Dine College


Navajo Cultural Arts Week

On April 18-21, the Diné College hosted the ‘Navajo Cultural Arts Week’, an exhibit of artwork and workshop demonstrations from the Navajo Cultural Arts Program (NCAP). Visitors to the event had the opportunity to vote for artwork created by students of the College’s new certificate program. The students were recognized for their work at an awards reception that was attended by the administration and board of regents. Grant manager of the program, Christine Ami was delighted with the outcome and intends on bringing this annually to the campus.

“The NCAP would like to thank everyone who participated and acknowledges the talent of the 2016 Navajo Cultural Arts Certificate cohort,” said Mrs. Ami, “I was impressed with the support from community members from all over the Navajo Nation who came and witnessed the significance of our program. We look forward to sponsoring the cultural arts week each year and increase inter-generational cultural arts knowledge and skills within our Navajo communities”.

For its inaugural year, the NCAP transformed the northwest corner of the Ned Hatalthi Center Museum into a colorful exhibit of Emerging Artisan creations. Exhibit attendees were greeted by three large cases of silversmith jewelry, beadwork, and Navajo woven rugs. While visitors enjoyed the artwork, they voted for their favorite piece.

After all the votes were counted, Delia Wauneka's "Skittles" was designated as recipient of the ‘Diné College Community Choice Award.’ Her colorful squash blossom captured the attention of many who attended the exhibit.

Carlon P. Ami's "Clouds From All Directions" received the 2016 Best of Show as well as Diné College President's Choice Award. His work was selected for his level of design, execution, and presentation by a group of anonymous judges. Ilene Naegle's natural churro wool purse earned both the ‘Board of Regents President Choice Award’ and ‘Preserving the Legacy of a Master Weaver Award’. Regent Theresa Hatalthie sponsored the Master Weaver Award in honor of Bessie Zahne Hatathlie of Coalmine Mesa Arizona.

While exhibit attendees marveled at this student work during the day, community members attended a variety of workshops led by the emerging artisans. Delia Wauneka led a stamping workshop; Dawayne Bahe guided participants through an extremely popular beading workshop. Carlon Ami concluded the week with a silversmithing overlay workshop. The workshops were well attended and confirmed that more need to be scheduled in the future.

In addition to the exhibit, newly framed archived photos assembled from the Ruth and Bob Roessel Archive Center were also on display. NCAP will begin identifying those individuals in the photos and encourage anyone who participated in the Navajo cultural arts classes during the 1970's to contact the NCAP.

The week's events culminated with a lecture and museum exhibit reception. Dr. Wilson Aronilth, Jr. highlighted the evening as the keynote speaker and discussed the Navajo cultural arts philosophy. Former Miss Navajo Nation 2014, McKeon Dempsey, graciously kept the event moving along in a timely fashion.

For photos, updates, programs, and applications for the 2016/2016 Certificate program, please visit our website at www.navajoculturalartsprogram.org.

Best of Show / DC President's Choice Award - "Clouds From All Directions" - Carlon P. Ami II

BOR President's Choice Award - "Twill/Sash Churro Purse" - Ilene Naegle

DC Community Choice Award - "Skittles" - Delia Wanueka