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 Jeff Storey  (1946 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Arizona/Missouri      Known for: large-scale mixed media Indian storyteller sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Creator of large-scale mixed media storyteller sculptures that express Native American spiritual beliefs, Jeff Storey lives in Payson, Arizona, having moved from New Mexico, where he owned a turquoise mine in Cerrillos.  He was born in Mansfield, Missouri to farming parents, spent his early teens in Texas, and then in the early 1960s moved to San Diego, California where he became a professional surfer and collage artist.  Then after buying a piece of turquoise, drilling a hole in it and wearing it as a necklace, he became fascinated with the medium and its potential.

He settled in the Sequoia National Forest of California, and then in the 1970s moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado where turquoise was abundant.  He spent weeks in the mountains looking for "gold, silver, coins, gun, and quartz crystals" and selling his wares at antique sales.  He did a lot of dealing in turquoise with Indians at the Taos Pueblo, and there learned silversmithing and jewelry making.  He also began making storyteller sculptures.

In the 1990s, he relocated to New Mexico, living in Taos and Santa Fe and buying the mine in Cerrilos where he found the turquoise to be "right there".  Later he moved to Payson, where he loves the cool climate and the ponderosa pine trees and the fact that it is Apache country, the subject of many of his sculptures.  He spends much time on the road selling his sculptures from his 30 foot RV that has a mobile studio attached.  "He considers himself part of a tradition of mountain men and Indians, and over the years his artworkand lifestyle have become inseparable."

Source:
"Native Arts: Jeff Storey", Southwest Art, December 2008, p. 62

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