Ramona Sakiestewa


b. Albuquerque, NM

Celebrated for her tapestries and works on paper, Ramona Sakiestewa is a central figure among contemporary Native American artists. Born of Hopi ancestry and raised in the American Southwest, she educated herself in the art of weaving by evolving and adapting ancient Pueblo techniques.

Sakiestewa is renowned for her tapestries and works on paper – clever compounds of postmodern critical method, highly individuated abstract language, and her culture’s ritual imagery. Her watercolors frequently serve as starting points for her highly regarded architectural and site work.

Able to synthesize numerous artistic traditions and media, Sakiestewa is widely sought after for specific commissions. She has designed two limited edition series of commercially woven blankets. The first series was inspired by historic trails of the Southwest; the second by the ancient cultures that inhabited National Monuments in New Mexico and Arizona.Exhibiting a profound understanding of other modern and contemporary artists,her studio has also woven their designs. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation commissioned Sakiestewa to weave thirteen tapestries from the architect’s drawings. Working with Gloria Frankenthaler Ross, her studio also wove several tapestries for the painter Kenneth Noland.

She has served as a design consultant working to build the National Mall facility of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Moreover,she mentored the development team for the master planning of “Our Universes,” one of three major permanent gallery themes for that institution. In addition to the National Museum of the American Indian,Ramona’s public art and design projects include the Tempe Center for the Performing Arts, Tempe, AZ; the America West Heritage Center, Wellsville, UT; the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Sulphur, OK; and Marriott Hotels in Washington, DC,and Sacramento, CA.

Sakiestewa’s contribution to the arts extends beyond the objects of her making. As a former chair of the New Mexico Arts Commission, the first Native American director of the Southwestern Association on Indian Affairs (SWAIA),and a founding member and former director of Atlatl(a national Native Arts organization headquartered in Phoenix, AZ), she continues to exercise a significant influence on state and federal arts policy.

She is also the recipient of numerous awards for her artwork including the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Governor’s Outstanding New Mexico Woman’s Award, recent induction into New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame, and several first place wins in Contemporary Weaving at Santa Fe Indian Market.

Ramona Sakiestewa has exhibited extensively in numerous solo exhibitions and group shows. Her work is held in the collections of many important arts venues including: The National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM; The Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ; The St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO; and, The Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO.



1966-68 School of Visual Arts, New York NY

1966 Santa Fe Preparatory School, Santa Fe NM

1963-66 Verde Valley School, Sedona AZ


Select Commissions

Kenneth Noland Tapestry Series; a series of Noland designs commissioned by Gloria F. Ross Tapestries

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; a series of thirteen tapestries from the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright

Bernice Steinbaum Gallery (New York, NY); a tapestry of painter Paul Brach’s work

Neutrogena Corporation, Los Angeles, CA; a series of tapestries for corporate offices worldwide

Mobil Corporation, Dallas, TX

Sundance, Provo, UT; series of tapestries

Avalon Trust, Santa Fe, NM; series of tapestries

Denver Art Museum, Denver CO


Select Projects

2011 – 12, Advisor: Shapeshifting, Transformations in Native American Art, Peabody EssexMuseum, Salem, MA

2008 – 11, Kurdistan Regional Government, Statistics Office, Erbil, Iraq: Design cultural theming, consultant to Bayberry International,Easton, MD

2006 – 07, Gila River Health Care Corporation: Design and cultural values consultant to Johnson, Smitthipong and Rosamond Architects fo rnew hospital, Tucso n, AZ

2005 – 07, National Indian Monument and Institute, Tulsa,Oklahoma: Member of the core m aster planning team for a new cultural center. WithAndrew Merriell & Associates, Interpretive Planning & Design, Santa Fe,NM and Johnson, Smitthipong and Rosamond Architects, Tucson, AZ

2005 – 07, Marriott Residence Inn, Sacramento, CA: Design consultant to developer (Christopher Corporation, Three Fires, and Marriott )and interior designer (Johnson Braund Design Group) for design themes and artwork for planned business hotel

2002 – 07, Tempe Center for the Performing Arts, Tempe, AZ:Public Art project; one of three artists designing artwork integrated with the architectural fabric of the building. With Barton Myers, Architect, LosAngeles, CA

2002 – 05, Marriott Residence Inn, Washington, DC: Design consultant to developer (Donohoe Corporation) and interior designer (BBGM) fo rdesign themes and artwork for planned business hotel

