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Symmetry in Stone: The Jewelry of Richard I. Chavez

For the first time in his more than 40-year career, Richard Chavez’s jewelry will be featured in a retrospective exhibition. Since his early years of jewelry design and execution, Chavez has continued to painstakingly make each item by hand. An artist who enjoys designing, Chavez places an emphasis on stone selection, placement and presentation. Now, some 40 years since he first tried to solder metals, Chavez is one of the Southwest’s leading jewelers, whose works are recognized for complex inlay, architectural sensibilities and striking color patterning. Richard Chavez (San Felipe Pueblo, b. 1949) studied architecture at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and worked as an architectural draftsman at the firm of Harvey S. Houshour. One of the projects he assisted with was the design of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Chavez taught himself jewelry making through diligence and trial and error. Initially, he cut and shaped shells into heishi*, but he stopped due to the influx of Asian shell beads. He entered his first competition, the Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Arts and Crafts Show, in 1976. Winning the grand prize for a white mother-of-pearl necklace, ring and bracelet set sparked Chavez’s jewelry-making career.


*Heishe or heishi (pronounced "hee shee") are small disc- or tube-shaped beads made of organic shells or ground and polished stones. They come from the Kewa Pueblo people (formerly Santo Domingo Pueblo) of New Mexico, before the use of metals in jewelry by that people. –Wikipedia


Of God and Mortal Men: Masterworks By T.C. Cannon from the Nancy and Richard Bloch Collection

Opening October 7, 2017

The paintings by T.C. Cannon that comprise the Bloch Collection represent the finest examples by a multifaceted artist whose voice and talent resonate and inspire nearly forty years after his untimely passing. The major canvases in the Collection speak to multiple themes—his early mastery of color in Man I’d Like to Have that Pinto Pony; ...

Awa Tsireh: Pueblo Painter and Metalsmith

Opening November 3, 2017

This exhibit explores the paintings and metalworks of San Ildefonso artist Awa Tsireh (Alfonso Roybal). Born at San Ildefonso Pueblo in 1898, Awa Tsireh began his painting career in 1917 and by the early 1920s his work was exhibited nationally. Although he received accolades for his paintings throughout his lifetime, less is known about Awa ...

Symmetry in Stone: The Jewelry of Richard I. Chavez

Opening February 2, 2018

For the first time in his more than 40-year career, Richard Chavez’s jewelry will be featured in a retrospective exhibition. Since his early years of jewelry design and execution, Chavez has continued to painstakingly make each item by hand. An artist who enjoys designing, Chavez places an emphasis on stone selection, placement and presentation. Now, ...

Online Collections


Below are examples of objects that are in the Masterworks Arts and Artists Series in the Heard Museum Digital Library.  Learn more about the Digital Library →

Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw), “New Mexico Sunset” 1978. Heard Museum Purchase, IAC2390.

Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw) “New Mexico Sunset” 1978. Heard Museum Purchase, IAC2390.

Annie Antone (Tohono O’odham), polychrome olla, 2001. Heard Museum Purchase from the artist at the 2001 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, 4106-1.

Annie Antone (Tohono O’odham) polychrome olla, 2001. Heard Museum Purchase from the artist at the 2001 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, 4106-1.

Appraisals


The Heard Museum does not perform appraisals; however, the Heard Museum Council, one of our volunteer organizations, holds a semi-annual Appraisal Day event where people can bring their items to be appraised for a fee. Appraisal days occur in the spring and fall. Please check our calendar of events page for upcoming dates.