Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson

Female, Person


Who is Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson?

Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson are Southwestern American Indian artists known for their innovative jewelry which uses varied stones and blends both contemporary and prehistoric design motifs. They have known each other since they were children and have collaborated in designing and fabricating jewelry since 1972.

To many, they are best known for the thematic belts they make each year for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Santa Fe Indian Market, but they also design elegant earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces which are shown in galleries and museums across the country. They are part of a generation of American Indian artists from the Southwest who have acknowledged and honored the traditions of their respective areas while pushing the creative boundaries and addressing contemporary concerns. Their work is characterized by an extensive knowledge of materials and by their technical skill and keen design sense… Bird and Johnson emphasize, “We see our jewelry as being very traditional in nature. But we carry the traditions further. The stones we use are of a wider variety than those usually associated with Indian jewelry. The symbols and narrative on our pieces are expansions of traditional symbols and stories.”

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  • Indigenous peoples of the Americas

on July 23, 2013


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