Peshlakai Vision

Peshlakai Vision will be the first solo museum exhibition to honor master Navajo silversmith Norbert Peshlakai (born 1953, Fort Defiance, Arizona; Towering House Clan), whose career spans over 40 years. Peshlakai Vision will run from May 13, 2018 through October 7, 2018, in the Schultz Gallery of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Peshlakai Vision will feature over one hundred pieces, including jewelry, vessels, and small sculptural works, some inlaid with precious materials and marked with Peshlakai’s signature stampwork. Technical perfection and a sense of humor permeate Peshlakai’s work. Since his first forays in silversmithing at the Haskell Indian Junior College, Peshlakai has created a distinctive style. His development will be seen in works ranging from the late 1970s to the present. Works will include pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, as well as loans from The Heard Museum, The Eddie Basha Collection, and more than thirty private lenders nationwide.

Throughout the exhibition, Peshlakai’s stamping skills will be demonstrated through patterns and fanciful scenes rich in symbols. His stampwork includes geometric, abstract shapes, as well as representative imagery such as people, plants, and a wide variety of animals – quails, rabbits, dogs, owls, fish, turtles, horses, bears, butterflies, and even jellyfish. “Cowboy Slim” is one whimsical character that will make multiple appearances in Peshlakai Vision. Some works are marked with glyphs that correspond to Peshlakai’s fanciful alphabet – a hat band with the full alphabet set will be on display.

Sketchbooks and tools will further illuminate his process. A short film on Peshlakai will be on view, created especially for the exhibition by Wheelwright Museum intern and New Mexico Highlands University student Faith Toledo (Navajo). Work by Peshlakai’s wife Linda and their grown children Natasha and Aaron will also be highlighted, revealing individualistic flairs and a discernible family style.

Norbert’s exhibition and accompanying programming were made possible by a major lead gift from Mary G. Hamilton. For their additional generous gifts in honor of Norbert, we also thank The Eddie Basha Collection, Leslie Beebe and Bruce Nussbaum, Alfred and Susan Chandler, Carole Katz, Pannonia Foundation, and Yara and Gerald Pitchford.

For their support of this and other exhibitions in 2018, we express our gratitude to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Ludwig and Nancy Sternberger Charitable Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Marcia and Alan Docter; Jim and Olga Hutson-Wiley; the Estate of Rex Bernard Mason; William and Marcia Berman; Charlotte G. Mittler; Martha L. Albrecht; Leonie F. Batkin and Ronald Thorn; William and Kathleen Howard; Phyllis Lehmberg; James V. and Dana Pope Manning; David and Joan Wenger; New Mexico Arts, a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts; Mark and Polly Addison; Darla and George Cox; Glenn Green Galleries; Mary Dale and Jim Gordon; Daniel Hidding; Patricia MacLaughlin; William A. Miller; Sally and T. G. Mittler; Sallyann Paschall; the Young Boozer Family Foundation; FRIENDS of the Wheelwright Museum; Chad and Erika Burkhardt; Ellen and James W. Hubbell III; Sara Lieberman; Beverly and Michael Morris; Karla and Jean Michel Rendu; James Roche, Laurene J. Thompson; and many other donors.

The Wheelwright Museum and the Peshlakai Family also wish to thank the 36 lenders, without whose support we could not have presented this exhibition.

On May 13th, we will be opening two exhibitions, Memory Weaving: Works by Melanie Yazzie and Peshlakai Vision.

Exclusive Pre-opening Reception
with Norbert Peshlakai and Melanie Yazzie
Friday, May 11, 2018, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Glenn Green Galleries
Special event by invitation only for donors, lenders, and other special guests.

Members’ Opening
Saturday, May 12, 2018, 5–7 p.m.
Wheelwright Museum
Museum members are invited to a private opening with artists Melanie Yazzie and Norbert Peshlakai. Works by Melanie Yazzie will be for sale in a Glenn Green Galleries Pop-up Shop at the museum, and a special selection of work by Norbert Peshlakai will be available for purchase at the Case Trading Post.

Free Public Opening
Sunday, May 13, 2018, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Panel Discussion
May 13, 2018, 1–2 p.m.
Mary Cabot Wheelwright Library
Join featured artist Norbert Peshlakai and exhibition organizer Ken Williams, Jr. for a panel discussion in the Mary Cabot Wheelwright Library.

Summer 2018
Stamping workshops with Norbert Peshlakai. Dates and times to be announced.