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Fusion Folk Art by Gregory Lomayesva on Exhibit at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in Sedona Arizona

Eagle Dancer, Winking Dancer, and Horned Mask by artist Gregory Lomayesva.“Eagle Dancer,” “Winking Dancer,” “Horned Mask” by Gregory Lomayesva; approx. 13”h; carved wood, acrylic colors, feathers. At Turquoise Tortoise Gallery.

Sedona, AZ: Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in Sedona opens “Fusion Folk Art: Gregory Lomayesva” on 1st Friday, July 1, from 5-8 pm. Featured are the artist’s hand-carved folk-craft figures and masks that are Pop-Art inspired translations of kachinas or mudheads.

The background of cutting-edge artist Gregory Lomayesva is a unique one that gives him singular insight into the cultural touchstones he draws from: His mother was a well-known Hispanic Santera from a family of seven artists working as sculptors, tinsmiths, retablo painters and colcha stitchers; his father, a Hopi, made his artistic mark as a wood carver and jewelry designer. Gregory Lomayesva grew up in the relatively urban environment of Santa Fe, New Mexico, its busy atmosphere contrasting with the remote quiet of his rich family roots.

Eagle Dancer Totem by Gregory Lomayesva is made of carved wood, acrylic colors, and feathers.“Eagle Dancer Totem” by Gregory Lomayesva; 85”h x 24”w x 12”d; carved wood, acrylic colors, feathers. At Turquoise Tortoise Gallery.These cultural contrasts allowed Lomayesva to develop keen observational style and his ability to comment with razor-sharp precision on those elements in our world that most make us what and who we are. Gregory Lomayesva found his artistic idols in the world of Pop Art where bold palettes and freedoms to appropriate cultural imagery continue to inspire.

It gives Gregory Lomayesva permission to appropriate in their footsteps not only more familiar American iconography but the Hispanic and Hopi iconography that equally informs his particular worldview.

The work of Gregory Lomayesva has not been without controversy for this reason, but the artist makes no distinction about which culture he draws from. It is not traditional kachinas or mudheads he is carving, but his unique carved folkcraft figures are a translation of their form. If a wry edge seems appropriate, as in his “Figure with Three-Direction Tablita” then Lomayesva does not hesitate. “I'm an American artist with Hopi roots,” he explains. “Wherever I go, whatever I see becomes the inspiration for new paintings and new motifs to use within my paintings.”

His carvings, masks and figures, fusion artifacts if you will, have been met with the wide acclaim of critics and collectors alike. “Fusion Folk Art: Gregory Lomayesva” at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery runs through July 10.

Visit on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/TurquoiseTortoiseGallerySedona; “Like” and definitely share your comments. Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, 928-282-2262, www.TurquoiseTortoiseGallery.com, located at Hozho, 431 S.R. 179, Sedona, AZ. Open daily: 10-6 Mon-Sat; 11-5 Sun.