News for Monday, March 3, 2014

Building on Life’s Creation with Yucca

Three-dimensional turtle with shellThree-dimensional turtle with shellIva Honyestewa, 2012. Yucca and willow.Three-dimensional turtle with shellIva Honyestewa, 2012. Yucca and willow.

The School for Advanced Research (SAR) welcomes Hopi/Navajo sifter basket weaver Iva Honyestewa to the Garcia Street campus as the 2014 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Artist Fellow.

A jeweler for the better part of thirteen years, Iva Honyestewa became a weaver in 2005 when a cousin taught her to make sifter baskets and was amazed at how well she did. From there she entered art competitions, showing her work at the Tuhisma Art Show, the Hopi Agricultural Symposium, and the Annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Crafts. She was an artist-in-residence at the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis, IN) in September 2013.

Plaited (woven) Hopi sifter baskets are part of a Pueblo tradition of uninterrupted basket making. The baskets are made from the yucca plant that grows wild at high elevations in the American Southwest. The sword shaped leaves of the plant have long fibers that make them ideal for basket making. The technique can be traced to around 500 BCE. Finished baskets are used by the Hopi for preparing and sorting food and any number of household uses.

Honyestewa’s success with weaving traditional sifter baskets has inspired her to create unique, contemporary pieces. She is excited that a residency at SAR will give her the opportunity to make two weaving concepts a reality. One is to combine Hopi plaque weaving with sifter basket weaving using a design that is her own. Another is to create flat weavings of clan migration symbols gleaned from stories she has learned over her lifetime. Her idea is to ultimately frame the weavings.

Iva Honyestewa will be in residence at SAR from March 1 to May 31, 2014.

Her public presentation will occur in the SAR Boardroom on Thursday, May 22 at 5:30 pm. RSVP by Monday, May 19 to (505) 954-7205 or iarc[at]

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