Hollis Chitto (Choctaw/Laguna/Isleta)

About the Artist

Shared Stories

Every year, we choose a theme to create a collective vision for the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival. Our 2017 theme is “Shared Stories.”

Like many cultures, Native Americans use storytelling as a way to pass down their customs, history and heritage. Storytelling traditions allow tribes to transmit their mythological, spiritual, and historical understandings of themselves and the worlds they inhabit to their children and to their children’s children. These stories share, preserve, and pay tribute to their early beginnings, so their legacy will not be forgotten. It is this legacy that is honored by our artists at the Native Treasures: Indian Arts festival. The wide variety of jewelry, pottery, weavings, basketry, beadwork, and sculpture speak to the individuality of each tribe’s stories while at the same time revealing the themes that recur throughout native culture.

Most Native American stories were intended to either explain or illustrate important aspects of their tribal culture. The most common are creation myths; interactions with spiritual teachers; lessons learned about right living and behavior; magical tales of cultural or individual transformation; explanations for natural phenomena; instructional stories about the evolution of survival skills, such as hunting, farming, or building; and wisdom teachings from animal masters.

These stories show reverence for their ancestors and respect for ancient wisdom and are preserved in the works of Native Treasure’s artists. From the traditional to the contemporary, to young and emerging artists, to the masters that have practiced their art for generations, the over 200 artists that show at the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival represent more than 40 tribes and pueblos across North America.

We hope you will join us this year to explore the stories shared at the festival and experience a glimpse of the past that is being carried forward into future generations through these incredible artists.

Every year, Native Treasures designates an artist as the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Living Treasure.  This year, we are pleased to designate Santa Clara pueblo potter Jody Naranjo as the 2017 Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Living Treasure and the Featured Artist for the 2017 Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival.

The MIAC Living Treasure award is given in recognition of artistic excellence and community service.  The award recognizes their bodies of work to date and their exciting futures.

Jody Naranjo is an eighth-generation Pueblo potter and a member of the well-known Naranjo family of Santa Fe Clara Pueblo. A dynastic family of artists, the Naranjo family is highly esteemed for their clay arts. Naranjo learned the craft of pottery from her mother and other female relatives at an early age and was selling her artwork at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors by the time she reached fifteen. Educated at the Institute of American Indian Arts, she uses traditional methods to make her pottery—digging the clay from pueblo lands, processing the raw clay, coiling, and pit firing her pieces.

Images of women, which she calls “pueblo girls” and animals, are common themes in her artworks, something that she considers playful and experimental. She recently said that always having one of her children by her side while working has inspired her stylized designs. Naranjo’s work is also notable for its different color clays and the addition of acrylic colors.

MIAC will feature an exhibition of Jody Naranjo’s work entitled Jody Naranjo: Revealing Joywhich will open to the public on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The exhibition will include Naranjo’s work from the MIAC collection as well as loans from other institutions.

The honoring ceremony for Jody Naranjo will take place at the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival Pre-Show Celebration on Friday, May 26, from 5:30-7:30 pm, at the Santa Fe Convention Center. 

Each year, the award for the Living Treasure artist is an original piece of art made and presented by the previous year’s Living Treasure honoree. Last year’s award recipient was Dan Namingha.

Watch Jody Naranjo speak about her process below:

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) invites you to help us honor Jody Naranjo’s achievements and explore the exhibition Jody Naranjo: Revealing Joy.

Every year at Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture honors an artist as a MIAC Living Treasure. The 2017 MIAC Living Treasure honor goes to Jody Naranjo, an eighth-generation Pueblo potter from Santa Clara pueblo.

“The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is a key institution for us, it illustrates authentic pueblo culture & life and I feel it really represents us,” Naranjo said. “I’m honored to be the Living Treasure and Featured Artist for Native Treasures, which is an important benefit event for MIAC,” she said.

The Jody Naranjo: Revealing Joy Exhibit at MIAC will open to the public on Sunday, April 2, 2017.