Joseph and LeJeune Chavez, Kewa Pueblo Jewelry
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Kewa Pueblo artists Joe and LeJeune Chavez often work as a team.
Joseph Diego Chavez was born in 1959 and LeJeune in 1961, he is of Kewa tribe affiliation and she of Kewa and Seminole tribal affiliation. Joseph began developing his craft in the mid-1960s while polishing his father's silverwork. His design style has evolved from the traditional Mimbres patterns to what he calls "pueblo geometric" designs of animal and water motifs. He learned from both his grandmothers the traditional pottery designs that he incorporates into his jewelry.
LeJeune Chavez combines both of her tribal cultures using ancient pueblo designs and natural stones and shells. She and Joseph collaborate on jewelry creations.
In Greg Schaaf's book American Indian Jewelry, he writes:
"Kewa jewelry artist Joe Chavez began developing his craft over forty years ago. While polishing his father's silver work, he began to develop his own approach to working the metal. His design style evolved from the traditional Mimbres patterns associated with the southern pueblos to what he calls "pueblo geometric" designs of animal and water motifs, including his emblem design, the water bird. Joe learned from his grandmothers, both potters, the traditional Kewa Pueblo designs that he incorporates into his pieces. ‘Through my work I feel I can bridge the time between my ancestors and myself,' Joe commented."
Reference: American Indian Jewelry II: A-L 1,800 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf