Top artists winners at Prescott Indian Market

By Stan Bindell
Prescott, Arizona (NFIC) August 2010

 Raylan Edaakie
Zuni artist Raylan Edaakie and Shoshone-Yukut artist Black Eagle were two of the top artists at the Prescott Indian Art Market July 13-14 at Sharlot Hall Museum.

Edaakie won first place in the jewelry division while Black Eagle won the top prize in the traditional category.

The complete list of winners included: Best of Show: Adrian Wall for his sculpture. Jewelry: First, Edaakie; second, Andrew McCabe; third, Mary Tom. Pottery: First, Marilyn Ray; second, Rowan Harrison; third, Marsha Hedrick. Sculpture: Wall, second, Tim Washburn; third, Dennis Ross Jazzier. 2-Dimensional: Baje Whitethorne Sr.; second, Jose Toledo; third, Frank Fowler. Traditional: Black Eagle; second, Rena Begay; third, Jessica Lomatewama.

Judges Choice: First, Kim Obrzut; second, Dennis Ross Yazzie; third, Jonathan and Nina Garcia; fourth, Patrick Smith; fifth, Todd Westica.

Raylan Edaakie said he was happy to win first place in the jewelry division as he worked together with his wife Patty to create this corn maiden necklace created out of coral, turquoise, black jet and mother of pearl.

 Black Eagle
He said they worked together for five days to create this piece. He learned the craft from his parents Rita and the late Anthony Edaakie.

“We always want to do something that is unusual, but it has to be something that both Patty and I enjoy,” he said.

Born and raised on Zuni, the Edaakie’s attend many religious activities and miss several art shows because of that.

For more information about their art, call 505-728-0640.

Black Eagle, who took first place in the traditional category for his warrior set, said he was honored to take first place .

“I’m excited because it’s a big honor because of the high caliber of artists here,” he said.

A spirit medicine warrior shirt is the key piece in the warrior set. It includes five deer hides, 46,000 seed beads, 150 yards of linen thread, 139 human hair locks helping onlookers understand why it took three years to make.

The hair comes from family or tribal members. The inspiration for his work comes from his parents and grandma.

“You search your heart and you come up with answers,” he said.

Black Eagle also creates breastplates, weapons such as knives and tomahawks, rattles, teepee knockers, masks and shields. His creations have been used in movies including a contemporary spirit warrior mask in the yet to be released movie Blood Line.

Many of his creations come from dreams as he draws from personal experiences, research, his family and ancestors. His concepts revolve around the importance of living with nature.

He resides in Mountain Ranch, Calif., near the western slopes of the Sierras, but he was born in Elko, Nev., and lived his first two years on the Te-Moak Reservation in Lee Moak, Nev.

He spent the next 18 years on the Tule River Reservation in central California.

For more information about Black Eagle call 209-754-9220 or log onto  

 Gerry Quotskuyva
Gerry Quotskuyva was one of several Hopis showing their work at PIAM. Quotskuyva is mainly a kachina carver, but he also creates bronze sculptures, paintings and Giclee prints.

He uses many symbols to represent clouds and rain. His unique style has been recognized nationally on a public television series titled “Living in Balance on Shatki-Hill. His art has been featured in the book “Art of the Hopi.”

Quotskuyva’s work has been shown, featured and won awards at various museums and galleries throughout the country. He is currently working on a permanent collection for Xavier University in Cincinnati.

He creates sculpture style kachina dolls. The full figure style depicts the kachina dancers as they look during the ceremonies. He also uses uplifting motions in these kachinas to represent the process of becoming a cloud.

FMI call 928-300-2206.
Randy Keedah, who was selected as the featured artist, was one of several Navajos prominently displaying their work.

Keedah was chosen as this year’s featured artist after taking first place last year in the two dimensional art category. He specializes in Western, American Indian and Southwestern fine art.

Randy Keedah
Keedah has won awards from Southwestern Arizona State Museum, Phippen Art Museum and PIAM.

His story touches people as he was born in Steamboat, but his father left his mother before his birth and his mother abandoned him when he was two weeks old. His grandmother found him and his grandparents raised him. He grew up on a sheep ranch which gave him a love of mother earth, the American Indian people and western life.

Like many at that time, Keedah was sent off to boarding school in Utah. By the age of 14, he was drawing three dimensional art. As a freshman, his teacher let him sit in the back drawing horses and other special projects while the other students learned the basics. He won the Outstanding Art Student of the Year as a freshman.

While in high school, Keedah found a book by Charles Russell and “fell in love with his art.” Later, he discovered Bill Owen’s work on the cover of Western Horseman magazine.

Keedah went through a bout with alcoholism and became homeless. But through his belief in the Lord and support of his second wife, Colleen, and other people he has been sober for 21 years and returned to his art.

Keedah loves painting horses, but he also paints Navajo girls. His goal is to make colors, land and people come alive in his paintings.

For more information call 520-404-0403 or log onto

Cherokee artist Jesse Hummingbird is one of the mainstays each year at PIAM. He tantalizes art lovers with his colorful paintings that mix the modern and traditional.

For example, his painting “Let the Night Begin” shows the stomp dance which is used for prayers. The background has birds and stars. A lot of his art shows the night including the reoccurring moon.

“I want my art to make people feel good. That’s important,” he said.

Hummingbird mixes his traditional Cherokee art with many other art forms including the Jewish painter Chegal. He mainly paints acrylics and etches.

Hummingbird has won major awards every year since 1984. In 1992, he won the Gallup Intertribal poster award.

Hummingbird is self-taught, but continues to learn from friends.

“It’s an ongoing process,” he said.

FMI: 520-432-7305.

For more information on the Sharlot Hall MUseum call 928-445-3122 or check it out,

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