LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (Oct. 23, 2018): Hopi Artist Buddy Tubinaghtewa’s “Sun Blessings” has been selected as the official artwork for the 2019 invitation-only Litchfield Park Gathering Native American Art Festival,Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12-13.
The acrylic-on-canvas work will be used as The Gathering’s official poster art.
Tubinaghtewa, who was born in Phoenix but moved to the Hopi Reservation as a child to live with his late grandfather, Stewart Tubinaghtewa, said that “praying to the sun every morning welcomes a new day. We take time to pray for our family, health and safety if we will be traveling. Not only do we pray for ourselves but for all the people living on this earth. We are one people.”
A painter and carver, Tubinaghtewa is well known in Northern Arizona and among collectors. He is currently participating in an exhibition at the Museum of Northern Arizona entitled Pivot: Skateboard Deck Art, featuring nearly 100 unique art pieces on identical canvases: skateboards. The exhibition runs through March 31, 2019.
“As it always is, choosing the official artwork for the annual Gathering is never an easy task,” said Tricia Kramer, special events coordinator with the City of Litchfield Park. “But, Buddy’s piece really captured the spirit of the Festival and the feelings of the committee.”
As a child, Tubinaghtewa watched his three older brothers carve “and somehow I thought that’s what I was supposed to do,” he recalled. He created his first Katsina doll at eight. “I was very proud of it, but my grandfather was more excited. He saddled up the horse and off we went to the trading post. I got $40. I was rich!”
After moving to his mother’s village, he began painting. “My mom said I talked too much and gave me paper and pencil and said to draw while the adults talked,” he said. Following his mother’s death in 1980, the same year he graduated high school and attended a trade school recommended by his art teacher, “I went down a very dark road. I am not proud of it, but today I know it was for a reason.”
Tubinaghtewa has won a number of awards for carvings and paintings which have been displayed at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Arizona State Museum, Sharlott Hall Museum and the Arizona Woodcarvers Association.
“I have given back freely what the Creator has given me,” he said. “I have won awards for my carvings and paintings, but the greatest award this year is the Litchfield Native American show.”
The Festival is free and continues a tradition of celebrating Native American heritage through the arts with active teaching, demonstrations and presentations throughout the weekend.
Like a street festival, The Gathering will be in the center of town. Artist booths will line Old Litchfield Road south of Wigwam Blvd as well as across the lawn of the Litchfield Park Library, 101 W. Wigwam Blvd., and on the nearby Gazebo lawn. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
The Gathering features artists and artisans displaying and selling diverse artwork including traditional and contemporary beadwork, clothing, jewelry, paintings and prints, pottery, sculptures and weaving, basketry, carvings and glass art. Cultural Arts will be reflected in classical guitar, clothing and Navajo rugs, quilts, rock art, Wampum shells, bows and arrows, sand art, rattles and fetish carvings.
A full list of artists and entertainers will be announced prior to The Gathering, which is presented by the City of Litchfield Park with funding, in part, from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arizona Office of Tourism and The Wigwam, as well as cooperation from the Heard Museum and the West Valley Arts Council.
For more information, visit www.litchfieldparkgathering.com.
• Tricia Kramer, Litchfield Park Special Events Coordinator, (623) 935-9040
• Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., (602) 317-3040