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Cheyenne Jim

Cheyenne (Diane Lynn) Jim is a full blooded Native American Indian born in 1957 into the Navajo Nation. Cheyenne was raised with a rich Navajo cultural tradition. At the age of six, she accompanied her grandmother, who is a “medicine woman”, to a Ye’II bi Cheii ceremony (a nine night winter ceremony of the Navajo People, where dozens of deities are presented each night wearing masks). This made a great impact on the young Cheyenne.

Despite Cheyenne’s cultural influence, her sculptures do not reflect Navajo or Indian traditions. For instance, her recent masks and clay sculptures possess partial cubism (Pablo Picasso), another strong influence from her college years at Bacone, where she studied art. Cheyenne attended College at Bacone College in Muskogee, OK. Cubism absolutely fascinated her. For years it stayed in her mind, but she wasn’t confident enough to incorporate it into her work until recently. She is a self-taught artisan from observation. Her schooling did not alter her initial influence from her grandmother (Aasdzaan Doo’al hoshii), whose knowledge on Navajo healing ceremonies and herbology gave her prominent status among her people. She tried not to be analytical on pottery, but that’s what it boiled down to. Eventually, Cheyenne took what she thought were the best techniques to construct her masterpieces, but finding the right clay to work with was tough, that’s where she ran into a lot of difficulty. Although, she works predominately with mica clay, her subjects and themes are varied. Cheyenne’s unique style of art is far from traditional. She is not, nor does she want to be limited by tradition. She was quoted as saying: “A true artist has no tradition to follow, only the freedom to create and be innovative.” All of Cheyenne’s art is handmade and hand painted from start to finish. She signs her art as: Cheyenne Jim.
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