2002 – 04, Chickasaw Cultural Center, Sulphur, Oklahoma:Member of the core master planning team for a new cultural center for the Chickasaw Nation. With Andrew Merriell & Associates, Interpretive Planning& Design, Santa Fe, NM and Overland Partners, Architects, San Antonio, TX

2002, American West Heritage Center, Wellsville, Utah:Member of the core master planning team for a new museum and cultural center for the Northwest Band of Shoshone Indians. With Hilferty & Associates,Interpretive Planners, Athens, OH, and Jensen Haslem, Architects, Wellsville,UT

2001 – 02, Trail of Painted Ponies, New Mexico: One of several artists painting fiberglass horses for a statewide public art project, Santa Fe, NM

1998, Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta: Chicahuac Chac theme art piece. Limited edition lithograph printed at Tamarind Institute,Albuquerque, NM; reproduced as poster, program cover, wine label, and invitations

1997 – 98, LodeStar Project: Design consultant to the architect for “Enchanted Skies Park,” observatory and astronomy center sponsored by the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

1994 – 98, Sakiestewa Textiles, LLC.: Design and issue of the “Ancient Blanket Series,” six limited edition blankets under private label,Santa Fe, NM

1993 – 2004, National Museum of the American Indian,Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC: Design consultant for the National Mall Museum building; with architects GBQC, Philadelphia; Polshek &Associates, New York; Smith Group, Washington, DC; landscape architect EDAW, Washington,DC

1993 – 2004, Master planning, content & design consultant, “The Native Universe” permanent exhibition

1990 – Present, Dewey Trading Co.: Design of the “Southwest Trails Series,” six limited edition blankets manufactured by Pendleton Woolen Mills, Portland, OR. Currently issued in open editions

1987 – 1992, Smithsonian Institution Mail Order Catalog:Several scarves, shawl, tie, and fabric for apparel


Select Solo Exhibitions

2014, Tangram Butterfly and Other Shapes, TAI Modern, Santa Fe, NM

2008, Vortex of Color,Eight Modern, Santa Fe, NM

2006, Ramona Sakiestewa, Nicole Fiacco Gallery, Hudson, NY

2002, Cultural Colors:Fiber Art & Drawings, Heard Museum North, Carefree, AZ

1997, Ramona Sakiestewa/Recent Acquisitions, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ

1995, Patterns of the Southwest: Tapestries by Ramona Sakiestewa, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI

1993, Between the Four Sacred Mountains, Museum of the Southwest, Pasadena, CA

1991, Ramona Sakiestewa/Frank Lloyd Wright, Themes and Variations, The Newark Museum, Newark,NJ

1989, Ramona Sakiestewa/Patterned Dreams, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Sant aFe, NM


Select Group Exhibitions

2015, Contemporary International Tapestry, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clifton, NJ

2013, Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam and the Land, Denver Art Museum, Denver,CO and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM

2013, Native Vanguard:Contemporary Masters, Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2012, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

2009, Redefining the Canvas: Edda Renouf, Ramona Sakiestewa, and Marie Watt, Eight Modern, Santa Fe, NM

2007, East Meets West:Ramona Sakiestewa/ G. Peter Jemison, Eight Modern, Santa Fe, NM

2007, Nebula: The Reflection Series, LewAllen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM

2006, Breaking the Mold, opening exhibition, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

2004, NDN Art,Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM

2002, Changing Hands,American Craft Museum, New York, NY

1997-98, Colors,Contrasts, Cultures, Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT

1997-98, O’Keeffe’s New Mexico, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM

1997-98, Native Abstractions: Modern Forms, Ancient Ideas, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, NM

1996-97, Native American Traditions/Contemporary Responses, Society for Contemporary Crafts, Pittsburgh, PA

1995, Celebrating Helen Heninger, Curator for Gump’s Contemporary Art Gallery, San Francisco,CA

1994-98, Native America: Reflecting Contemporary Realities, American Indian Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA; traveling exhibition

1994, Homeland Use and Desire, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA

1992, Colorado University Art Gallery, Boulder, CO

1992-present, American Encounters 1992, National Museum of American History, Smithsonia nInstitution, Washington, DC

1991, Contemporary Concepts, Los Colores Museum, Albuquerque, NM


Select Collections

Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies, Washington, DC (work placed in American Embassy in Uganda)

The Mint Museum of Craft & Design, Charlotte, NC

The Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

The Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ

The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

The Clay Center, Charleston, WV

Museum of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, NM

St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

The Kennedy Museum of American Art, Athens, OH

Mobil Corporations, Dallas, TX

Neutrogena Collection, Los Angeles, CA

Sundance Collection, Provo, UT

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM