Unique collaboration by youth, artists on 'Sacred Hunt'
By Ryan Williams
The mural, started July 3, is the work of Flagstaff-based Navajo artist Shonto Begay in collaboration with Cy Wagoner.
"The image itself is totally from my head," Begay said. "I sketched it out ahead of time. It's an image of a hunter paying tribute to the animals that he is going to go hunt. To give that prayer, that honor before hand. Blessing it. So that's why the animals are coming out of the woods. All the ones we use as food. There are a lot of lessons and stories about the animals in the beginning. Creation. They know the purposes. How we sustain one another. Inhabiting the fourth world. I wanted to bring that. Also, the young boy learning the way."
Begay acknowledged some similarities but never really studied Van Gogh's work.
"I would call myself a Neo-Impressionist situated in my own unconventional reality," he said. "As a Native, we always work from the lens that we're born with, the things that we know. Basically, it's mainly about recreating that and of course education being a major part of it. When I do murals I always have young people help me."
Below: "Navajo artist Shonto Begay paints scenery on a mural entitled Sacred Hunt that was donated to the city of Williams last month. Begay worked on the mural in collaboration with fellow artist Cy Wagoner and an area youth group." (Ryan Williams/NHO)