Capturing uniqueness

Artist’s goal is to capture details, yet show unity of tribes


Navajo Times | Pauly Deentclaw
DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo holds one of her paintings during the REZARTX art festival on June 8 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

“I love Japanese anime,” DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo said.

The 25-year-old artist’s work is a mixture of ledger art, Japanese anime and traditional Pueblo attire.

“That’s what I’m trying to do, capture the uniqueness of each tribe within New Mexico,” Suazo said. “There’s so many of them and there’s a lot of Pueblos and each Pueblo we have our own identification.”

It’s also important for Suazo that her work is inter-tribal. In her drawings, she depicts young women who are Navajo, Apache, and from the 19 Pueblos.

On why, she said, “Well, I’m Navajo and Taos Pueblo. Not only that but I’ve been going from art show to art show from when I was a little kid. My parents they have a lot of friends from different tribes. They babysat me. I’ve grown up with their kids.”

Today, she’s a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts getting her bachelor’s degree in studio art. Her focus is drawing but in the past she was also a painter.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the different tribes,” she said. “We’re all so different but we all have the same belief in different practices. But we still come together. We’re holding each other strong.”

Suazo wants her pieces to be very detailed in the jewelry and traditional attire to capture the positive energy of Native American culture.

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Categories: Arts

About Author

Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is Meadow People born for Towering House People. She was raised in Manuelito and Naschitti, New Mexico. She was the co-recipient of the Native American Journalist Association's 2016 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting. Denetclaw is currently finishing her degree in multimedia journalism from the University of New Mexico - Main. Denetclaw covers a range of topics including genetic research, education, health, social justice issues and small businesses. She loves coffee, writing and being with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @pdineclah