Picture by Lester Harragarra
“Art is important to me as a healing process for myself and it has the power to inform or destroy. Art must be handled with great care from Native artists because it is a direct extension of themselves, community, culture, and image. The life of the artist and art must be equal, positive or negative, or it is not, in my regards, worth anyone experiencing.
I have met Native artists that create truths they do not believe. I have seen Native exhibitions of work I loved…until I read the artist statement or met the artist. I would like to see more Native artists create about forgiveness. Forgiving themselves, their families, their tribes, their religious leaders, their governments, their neighbors, and their enemies…this is why Native art is so important to us.
My father used butterflies and hummingbirds as messengers, prayers, and voices in his paintings. He died in 2006 and my work is usually pop surreal in imagery, but I’ve been eluding to his visual vocabulary as of late. I don’t see hummingbirds on a daily basis, I also don’t have any flowers or feeders displayed. So in that regard, one must prepare things for messages to arrive or reach a level of maturity in order to hear wisdom.” M.W.