News from MIAC/Lab

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture announces 2023 Living Treasure and Legacy award recipients

JANUARY 27, 2023

Santa Fe, NM – Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Living Treasure and Legacy Awards. These awards are part of the annual MIAC Native Treasures Art Market and honor Native American artists who have made outstanding artistic contributions to the field of Indigenous arts and culture. 

Anthony Lovato (Kewa/Santo Domingo Pueblo) is the 2023 recipient of the MIAC Living Treasure award. Lovato is a master of tufa metal casting who is known for his corn design jewelry and canteens. 

Lovato grew up around jewelry, first working with metal in 1973, and becoming a dedicated metalsmith in 1984. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he focused his studies in metalwork and museum studies, and then worked at the Museum of Northern Arizona, also taking jewelry classes at Northern Arizona University and the University of Colorado.  

 Lovato has received dozens of awards—from the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Red Earth Nation Show, the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Show, The Heard Guild Indian Market, and others—and has been featured in several magazines throughout the United States. A fifth-generation jeweler, his primary influences include Allan Houser, Charles Loloma, and his grandfather, Leo Coriz.  

“As for the years forthcoming, my plans are to keep this traditional technique of tufa sand casting alive by passing it down to the next generation, as it was passed on down to me,” said Anthony Lovato. 

As a compliment to his artistic practice, Lovato is dedicated to working within his community, serving as an advocate for language revitalization, education, and the power of art to facilitate healing.  

Additionally, Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas are this year’s recipients of the Native Treasures Legacy Award. They were both born into the Tábąąhá (Water Edge Clan) and born for the Tó’aheedlíinii (Two Waters Flow Together Clan). The Teller sisters have dedicated their lives to Navajo/Diné weaving—serving as both artists and educators.  

Navajo/ Diné weaving is a guiding force in our lives. Our earliest memories are of waking up to the sounds of our mother and grandmothers working at their looms at our ancestral home in Newcomb, New Mexico on the Navajo Nation,” said Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas. “The weavers who came before us created incredible works of art during the most troubling times in our people’s history and inspire us the most. We use our platform to champion the women and men in our family, as well as extended members in our community, all of whom made us the weavers we are.”  

Lynda Teller Pete is a 2022-2023 Luce Indigenous Knowledge fellow and the director of equity and inclusion on the board of the Textile Society of America. She regularly shows at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Market, and co-teaches, with her sister, Navajo weaving workshops throughout the world.  

Barbara Teller Ornelas is a 2023 United States Artists fellow. She has received the Master-Apprentice Award from the Southwest Folklife Alliance, the Innovation Award from the Heard Museum Guild Indian Art Fair and Market, and several best of show awards at markets throughout the Southwest. Her work is held in the collections of the Arizona State Museum, the British Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and the U.S. Embassy of Uzbekistan, among others. 

“Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is honored to celebrate the recipients of this year’s Living Treasure and Legacy Awards," said Polly Nordstrand, executive director of MIAC. “Their artistic talents and deep commitment to their communities are visible in everything they do.” 

The 19th annual Native Treasures Art Market will be held over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28, 2023, at the Santa Fe Convention Center. The public is invited to see the works of Anthony Lovato and many other talented Native American artists selected by Museum of Indian Arts and Culture staff. For more information about the Native Treasures Market visit: 

About the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture 

The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and our donors. The mission of the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is to serve as a center of stewardship, knowledge, and understanding of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual achievements of the diverse peoples of the Native Southwest.