Shonto Begay Artist Interview

Shonto Begay's exhibition, "Aje'Ji' | The Heart Way," opened at Modern West Fine Art for March's Gallery Stroll. During the artist discussion we had the chance to hear from Begay as he gave us insight into his process and past...

"I paint my dreams and things I know. When a Navajo child is born it's umbilical cord is cut, buried in the earth, to forever be embraced by the Mother. As long as I know where my cord is buried, I know I can go anywhere in the world and feel at home... as long as the umbilical cord is held, embraced by the earth, it is a magical thing."

"The landscapes, I know. This is the land that tempered me. I grew up to the rhythm of the chants, the prayers, and to the rhythm of weaving. I like sharing that, I like sharing not only the beauty, but the angst, the darkness, and the tribulation. There is a lot of it out there and painting is the way I transcend the shadows."

"I pay a lot of homage to my grandmother who taught me of my culture. Like the beautiful coming of age ceremony where we straighten spiritually, mentally, and physically. There are so many voices full of song and chanting. This is what we hear in life, this is what we are taught. Some days we encounter hardships and tribulations, that's when we must call back to the voices." -Shonto Begay