Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 3, 2012

'Indian Born, American Made,' Art from the inside out

Cornelius Gorman with
his painting 'Grandma and Grandpa
with Prince'
'Indian Born, American Made'

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

This is what Tucson does best.

In the downtown historic warehouse district tonight, on Saturday night, with great food and fry bread sizzling out back, the Latino art cooperative opened a national Indian arts show.

Beginning with a Yaqui blessing, the Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery welcomed visitors to see the creative works that just arrived from Rosebud, Alaska, New York, Chinle, and just down the road.

Cornelius Gorman's "Grandma and Grandpa with Prince," was among the most striking. Cornelius is the son of Nelson Gorman, longtime Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council, and Eva Gorman of Chinle. Cornelius, now a physical therapist in Tucson and graduate of Chinle High School and NAU, said the acrylic painting is one of the first pieces of artwork he has ever done.

Nearby in the gallery was Lydia Maldonado's "Traditions for the Future," with traditional women pouring water. A remarkable "Eagle" is sculptured out of basketry and wood by Joseph Lopez, Tohono O'odham. There is the haunting face of the young traditional man in "Full Moon Cowboy," by Nocona Burgess from Lawton, Oklahoma.

'Indian Born, American Made'
by David Moreno
Yaqui David Moreno's "Indian Born, American Made," is the signature work of the show, showing two images of a young Yaqui man.
Keith Braveheart
'7 Symbols'

There are also intriguing and whimsical looks at living in traditional and modern worlds. There's a well-lit teepee in the night painting of Jack B. Sabon, Ahtna Athabascan from Copper Center, Alaska. There's the faint glow of a tv inside, and outside, there's a satellite dish and solar panel.

The unique style of Keith Braveheart, Lakota/Isleta Pueblo living in Rosebud, South Dakota, shows the contemporary and traditional in a powerful way. In a folkart style, Natives are shown sitting around a typical table in one painting, and a traditional woman eating with chopsticks in another.

Wallace Begay portrait
"Returning Warriors" shows the remarkable style of Wallace Begay, Dine' from Tolani Lake, Arizona, with newspaper print incorporated into the oil painting of warriors on horseback.

Perhaps the most unforgettable is the painting by Tom Greyeyes, Dine' from Flagstaff. It is "Ma'ii Obama." To see the painting of this coyote, and the many other treasures from Native American artists from across the nation, visit the Raices Taller 222 Gallery at 218 E. 6th St. Call for hours: 520-881-5335 or e-mail at:

Exhibition runs March 3 – April 14, 2012
Opening Reception:
Saturday, March 3, 6-9 pm

Frybread sale on the rear patio to benefit the Liston Family Traditional Dancers /Ha:san Preparatory & Leadership School of Tucson
Does there need to be a divide between traditional and contemporary Native American art? The current exhibition at Raices Taller, “Indian Born, American Made,” is a challenge to misconceptions of what Native American art should be. This national exhibition spotlights artwork by invited guest artists who are using traditional and contemporary art forms to maintain a sense of tribal and cultural identity in their explorations of contemporary culture.
Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop
218 E. 6th Street
1/2 block east of 6th Street & 6th Avenue
(520) 881-5335
Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery and Workshop is Tucson’s only Latino based nonprofit cooperative contemporary art gallery located in the Downtown Historic Warehouse District

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