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College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences News

Murals by Edward Wemytewa (Zuni) exhibited in Zimmerman Library

by Patricia Campbell on 2019-07-17T14:12:30-06:00 in Library | Comments

University Libraries’ Indigenous Nations Library Program has mounted an exhibit of paintings by Zuni artist Edward Wemytewa located on the second floor of Zimmerman Library.  Various sets of murals by Wemytewa will be on display in Zimmerman throughout the fall and spring semester. The INLP program plans to host “Critical Conversations,” a discussion session, on September 11 in conjunction with the exhibit. Please check the library calendar in August for more details.

Edward Wemytewa is a A:Shiwi (Zuni) artist born and raised in the Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico. His first language as Shiwi’ma bena:we—” born into the Wild Tobacco Clan and Child of the Crow.” Photo of artist Edward Wemytewa by Eric J. Keller I

From his early memories, he has always drawn and as he progressed, began to work with pastel and tempera paints, creating paintings of the religious landscapes of the A:shiwi.

As he grew older, he began to work in silversmithing and strived to create his own designs while still holding to traditional Zuni silversmithing styles and techniques. He particularly liked to work with sand-casting, the most elemental style of silversmithing. His favorite mediums are oils, stone and wood.

Today he creates large drawings using graphite and oil on canvas that retain his early illustrative style but are much more political in nature, what he calls the “Art of the Oppressed.” He has observed that the pain and drama of the plight of the “Native American” has unfolded to include a diverse demography of the economically and politically “disenfranchised.”

“I have enjoyed combining and synthesizing these creative artistic/technical skills into a new genre of art/storytelling theater. This synthesis adds whole new levels of creativity and thought-provoking avenues for art forms and art pieces that supplement and complement our traditional forms of storytelling. Should a debate arise over ‘art’ verses ‘illustration,’ I can’t argue. I admit I don’t have time to paint in the traditional sense because of competing issues and priorities, but I ‘paint’ what I can in limited spurts of time between activists’ forums. –The urge to draw is instinctive to human emotion.  I would love nothing more than to have quality, undisrupted time to enjoy painting for the sake of painting ‘art’.”

Wemytewa also consults as a cultural/artistic advisor to inner-city Indigenous students in Los Angeles, CA.  at Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory school.

For more information about the exhibit or programs planned by INLP contact Kevin Brown at or call 505.277.7433.


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