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Navajo and Hopi jewelry, rugs, and kachinas

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Kachinas by Americana artists

Native American Artists: Painters « back to artist list

Carlos Begay, Navajo Painter / Sculptor

"I will never forget the traditional and cultural values I experienced with my grandparents, which was usually in the summertime after spending most of the fall and winter at a boarding school in Shonto, Arizona."

"Summer with my Grandparents always started before the sun was up to a morning run that was part of my Grandfather's teachings, and sitting down after to a traditional breakfast of fry bread, coffee, tea, fried potatoes, and hot Navajo tortillas. This would follow with daily chores of herding sheep, watering the horses and cattle, and my favorite, rounding up horses. There was also tending to chickens and rabbits that lived around the house."

"My influence to art came in my later years at Shonto Boarding School, usually getting caught by my teacher drawing muscle cars and cartoons instead of listening to the lesson, or going to the gymnasium where I really got inspired by an artist named Jack Isaac, who was usually there working on a beautiful mural on the walls. At Shonto, I also got my first award, which was second place, for an oil pastel drawing of a pot of flowers. This was also my first art sold — $5."

"My desire to paint went on to attending high school in Flagstaff, Arizona, where through the 4 years, I collected many awards in art, (three scholastic Gold Key awards) and taking "Best of Show" one year at the Arizona State Fair Student Art show, which also landed me with an interview from the local newspaper, the Flagstaff Daily Sun. And also awards from the Coconino Centers for the Arts and Museum of Northern Arizona."

"Today I am represented by galleries and museums across the country. Still collecting awards and answering questions about my culture through paintings and sculptures."

"My art is really one of the ways that I can keep my culture alive and I am really glad I've lived it with my grandparents. This is my truth."