Dordt College News

Navaho artist at Dordt gallery April 9

April 4, 2007


A Native American artist and teacher, Elmer Yazzie, will visit Dordt College as an Artist-in-Residence April 5-10. Yazzie will participate in art classes at the college, produce artwork, and offer individual critiques to students from Dordt’s art studio 141, located in the classroom building. His schedule for the week will be posted at that location for all who would like to attend other Artist-in-Residence activities.

A public reception for Yazzie will be Monday, April 9, in the Art Department Gallery (in the classroom building) from 3- 4 p.m.

Yazzie describes himself as a Calvinist Navajo, whom God has called to serve as a visual artist, leader, and teacher. He currently teaches art at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy in Tucson, Arizona. Yazzie has been a guest speaker and presenter for a variety of events throughout the U.S., and in 2001 gave a one person exhibition at Dordt College.

Yazzie views the artist as kind of spiritual healer in the service of community. “In the Navajo way of thinking, there is no word that defines artist, what the artist is or does has to do with spiritual work,” Yazzie says. “Our work can be therapy for ourselves and for others. Sometimes in my own work, I have created works that influenced my life and thinking; later on, someone has come along with a very similar need.”

Yazzie offers Christian insight into a unique culture that is a facet of the Reformed tradition, to develop and implement an understanding of creation from a scriptural perspective. His residency at Dordt will also offer students first hand contact with a dedicated, serious, and practicing artist at work.

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