Theodore Suina (1918- ) Ku-Pe-Ru - Snow Beads
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Theodore Suina (Ku-Pe-Ru, Snow Beads) was born on February 18, 1918 at Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico where he continues to live. He graduated from the Santa Fe Indian School in 1942; the Hill and Canyon School of the Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1950; and with a B. S. degree from St. Joseph's College in 1953. In addition to his career as an artist, he was also elected Governor of Cochiti Pueblo.
Suina first started paint seriously while he was recovering from a broken neck, the result of a boyhood accident. His teachers, Mary Mitchell at the Cochiti Day School and Gerónima Montoya at the Santa Fe Indian School, encouraged him to continue.
In 1939 he was commissioned to paint a mural at Maisel's Indian Trading Post, Albuquerque, New Mexico. He continued to receive recognition and awards for his work: first prize, All-American Indian Days, Sheridan, Wyoming, 1968; Denver Art Museum; Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonials, Gallup, New Mexico; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico; New Mexico State Fair, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Philbrook Art Center Annual Indian Art Exhibition, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Scottsdale National Indian Art Exhibition, Scottsdale, Arizona; and Terry National Art Exhibition, Miami, Florida, 1952.
Suina's paintings are in many public collections across the United States, including: Denver Museum of Art, Denver, Colorado; Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Museum of Northern Arizona, Katherine Harvey Collection, Flagstaff, Arizona; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New Mexico; University of Oklahoma Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, Oklahoma; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa., Oklahoma; United Pueblo Agency, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Brody, J. J. Pueblo Indian Painting/Tradition and Modernism in New Mexico, 1900-1930. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1997.
Lester, Patrick D. The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters.Tulsa, OK: SIR Publications, 1995.
Snodgrass, Jeanne O. American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory. New York, NY: Museum of the American Indian, 1968.
Wyckoff, Lydia L., ed. Visions + Voices: Native American Painting from the Philbrook Museum of Art. Tulsa, OK: Philbrook Museum of Art, 1996.
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