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Ramona Sakiestewa: Nebula - The Reflection Series    Aug 3 - Aug 27, 2007

Santa Fe, NM - Famed tapestry artist Ramona Sakiestewa, one of the country's most esteemed Native American artists and a lead designer for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian and other projects, will show her latest work, "Nebula - The Reflection Series," at LewAllen Contemporary from August 3 to August 27, 2007. A reception honoring the artist will be helf on Friday, August 17, of Santa Fe's annual Indian Market Weekend.

Of Hopi acestry, Sakiestewa taught herself to weave by evolving and adapting techniques derived from prehistoric Pueblo weaving. Yet, while grounded in her Native heritage, she brings a contemporary sensibility to her work. For instance, inspired by a science writer's seemingly poetic definition of an astronomical phenomenon, Sakiestewa calls her newest work "Nebula - the Reflection Series" and provides Zeilik's textbook definition of a reflection nebula as "a bright nebula that arises from the reflection of a starlight by dust."

Her artist's statement explains the connection to her work: "In the same way the layers of cosmic dust make themselves known by red or blue wavelengths, I continue to explore the layering of color in my work. My challenge in tapestry weaving is to layer the color, as if it were watercolor, in each combination of weft strands to achieve a specific reflective color value." Sakiestewa is a gifted watercolorist who frequently develops her designs in that medium. She says that "the blending of yarn colors in tapestry is vastly more difficult. Unlike painting, there is no do-over."

She was a founding member and former director of Atlatl, a national Native arts organization that has its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona; she also served as the first Native American director of the Southwestern Association on Indian Affairs (SWAIA) which sponsers the annual Santa Fe Indian Market; and she has been a trustee of the Wheelwright, chair of the Santa Fe Art Institue, and chair of the New Mexico Arts Commission.

She served over ten years as a Native design consultant in the building of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, also becoming one of three lead designers for the NMAI complex on the mall in Washington. Other public art and design projects include the Tempe Center for the Performing Arts in Tempe, Arizona; the American West Heritage Center, Wellsville, Utah; the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Sulphur, Oklahoma; and "Enchanted Skies Park," a public observatory and astronomy center sponsored by the University of New Mexico.

The Newark Museum and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian have held solo exhibitions of her work, and museums with her tapestried in their collections include the Newark and the Wheelwright as well as the Heard Museum in Phoenix; the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Denver Art Museum; the St. Louis Museum of Art; and the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sakiestewa has written and lectured extensively about weaving and received numerous awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market. She also has executed tapestries on commission for many private clients and several coporations. In 2006 she was awarded the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts as well as the Governor's Outstanding New Mexican Women's Award and was inducted into the New Mexico Women's Hall of Fame.

Born and raised in New Mexico, Sakiestewa has lived and worked in New York City, Mexico City, Peru, Japan and China, and has traveled throughout Europe. She incorporates all of these influences in her work.

LewAllen Contemporary is open 9:30 - 5:30 Monday through Thursday, 9:30 - 6:30 Friday and Saturday, and 11:00 - 5:00 Sunday. Nebula - The Reflection Series will begin Friday, August 3, and continue through Monday, August 27. An artist's reception will be held on Friday, August 17, of Indian Market Weekend. For further information please contact Diane Kell at (505) 988-8997 or dkell@lewallencontemporary.com.

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