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Nanibaa Beck


Ronald and Susan Dubin Fellowship

Nanibaa Beck. “Balance in Asymmetry” necklace, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The School of Advanced Research is pleased to welcome Navajo metalsmith  Nanibaa Beck as the 2018 Ronald and Susan Dubin Fellow. Having been apprenticed to her father, Victor Beck, Sr. for the majority of her life, and nurtured in a good relationship with her Native community, Beck ‘s recent move to North Carolina has ignited a plan to be more courageous in her work. Beck is especially interested in learning directly from a diverse group of female Native metalsmiths as well as conducting research to strengthen her knowledge of Dine history and Indigenous female perspective.

Beck comments, “For some time now, I’ve been intrigued by the details of life as a Native metalsmith: how female metalsmiths’ hands look as they create, why they chose metalsmithing, how they feel they’ve grown, connecting to community, and how their studio life has evolved.”

While at SAR, Beck’s main project will be a necklace influenced by the female metalsmiths she will interview while she is in residence. Influenced by this small community of artists, Beck expects to create new pieces expanding on the vibrancy and freshness of Dine jewelry. She hopes these women will share their insights of being a Native metalsmith today and that she will have an opportunity to photograph them individually and in their work spaces.

Beck is challenging herself to learn more metalsmithing techniques. She believes that by way of her hands she instills cultural knowledge of being Dine. Her style is personal and characteristic of her culture, giving nods to classic shapes and forms learned from her father. Her creations are traditional as they come from a traditional knowledge base. They are about quality materials, uniqueness and continuity. Beck will be in residence at SAR from June 15 – August 15, 2018.

Videography by John Sadd.


Nanibaa Beck: Artist Talk, Reception & Open Studio

August 9, 2018 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom, SAR campus, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM

Navajo metalsmith Nanibaa Beck presents on her experiences as the 2018 Ronald and Susan Dubin Fellow. Over the course of her fellowship, Beck has utilized the Indian Arts Research Center collections for inspiration and worked with fellow Native American women metalsmiths. Join the School for Advanced Research on August 9 for her presentation; following the lecture and reception Beck will open her studio to visitors. RSVP by Monday, August 6 to 505.954.7205 or iarc@sarsf.org. See the event in our online calendar.