but
always coming back to jewelry making,
specifically heishi, for which Lorraine is
renowned. Her winning piece, an exquisite
20-strand olive and melon shell necklace,
is an outstanding example of the centuries
old technique of making heishi.
2005:
Cliff Fragua
(Jemez Pueblo)
Jemez Pueblo sculptor,
Cliff Fragua
, has
learned the secret of
the stone through his
cultural and ancestral
teachings. Based in
Native American themes, his work shows
pride for his culture and a deep under-
standing of the inherent spirituality of the
stone. He has chosen stone as his medium
of expression because it is a combination of
the basic elements of the earth. Since 1974,
when he created his first stone sculpture,
Cliff has created a significant body of work
that keeps evolving along with his new in-
fluences and new interests. His sculptures
are featured in such public locations as the
U.S Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
and in permanent collections throughout
the country.
2006:
Amelia Joe-Chandler
(Navajo)
An art teacher who holds
a Master of Science in
Art Education,
Amelia
Joe-Chandler
creates
jewelry that, in every
aspect, reflects her tra-
ditional Navajo heritage. “A complete shift
from traditional Navajo silversmith design
to modern design will never happen for me.
The Navajo culture is a powerful part of my
life and I want parts of it to always surface
in my designs. I have managed to combine
my traditional ways with contemporary
jewelry techniques.” Indeed, each of Ame-
lia’s pieces tells a story about Navajo life.
2007 & 2014:
Shane R. Hendren
(Navajo)
With several fine arts
degrees, one from the
University of New
Mexico,
Shane Hendren
is now internationally
acclaimed and collected,
and he has won many
awards. Shane has served on the IACA
board of directors, and as IACA President
in 2010. In 2010, he was recognized on the
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