Diné artists prepare to sell at the Heard
By Jason Morgan Edwards
Special to the Times
Springtime brings with it longer days, blossoms and the annual Spring Indian Market and Fair, hosted by the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix. The Fair, in its 59th year, will feature more than 600 artists. It’s anticipated to draw nearly 15,000 people. The prestigious exhibit has a special emphasis on Native tribes and other cultures of the Southwest. Among the featured artists are metal-smith Gene Billie and sculptor James Goodman.
Billie (Bitterwater and Water Flow Together clans) is a skilled metalsmith, working in sterling silver, gold and other metals.
“I desire to express myself with a paradox of classical art and beauty through a modern and creative form of art,” he explained. “My sculptures and jewelry are created out of precious metals. Each piece is created individually to reflect the profound human warmth that brings my [pieces] to life.”
He works almost exclusively in metal, but his creations run the gamut from jewelry to wall art to sculptures.
Billie lets his mood and creative spirit guide the process. “My art is always spontaneously created,” he said. “I don’t draw. I don’t sketch. I look at whatever materials I have at hand, and whatever flows just comes about.”