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Michael Horse, of Yaqui descent, was born in Southern California and frequently traveled to Arizona as a child. He comes from an artistically talented family of jewelers, potters and painters. As a young boy, he grew up in a cultural rich environment and was taught how important art is to the well being of the human spirit.
A true modern day renaissance man, Michael is a jeweler, actor, stunt man, sculptor, painter and activist. As an actor, he has appeared in many movies and on television, including Twin Peaks, Passenger 57, Lakota Woman, and the CBC Canadian series, North of 60. His current film work includes the new Twin Peaks series out on Showtime in 2017 in his role as "Deputy Hawk". His works of art have been shown in galleries throughout the world, and are currently available at the Little Bird Gallery in Santa Fe, and Gathering Tribes Gallery in Albany, California.
Michael learned how to make jewelry from family and other native artists who were kind enough to teach him. He had seen jewelry being made from the time he was a child. He says, “In my early silversmith career, I liked to make larger pieces, large silver bolos, horse bridals, and actual hand made silver sculptures. Some day, I hope to have time to go back and reexamine these pieces and do similar work again.”
“As long as I have been doing this,” Michael says, “I still never run out of inspiration or innovation in what can be done with this art form. Nature and spirituality are constant influences in my work. I am also inspired by non-Native artists such as Picasso and Michaelangelo, and I am inspired deeply by political artists, those who use their work to inspire others such as Diego Rivera.”
“I am inspired by other tribal artists. From the plains to South America to Africa, I’m finding that there are similar patterns among indigenous people around the world and that it is indeed a very small place. It is a place with similarities among us indigenous people that don’t seem to be accidental.
Michael had always been moved by the older kachina jewelry that had been made in the 1940s. These older pieces have inspired him to make amazingly detailed kachina bolos, earrings, and pendants.
During the Southwest Museum’s 20 year retrospective of his work, he realized that had not taken many photos of his work over his career. He had to try to round up pieces from collectors for the show. Upon seeing the body of his work, he realized the subtle changes it was going through as the years passed. He was also surprised to realize that some of his early work was as interesting as his new work.
“I go back and forth in my work, from the traditional to the contemporary, and I learn on this journey how the both are connected. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a jeweler is when I meet someone for the first time who owns a piece of my art, and they tell me how much they enjoy it and how many compliments they receive when they wear it. To me, that is a feeling like no other.”
Having been a jeweler for over 40 years, he has seen many innovations in traditional Native art. He is very proud of the paths that Native art have taken, as well as the path that it is moving toward with younger artists. He himself was inspired by well known Native artists including Charles Loloma and Alan Houser, and hopes that some day younger people might learn from and be inspired by some of his work. He says that, “If somebody asked me how I would like to end my career, I would say I would like it to end with inspiring younger artists,"
Double Onyx Bears Zuni Fetish Carving by Rick Quam
Experience the beauty of Native America at Gathering Tribes with this onyx pair of bears fetish carving by Rick Quam
Horse Fetish Carving by Leland Boone and Daphne Quam
Experience the beauty of Native America at Gathering Tribes with this dolomite horse fetish carving by Leland Boone and Daphne Quam
Turquoise Frog Zuni Fetish Carving With Multi Stone Dragonfly Inlay by Jayne Quam
Experience the beauty of Native America at Gathering Tribes with this turquoise frog fetish carving by Jayne Quam
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Huichol Artist, Luciano Valdez