(ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) - Whether related by blood, or by clan, the artists of the village of Shonto have come home to celebrate their worlds of artistry.
"We have our umbilical cords buried here in this community," said Shonto Begay.
Begay is a world-renowned author and painter.
He says painting for him is a celebration of moments in his life.
Today is another one of those great moments.
"It keeps us community of artists from here a very cohesive and creative unit, and I like that," said Begay.
Baje Whitehorne, Sr., Begay's brother and a renowned artist in his own right, brought together his family and fellow artists for this village celebration of art and food.
"Families are sometimes hard to bring together. Everybody's on their own, doing their own thing, and something like this sort of brings back the unique connections of family," said Whitehorne.
Whitehorne says it's important to gather together to teach the younger generations.
"It's just the idea of beginning something with them, and see where it goes. They see how you work, and how you present yourself," said Whitehorne.
Elizabeth Whitehorne Banali is Begay's and Whitehorne's sister, and she's a Navajo folk artist.
She says, while her brothers taught her to paint, she has established herself in other art mediums because she is inspired by different things than they are.
"This piece here is done with a lot of texturing on canvas. Otherwise, I work on wood. I carve on wood, a lot of reclaimed wood. A lot of influence comes from the people that are around me, especially the women in the community because I come from a long line of very strong, independent women," said Banali.
Her exquisite pieces on wood clearly reflect that. But the talent doesn't stop there. Begay's brother Tony is also a painter, and his daughter is a prodigy at just 7 years old.
All of them have grown up in Shonto, which means "sunshine springs," and that makes perfect sense because Shonto is a beautiful part of Navajo land.
And everything seems to grow there, including its array of homegrown artists!