Friday, August 15, 2014

Charles Loloma Jewelry: "From the Stone Age to the Space Age"

From yee Wiki:

Charles Loloma (1921-1991) was born in Hopi Third Mesa to Rex and Rachael Loloma. He served in the military in 1941 to 1945, where he was stationed in the Aleutian Islands. Thanks to the G. I. Bill, Loloma was able to go the Alfred University in New York. In 1954 he opened a pottery shop in Scottsdale, Arizona. He called his line of pottery Lolomaware.

Although he was an excellent potter and painter, he found his true passion in jewelry making. Some of Loloma’s designs were of outside influences. This brought harsh judgment on his art. Comments made about his art included, “It’s nice but it’s not Indian.Loloma’s work was rejected from the Gallup Intertribal Art Show three times.

Most Native American jewelers use traditional materials such as turquoise, silver and occasionally accented with some coral. Loloma used unconventional materials like sugilite, lapis, ivory, gold, pearls, diamonds and even wood. He used turquoise as an accent to his pieces. He got much of his inspirations from other cultures. Loloma created Hopi interpretations of Egyptian figures.

Loloma won first prize in the Scottsdale National Indian Art Exhibition seven years in a row. He had two shows in Paris. He was featured on NET and PBS in 1972. In Japan he was the artist in residence in 1974. He was also commissioned to make a piece for the Queen of Denmark. He visited many countries; France, Egypt and Colombia to name a few. His achievements have inspired other Native American jewelers such Jesse Monongye.

Laloma's work was explored in a series on American Indian artists for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Other artists in the series included R. C. Gorman, Helen Hardin, Allan Houser, Joseph Lonewolf, and Fritz Scholder.

Although Loloma died in 1991, he remains an inspiration to Native artists. “We are a very serious people and have tried hard to elevate ourselves, but in order to create valid art you have to be true to your health and your heritage”.

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