Native Village
Youth and Education news
 December 1, 2010, Volume 4

Indian Market: Youth poster artists emphasize market's edgy takes on tradition
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Indian-Market-In-with-the-new
Condensed by Native Village

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts honors and nurtures Native artists of tomorrow. They have selected two Navajo youth to create original art for the Indian Market's 2011 poster and official merchandise.

Tulane Natanni John is 13, His sister, Myleka Nizhoni John, is 12. SAIA officials selected them from a large group of Native youth who submitted slides of past projects.

The siblings are collaborating on the final image for next year's advertising: Myleka will paint a canvas backdrop to set off an original mask Tulane crafted from Lego building blocks.

"I already had a lot of Legos around, and I just used those pieces to make a mask," he said. "I wanted to make something different, I guess."

Tulane's other work was displayed at the SIAI's Winter Market.  This art is painted wood carvings of the Yei Dine gods with multicolored faces.

Tulane and Myleka's father is Alvin John, a renowned metal sculptor and painter. Alvin encourages his three children to share their Navajo cultural identify through artistic expression.

Gabe Gomez from SAIA said the Johns "have an edge of sophistication for their age and an embodied usefulness and playfulness to reconceptualized images of Native iconography."

The poster art will be made public in March, 2011, then formally unveiled at a youth event planned for May.

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