Elizabeth Abeyta, Diné of the Navajo Nation Artist

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Artist Signature - Elizabeth Abeyta (1955-2006) Nah-Glee-eh-Bah

Diné of the Navajo Nation artist Elizabeth Abeyta was a sculpture artist whose work won top awards at the Navajo Craftsman Exhibition at the Museum of Northern Arizona, first-place awards for sculpture at the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, and at Indian Market in Santa Fe. She was featured in Jerry and Lois Jacka's award-winning book entitled BEYOND TRADITION Contemporary Indian Art and Its Evolution and her art was collected by private and museum clients.

Elizabeth Abeyta Rohrscheib (1955-2006) Nah-Glee-eh-Bah attended the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, the Navajo Community College in Tsalee, Arizona, and received a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied under Richard Shaw. She grew up under the tutelage of her well-known Navajo artist father, Narciso Abeyta (1918-1998) Ha-so-de as did her famous artist brother Tony Abeyta.

Elizabeth Abeyta's clay sculpture was an intimate expression of her Navajo heritage. Her sculptures were considered magical, without the boundaries of traditional Native American culture. At the same time, she created and explored the cultural mythology of Native Americans. She was best known for her flowing Navajo women, with elaborate ornamentation, and her naughty versions of Koshari's.

Her passion for life and art were contagious; everyone who knew her was captivated by her enthusiasm, creativity, personal beauty, and laughter. Born in Gallup, New Mexico, Abeyta was the daughter of Sylvia Ann Shipley Abeyta. Her maternal grandmothers were Alice Howland and Eleanor Brownell, who were Santa Fe residents and the first two presidents of the Santa Fe Opera, and early supporters of the arts in New Mexico. Her father, Ha-so-de, studied at The Studio of the Santa Fe Indian School under Dorothy Dunn in the early 1930s.

Excerpted from an Albuquerque newspaper obituary

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Recommended Reading: BEYOND TRADITION Contemporary Indian Art and Its Evolution by Lois Jacka, et al.

Relative Links: Diné of the Navajo NationNative American Fine ArtNarciso Platero Abeyta blanketsprehistoricKachinasJewelryPaintingTony Abeytaclay sculpture