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 Peterson Yazzie  (1979 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/New Mexico      Known for: Native American figurative and abstract mythology

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter in various media---watercolor, pastels, acrylics and mixed-media incorporating sand---Peterson Yazzie does artwork that reflects his Native American heritage, with special focus on creation stories and daily life rituals.

He is a member of the Navajo tribe of Arizona and grew up on the reservation in Greasewood Springs.  He was encouraged as a high-school student by art teacher Don Whitesinger, who introduced Yazzie to painting, sculpture and printmaking, and also helped him get scholarships including from the Heard Museum in Phoenix and the University of Evansville in Indiana.  Yazzie turned down the latter scholarship, which was for $20,000., to attend Northland Pioneer College in Holbrook, which was closer to his home.  Then after a year, he transferred to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

There he felt at home and was influenced by teachers such as Norman Akers, Charlene Teters and Mateo Romero.  He graduated in 2004, the first person in his family to graduate from college, and enrolled in the University of New Mexico's graduate art program in Albuquerque.

Exhibitions for Yazzie's paintings have been held at the Eitlejorg and Wheelwright museums.

Dottie Indyke, "Peterson Yazzie", Southwest Art, December 2006, p. 40.

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