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About Me

I’m a Native American artist working with encaustic. My other love is photography. Most of the colored wax that I work with I make myself. I also incorporate sandpainting sand, beads and horse hairs into my work. These are materials that are used in ceremonies and other traditional events. 

I work with both a heat gun and a blowtorch depending on the effect that I’m looking for. I’ve done a few workshops in Santa Fe and another in Tuscon with the International Encaustic Artists Association. I’m showing my work at The Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe and Weyrich Gallery in Albuquerque.  

 

 

Journey: The Ever-Evolving Story of the Bundles 

The idea to include bundles in my work came during a moment I had while teaching a workshop on eco-printing at fellow artist Harriette Tsosie’s studio in Albuquerque. We were wrapping silk, plant material and rusty bits in tight bundles to extract the pigment out of the items and imprint them onto the silk. This is done by steaming the tightly wrapped bundles. After steaming a batch we set them on a big white canvas so they could cool down before we unwrapped them. When the bundles were cooling on the canvas I notice how striking the composition looked. They were like a newborn bundled up in a blanket, a gift waiting to be unwrapped, a medicine bag and a secret under protection and never to be revealed. It was a powerful moment of inspiration that I’ll never forget.

A year or so later a friend told me about an old story between the Navajos and the Hopi that involved two sacred bundles. The Navajos had given two sacred bundles to the Hopi in exchange for helping in obtaining freedom from being imprisoned at Fort Sumner. According to the story the two bundles are still around and keep in two Hopi family homes.

The use of the bundles has also opened more connections in my life which in turn have further influenced my work. It keeps evolving into something bigger that it reminds me how much power art can have. As part of the ritual, I bless each piece that it protects its new home.

 

Galleries

Encaustic Art Institute – Santa Fe, NM – 2007 -  Present

Hotel Santa Fe – Santa Fe, NM – 2010 – Present

Algodones Sculpture Park and Gallery – Algodones, NM – 2015 – Present

Weyrich Gallery – Albuquerque, NM – 2015 – Present

Plein Goods Gallery – Durango, CO – 2016 - Present

 

Awards

International Encaustic Artists - La Vendéenne Award – Innovation – 2016

International Encaustic Conference – scholarship to attend – 2016

Annual Members Exhibition – Durango Art Center – First Place – 2015

People’s Choice: Four Corners Art Exhibition – Jurors Pick – 2016

 

Curated Exhibition

Durango Arts Center – Exploring Beyond Tradition – A Contemporary Indigenous Artists Invitational – April 21 – June 17, 2017

 

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We want you to love your purchase but we understand that items can get damaged or you might change your mind. We’ll also pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or damaged item). If the return is due to you changing your mind on the item you have to pay the shipping cost for the shipping return. Please contact us within 5 days after the item has arrived if you have questions on returns. Contact us at our website wwwmichaelbillie.com contact page.

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Description from Merchant:

I use horse hair, wolf hair, buffalo hair, wood, copper, metal, silk and other materials. Some of them are bought from art supply stores and others are bought or found material that goes into my work.

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