How Important Is Allan Houser? Six Sculptors Speak
The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently hosting "Footprints: The Inspiration and Influence of Allan Houser". It's an impressive display of 27 works in stone and bronze by Native sculptors who acknowledge the late Apache modernist, who would have turned 100 this year, as an influence. An additional six sculptures by Houser himself complete the exhibition. (For more information on the MIAC, visit indianartsandculture.org.)
Each of the artists has provided a statement about their work and, in most cases, their feelings about Houser. Here are statements from six of the artists, with photos of the works they have contributed to the show.
Robert D. Shorty, Diné
"In 1964, I heard of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My father drove me there from Northern Utah. Next morning we prayed a long prayer leaving me to start my life changing adventure. It was a melting pot of creativity! It was then I took my first sculpture class. Mr. Allan Houser was my teacher from 1964 to1967. It was then my journey in three-dimensional design began … within the time I took my first sculpture class. Prior to that I took classes at the largest off-reservation boarding school at Intermountain Vocational Indian School, in Brigham City, Utah. Mr. Houser was the art teacher, he taught painting. Mr. Houser was amused by my curiosity as I gazed at his painting!!! He encouraged me. All I knew I was having fun! Always unconsciously creating and enjoying myself!"
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