the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Tony Abeyta

Santa Fe

2012 recipient, Individual Artist

Artist Tony Abeyta of Santa Fe is considered one of the finest contemporary painters in New Mexico and beyond.

Growing up in Gallup surrounded by the Navajo and Zuni reservations, his modernist painting style pays homage to native culture and place. His translation of traditional designs and themes into contemporary expressions highlights his talent and innovation among a generation of Native American artists. Abeyta continues to work in different artistic media, and has recently started making jewelry.

Abeyta left home at 16 to study at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and received a masters in fine art from New York University. A large mural by Abeyta graces the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture's (MIAC) gathering space, and one of his paintings served as the official illustration for the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.

Abeyta's work is also in museum collections including the Heard Museum of Art, Millicent Rogers Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.

Abeyta was honored this year with the Native Treasures Living Treasure award. The artist generously donates artwork to local and national charities. He also served on the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture's development committee, and is represented by Blue Rain Gallery.