Aric Chopito, 2010 King Native Artist Fellow





Aric ChopitoAric ChopitoChopito’s work in the Dubin studio.Aric ChopitoChopito’s work in the Dubin studio.

Aric Chopito is a weaver and member of Zuni Pueblo in western New Mexico. He is one the few active weavers in his community today. According to Aric, “Weaving is my footprint impressions I leave for my Native People to follow. I am a self-taught weaver, learning from the footsteps my forefathers left for me.” Aric was formerly an Indian Arts Research Center intern, where he completed an internship in Pueblo textiles. Most recently he held the Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist fellowship in Fall 2010. This allowed him to live and work at SAR and create several woven pieces, such as a semi-brocade dance kilt and rain sashes. In the video, Aric discusses the history of weaving that informs his work and how he creatively incorporated an Avanyu design from a San Ildefonso pot by Maria and Julian Martinez into his rain sash motif.

Aric describes his artistic abilities in terms of revitalization. He envisions trade of art and materials in ways that complement the ideas of traditional Zuni philosophy. He explains, “Weaving tapestries is not just an art form; it’s a way of life. For weavers, our ability to create pieces for our people to use in ceremonies is part of where we’re going to be because we’ve already become a part of their lives as they wear these garments.” He visualizes a personal and communal connection with his weaving practice that incorporates not only past artistic traditions but its relevance for future generations as well. For Aric, the artistic process is reflexive, incorporating prayers and ambitions into his artwork. “We pray when we start, we pray when we’re weaving, and we pray when we finish so our people will be blessed with those particular hopes, dreams, and desires that we put into our tapestries.”

Ceramic Bowl (3-D)Ceramic Bowl (3-D)Maria and Julian Martinez (San Ildefonso), 1912
Clay and paint
IAF.1689
Stereo photograph by Jason S. Ordaz. Request 3-D glasses or build your own (PDF, 315 KB).

Pot featuring Avanyu motif and four-directional step design.
Rain Sash, 2010Rain Sash, 2010Aric Chopito, Zuni
Cotton
SAR.2011-4-1
Photograph by Jason Ordaz
Courtesy of the School for Advanced Research

Plain weave and herringbone twill weave cotton rain sash incorporating the Avanyu (feathered serpent) design inspired from a Maria Martinez pot (IAF.1689) in the IARC collection.
Detail from Rain Sash, 2010Detail from Rain Sash, 2010Aric Chopito, Zuni
Cotton
SAR.2011-4-1
Photograph by Jason Ordaz
Courtesy of the School for Advanced Research
In the Studio with ChopitoIn the Studio with Chopito2010 King Fellow Aric Chopito’s work and studio.
Ceramic Bowl (3-D)Rain Sash, 2010Detail from Rain Sash, 2010In the Studio with Chopito
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