Ted Pavatea

BORN: July 5th, 1952
Birthplace: Village of Hano, (Tewa Pueblo)
Paternal Lineage: Tobacco
Maternal Lineage: Spider/Bear

Ted is the son of Tewa-Hopi potter Garnet Pavatea, who demonstrated Hopi pottery and exhibited at the Museum of Northern Arizona Hopi Artist’s Exhibition from 1953-1981.

Ted had an interest in art since the age of 6 years. As an 8th grader in Junior High, he had a one man show at the Art Barn in Flagstaff, AZ in 1967 with his paintings and drawings. He went on to study at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1971-1973. He also studied Advanced Design and Illustration at Northern Arizona University from 1973-1975.

As a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts, he received a graphic arts award. He later did a project with Grand Canyon National Park Services, as well a illustrate a manual on campground services.

Ted then went on to work as an illustrator for Navajo Nation Family Planning during the summers of 1986-1988. Ted also illustrated a children’s book for Educational use titled Navajo Nation 1990.

Ted started committing more time to being an artist in 1994. He enjoys designing, painting and most of all carving from miniature to larger Kachina dolls. He enjoys doing humorous dolls such as Tewa/Hopi clowns and Navajo clowns with animals. He works hard to capture the spirit and movement of each piece with flare and detail.

“As an artist, I find it rewarding and educational, knowing the effects of creativity in the air, and the feel for it. I get my inspiration from my mother who use to tell me, “make the most of your gifted talent, if you are not lazy, you will find rewards in your hands.” I find this at times very true, since I get my biggest satisfaction out of creating and exposing myself to the art world.”

“I find a lot of talent and competition in the art world, mainly among youth, which I think is super since I myself want to educate and lend my expertise to these young people. Take for example, my nephew Mell Pavatea (deceased Dec. 1996), whom I tried sharing my support and guidance during his short term in the art world (carving). I still want to look upon the young talent to carry on our tradition, to expose our hidden talents to the fullest, opening new techniques and artistry to the public in general. I could go on, regarding the topic on art, since I think of myself as a self-made artist molded into one.”

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