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Awe Instead of Fear: Clay & Permaculture with Artist Roxanne Swentzell

Roxanne Swentzell was born in 1962 in Taos New Mexico. She is a member of the Native American Tribe, Santa Clara Pueblo. Growing up within an artist family allowed Roxanne to naturally take up her mother's clay and start sculpting at a very early age. Due to a speech impediment as a child, Swentzell found that she could sculpt what she was feeling in clay and communicate in this manner. She continued speaking through clay even after she learned to talk in words. In high school, Swentzell was allowed to go to the Institute of American Indian Arts for classes and had her first one person show at age 17. She went on to the Portland Museum Art School. In 2003, Roxanne opened The Roxanne Swentzell Tower Gallery in Pojoaque New Mexico. In 2015, Roxanne Swentzell was given an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Swentzell has shown throughout the world and has permanent pieces in the National Museum of the American Indian Smithsonian D.C., British Art Museum, Museum of Wellington, NZ, The Heard Museum in AZ, Denver Art Museum, and the Santa Fe Convention Center. She has won many awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market and Heard Museum Art Guild, along with being given the New Mexico Governor's Award for excellence in the Arts, and becoming a Native Treasure. Roxanne continues to create artwork and run a non-profit, Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute, working to inspire and nurture communities based on indigenous ways of knowing.

"With my work, I want to communicate with others through our common human language, emotions. Making art that means something matters to me because every action effects everything else."


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