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Tue, Feb. 18

A new perspective: Cultural demonstrators visit Desert View

Navajo painter Kyle Yazzie participated in the Desert View Cultural Demonstration Series at Grand Canyon National Park Jan. 18 and 19. (Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)

Navajo painter Kyle Yazzie participated in the Desert View Cultural Demonstration Series at Grand Canyon National Park Jan. 18 and 19. (Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)

On Jan. 18 and 19, as part of the Desert View Cultural Demonstration Series, Grand Canyon National Park hosted Kyle Yazzie (Navajo painter) and Jerilyn Yazzie (Navajo silversmith and beader), offering visitor the opportunity to learn more about Navajo culture and art at Grand Canyon.

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On Jan. 18 and 19 Jerilyn Yazzie (Navajo silversmith and beader) participated in the 2020 Desert View Watchtower Cultural Demonstration series at Grand Canyon National Park. (Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)

As child Kyle enjoyed other crafts and art work like origami, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, legos and beyblades, but he was inspired by watching his mother paint. His mother taught him the basics of painting and has been the greatest influence on his work. Kyle has been painting since he was 10 years old. He draws inspiration from his culture, stories, the landscape, and other people’s art. Kyle would like to give recognition to Art of the People for inviting him to their events and allowing him to advance his skills.

In 2009, Jerilyn decided to start jewelry-making to make ends meet. She had just become a single parent, moved back to the reservation and didn't know how to generate an income. Employment is scarce on the reservation. She remembered her mom made jewelry when she was a kid, but had quit. Her aunt Carol then gave Jerilyn her first set of tools. She began with one type of craft and has expanded. She credits her fellow jewelry makers, who were happy to share their knowledge, for her education and growth.

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