11th Series Design Meanings and Style

Trail of Honor
Artist: Devon Archer

At this time in our history, it is important to acknowledge all the men and women who have served, and are serving in our armed forces, including those of Native American ancestry. The inspiration for this Pony came to a Virginia-based artist while attending a Powwow, when she saw an American flag and an Eagle staff carried proudly by two Native American veterans of foreign wars. She imagined a Painted Pony that symbolically connected those warriors who courageously fought against the United States government, with those who proudly fought to protect America. It would be a white Pony painted with traditional Plains Indian symbols, standing between Old Glory and an Eagle Staff, with a royal blue coverlet draped over the horse’s back on which were sewn patches from each of the United States Armed Forces: the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Devon lives in Warrenton, Virginia. Her original Masterwork, "Fancy Dancer", won the People’s Choice Award in the Native Art of Horse Painting national competition, and is also available as a figurine.


Indian Summer
Artist: Buddy Tubinaghtewa

An agricultural people, the Hopi have sustained themselves for millennia in the Northern Arizona desert without the benefit of rivers or streams. The Hopi Way is to work hard, pray, sing, take part in ceremonies, and create images they believe will summon help from spirit beings. This Hopi artist has incorporated a variety of traditional Hopi symbols into his design, all of which revolve around rain and moisture, and a successful harvest. Butterfly maidens are believed to help pollinate crops. Nothing could grow without the sun. Dragonflies are signs of a natural spring.

Buddy Tubinaghtewa is a nationally renowned kachina carver and painter who grew up on Hopi Mesa. His original "Grandfather’s Journey" was crafted into a figurine.


Crazy Horse - retired
Artist: C J Wells

History books describe Crazy Horse as a respected war leader who fought against the U.S. government in an effort to preserve the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life. He was that and much more. As a young man he had a vivid dream of a horseback rider, with lightning zigzagging down his cheek and a turquoise earring in one ear, who looked up to see a red-backed hawk fly overhead. When he related the dream to his medicine man father, Crazy Horse was told he would achieve future greatness in battle. A lifetime of victories on the battlefield followed, culminating with his triumph over George Armstrong Custer at the Little Bighorn. No photographs of Crazy Horse exist, but with this Pony C J Wells, a Native "artist warrior" herself, has given him a high-voltage interpretation.

C J lives and exhibits her large paintings in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and also shows in The Trail Gallery in Carefree, Arizona.


Dream Walker - retired
Artist: Ben Wright

Drawing on his Cherokee heritage, this Arizona artist, whose large, spiritually powerful portraits of Native American warriors are coveted by museums, has created a visual interpretation of the traditional tale of the "Dreamwalker.," It is a story about a medicine man who is told in a vision that "the discovery of power will come through the ways of animals." Shortly thereafter he sets out on a trek across the Great Plains, to the East, where Illumination lives. He carries a pipe with him. He has many encounters. He draws on the powers of a medicine wheel. Near the end of his journey he is greeted by a White Stallion who tells him the secret of "true power" is compassion, caring and sharing one’s gift with others.

Ben lives in Sedona, Arizona. The original Masterwork of "Dreamwalker" was selected as a finalist in the Native Art of Horse Painting national competition.


Wish Upon a Star
Artist: Star Liana York

Although no unicorn sightings have been reported in centuries, this mysteriously beautiful creature is alive and well in legend and myth, and in our hearts and minds. Believed to be a fabulous hybrid with the body of a white horse, the cloven hooves of a goat, a lion’s tail, and a slender, golden spiral horn on its forehead, the unicorn is an animal of good omen and magical qualities. It is reported to appear to true believers when the time is right. The perfect gift for unicorn lovers, "Wish Upon a Star" was created by the multi-talented artist who sculpted all the original Painted Pony horse forms.

Star is an award-winning Santa Fe-New Mexico sculptor known as much for her Native American and Wildlife subject matter, as her equine sculpture. Star Liana York is also the creator of "Silver Lining."


Twilight Hunters
Artist: Lori Musil

It’s a crisp, icy evening and there’s a scent on the wind. The cold silence is split by a piercing chorus of howl, followed by the shuffle of padded feet crunching through the snow. The pack picks up the pace. Their breath makes small clouds. The twilight hunters are prowling for prey in the last light of day…. With this scene in her mind, this New Mexico western and wildlife painter has created a contemporary tribute to the wild wolves of the West.

Lori lives in Cerrillos, New Mexico. Her original life-size "CowPony" was purchased by the Booth Western Art Museum and is available as a figurine. She is also the artist behind "Year of the Horse," which is available as a figurine as well.


Serenity - retired
Artist: La Marr

It’s said that serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm. With that in mind, this California artist set out to decorate her Pony with designs that put the heart at ease. She was inspired by such classically popular patterns as Blue Willow, a design that has graced the world’s finest dinnerware. (Who can resist the charming imagery of the star-crossed lovers who were turned into immortal lace birds?) And Coventry Blue, a delicate embroidery found on white linen and bed coverings that originated in 16th Century England and evokes pastoral strolls down shady lanes past white cottages and ponds dappled with lilies.

La Marr’s day job is a nurse in Stockton, California, but she is an artist in spirit, and the creator of the figurine, "Viva Las Vegas."


Prairie Horizon - retired
Artist: Bob Coonts

This fine artist from Colorado has a long fascination with the history and lore of the Nez Perce Indians - expert horsemen with a sophisticated knowledge of breeding who are credited with developing the Appaloosa. Using a distinctive artistic style that combines bold colors with geometric shapes, circles, triangles and arrows that connect his design to the title – a horizon line encircles the horse, grass and trees, canyons and rivers are rendered in an abstract way - he breathes new life and excitement into his stylized interpretation of a breed of horse known for its unique color and variety of spots.

Bob lives in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The original Masterwork "Prairie Horizon" was a finalist in the Native Art of Horse Painting national competition. He is also the artist behind "Mosaic Appaloosa," a retired figurine.

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