I was so lost when I first attempted to take part in the art scene in Albuquerque. I asked myself, where will I have a chance? Where can I make a few dollars? My art consisted of traditional Zuni designs so I thought maybe Old Town would be interested. This was not true. I didn’t come from an “established” family name I was told. They said to me, “we are not interested in your paintings. Your family makes jewelry, where are your rings and bracelets?”
Those words were depressing to hear. I almost gave up. I told myself, “I need to put my own name out there. I need to paint something amazing on this canvas in order for my name to be seen.” In time I created my own legacy. I not only elevated my name but my Zuni people as well. When hardship happens you can only learn from it, because when odds are against you, what else can you do? You make your work stronger!
I however, did not do this completely on my own. I made friends in the art scene. Our pursuit for the same goal created a gathering of like minds giving us the space to share our art. Randy “Saba” Sabaque is an artist who had a screen printing business inside a studio named The Trillion Space. This kind person was the first one to give me an opportunity to show my art in Albuquerque. Thereafter a good friend of mine made an event for artists to show their skill. James Montoya created Art Fight, where artists compete through live-painting. As a collective, this is how we have elevated our craft for the past five years in Albuquerque.