Wings: Silversmith and Photographer @ Jean Cocteau Cinema 4/15/2014

OPENING MONDAY, APRIL 14 at the Jean Cocteau Gallery

There will not be a formal opening for this show, but there may be a reception pending…

Wings 1     Wings, a self-taught silversmith and professional photographer, is an enrolled member of Taos Pueblo, the People of the Red Willow.  His heritage is exclusively Tiwa, which is his people’s name for their ancestry, their spiritual beliefs, and their native language, which he speaks fluently.

 The third of seven children, Wings was raised in the family home at the Pueblo and grew up immersed in the Tiwa cultural, spiritual, artistic, and linguistic heritage.  He and his family are “traditionals” and walk in two worlds:  Although they live in contemporary society, they also follow the old ways that have sustained the Pueblo and its people for more than a thousand years.

 From his earliest memories, art has informed and shaped Wings’s life.  As a child, he dreamed of attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, but family finances put those dreams on hold.  Growing up, Wings lived for a time in southern Utah, eventually working for a pipeline company and attending college.  As a young man, he subsequently spent four years in Boston.  But while both places provided valuable experiences that shaped his life and his art, neither was home:  Homesick for his land and his people, Wings returned to Taos Pueblo permanently, finding a renewed hunger – and a renewed inspiration – to focus on his art.

 Back home, Wings held numerous jobs – in restaurants, as a laborer, as a paramedic – to make ends meet while working toward his ultimate goal of making a living as an artist.  For several years, he worked for the Pueblo’s Tribal Court as a juvenile probation officer and adjudicator of children’s cases, networking with Native justice system professionals around the country and gaining insight into other tribal traditions.  Those experiences reaffirmed his deep love for children, and his extensive work with at-risk youth further strengthened his sense of gratitude, responsibility, and hope for his people, and those passions infuse his art.  And with the dawn of the new century, Wings’s lifelong dreams were realized:  He now focuses exclusively on creating and selling his art.

 Sterling silver is Wings’s primary medium, and he approaches it in the traditional fashion, using Native silversmithing techniques.  All of his silverwork is hand-cut and hand-stamped; he uses only natural gemstones such as turquoise, coral, garnet, onyx, and other precious gifts from the earth.  In recent years, he has expanded his art to include photography, using the medium to illuminate Pueblo life and traditions, his people’s role in the natural world, and their  relationship to the other two-leggeds and four-leggeds. He also plays the traditional Native flute, and continues to experiment with new media.

 Wings draws his inspiration from the world around him:  a ray of light . . . a passing shadow . . . the movement of the water that runs through the Pueblo and sustains its life . . . the flash of a dragonfly . . . the flicker of a bird’s wings, like a gentle heartbeat . . . the strength and grace of a running horse . . . the healing beauty of sage and Indian paintbrush . . . and always, always the lessons


Wings 7  Wings 6

6 Responses to “Wings: Silversmith and Photographer @ Jean Cocteau Cinema 4/15/2014”

  • Rachel Port

    I wouldn’t have missed the chance to support this show for anything. I only wish I could see it in person as well.

    • Raya Golden

      we’re not he’s a dear friend of the owner. Wings is doing this show as a favor to us, so please come down and check out this one of a kind work! :D

    • River Curtis-Stanley

      Nobody “made the artist beg” and he wasn’t begging. His family and friends did the begging – we begged him to allow us to contribute and meet the incidental expenses that accompany putting on a show. At our insistence, his wife tallied those up and let us know what the total and breakdowns were, and posted the funding site because we kept on insisting and wouldn’t let it drop.

      For most, maybe all of us, this is the only way we could interact with Wings’ show. We are scattered to the four winds and won’t be able to get to Santa Fe. It is we who are honored that he finally allowed us to participate in this way.

    • edrie


      you must not understand the bonds of friendship – especially between artists!

      i am so blessed to have a beautiful spirit horse made by wings – it is truly magic.

      this showing of wings work is a gift to all who can share his vision.

      anyone who can stand beside friends when they need an extended hand does – even if only through the heart.

      those who don’t understand criticize.

      raya golden, i apologize to you for the words that don’t represent the dailykos community at all.


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