FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2021
The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) is pleased to announce two recipients for the 2021-2022 Goodman Aspiring Artist Fellowship. They are Rapheal Begay (Diné) and Abraham Peina (Zuni).
Begay is a photographer and curator from the Navajo Nation. He will dedicate his Fellowship funds for supplies and equipment to support his photography, virtual presentations, and community initiatives.
Peina is a 25-year-old self-taught silversmith from Shiwi (Zuni) Pueblo. He will use his funds to purchase a Lapidary Unit and Slicer Motor that will enable him to refine his silverwork.
Dr. Malcolm and Connie Goodman, members, and supporters of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation (MNMF), established the Goodman Fellowship at MIAC in 2016 with a mission to provide financial assistance to emerging artists who show promise at an early stage of their career.
“MIAC is honored to welcome these talented and skillful artists as part of the Goodman Fellowship,” said Dr. Matthew Martinez, Deputy Director of MIAC. “Through his photographic lens, Rapheal Begay is creating new ways of seeing and experiencing complex Diné stories. Abraham Peina is steadfast in developing his unique and vibrant jewelry styles. Both artists will no doubt become players in the art world.”
Begay graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BFA in Art Studio with a minor in Arts Management and an Undergraduate Certificate in Museum Studies. In 2018, he moved back to the Navajo reservation to explore and investigate his sense of home. In 2020, he was named one of 12 “New Mexico Artists to Know” and is currently employed as a public information officer with the Navajo Nation Division of Human Resources.
As a visual storyteller, Begay seeks new ways to visualize an internal understanding to an external audience and vice versa. In addition, he hopes to culturally express and creatively advocate for understanding and teaching found within the Diné way of life.
“The Goodman Aspiring Artist Fellowship is an opportunity to embrace my process as an Indigenous photographer with intent to invest and apply visual sovereignty and self-determination principles within my artistic and curatorial practice,” said Begay.
Peina is a self-taught silversmith from Shiwi (Zuni). He discovered his passion and purpose when he was 21, a low point in his life. Jewelry inspired Peina to become his own boss and helped him reflect on his tradition. Peina credits his parents as being his inspiration and main mentors – not just for art, but in life. His mother is a silversmith recognized for her lapidary skills and his dad is a fetish carver. Peina is developing his skills through trial and error, always thinking of how he can improve, and knowing when he needs to teach himself something new. Peina loves to see how he can evolve his art and designs while working with the basic tools that were handed down to him.
“Words cannot explain what the Goodman Fellowship award means to me,” said Peina. “I’d love to thank the Goodmans, along with Robb, Angela, Matthew, Della, and all of MIAC for supporting and making my dreams come true! I’m very thankful to have been recognized in the early stages of my art. I love to inspire and challenge everyone of all ages to never give up on your hopes and dreams. Anything and everything is possible if you follow your heart and stay true to yourself. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. One Love.”
Below is a list of previous recipients of the Goodman Aspiring Artist Fellowship:
2016-2017 Cree LaRance (Tewa/Hopi/Navajo/Assiniboine) Terran Last Gun (Piikani (Blackfeet))
2017-2018 Carly Fedderson (Confederated Tribes of Colville Reservations) Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose (Navajo/Southern Ute)
2018-2019 Kalem Aguilar (Santo Domingo) Valerie Calabaza (Santo Domingo)
2019-2020 Mikayla Patton (Oglala Sioux) David Naranjo (Santa Clara/San Juan/Cochiti)
2019-2020 Encouragement Award Duhon James (Navajo)
2020-2021 Robert Whitehair Begay (Navajo)
About the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and our donors. The mission of the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is to serve as a center of stewardship, knowledge, and understanding of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual achievements of the diverse peoples of the Native Southwest.