background image

Native American Art Gallery Features Community Artists

Community Artist Royce Manuel explains how he weaves/braids traditional yucca and agave sandals during the Native American Art Gallery open house at the Talking Stick Visitor Center on November 9.

On November 9, an open house for the new Native American Art Gallery provided an opportunity for art lovers to meet four renowned Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community artists and students, who also had their art on display. The gallery is located inside the Talking Stick Visitor Center located at the Pavilions Shopping Center at Talking Stick.

The Community artists featured were Royce Manuel, Jeffrey Fulwilder, Marshall Loring, Tim Rangel, and students from both Salt River High School (SRHS) and the Accelerated Learning Academy (ALA).

“To have my art up is to show more of me, and to have a little more exposure. I’m always drawing all the time, so it shows me more of an artist,” said student Solanna Harris.

“Art means, expressing how I feel in a certain way. It helps me to express myself,” said student Arianna Osif.

A self-portrait drawn with a ballpoint pen of Featured Community Artist Jeffery Fulwilder. Fifteen Salt River High School and ALA Students had their artwork featured at the Native American Art Gallery.
The art gallery includes pieces of all mediums; acrylics, pen and ink, chalk, pastel, ballpoint pen, clay, pottery, basketry, wood and more. The art gallery also includes; bows and arrows, a canteen, a burden basket, gourds, traditional O’odham and Piipaash outfits, traditional yucca/agave sandals and more.

Manuel, a well-known artist in the Community, had a demonstration table set-up for one of his biggest projects to date. He was weaving/braiding traditional yucca and agave sandals, which was utilized by those who wished to protect their feet from the burning desert sand.

“I try to re-educate people about who we are as a group and who we are as a survivalist group. I think it’s really important because everything we used to do had a purpose. Every plant had a meaning to it; it helped us in one way, it fed us in another, and it provided us a lot of materials to help us survive in this type of desert area,” said Manuel.

Manuel also finds inspiration in the young artist whom he is featured with at the gallery. “When I see their creativity they have in the contemporary work, I believe they should never ever forget where we came from and what is provided for us by nature and custom,” said Manuel.

Salt River High School Junior Solana Harris stands next to her art work.
Loring, another Community artist, most recently decided to put his gourds on display. He was taught by Community artist Ron Carlos and now wishes to teach and inspire others.

“To be honest it’s an honor to have my gourds out here. I get to reach a lot of people, teach them a little about the Community and show off a little bit of talent,” said Loring. “If you have a talent, share it with someone.”

Other featured artists Fulwilder and Rangel also have unique pieces at the gallery. Fulwilder’s drawings are all done by ball point pen and also includes many hidden images in his work. One of his pieces includes an original self portrait from 1988.

For more information about the Native American Art Gallery at the Talking Stick Visitor Center, call (480) 362-2700.

Salt River High School (SRHS) & Accelerated
Learning Academy (ALA) Featured Artists:
Jordan Antone
Sierra Baca
Evangelena Burns
Miya Burns
Ava Chiago
Solana Harris
Alex Hopkins
Alexis Ibarra
Jenicia Mahle
Jessica Medina
Maurrica Nodman
Arianna Osif
Keanna Osif
Elvia Rose Ramirez
Jacob Silversmith Jr.