The Stories behind the Painted Ponies - 4th Series of Figurines, 2004 SUMMER

Artist: Star Liana York

Sponsor: Steve and Kim Benson

"Recognized by Southwest Art magazine as one of the top 30 artists featured in their 30 years of publication, Santa Fe sculptor Star Liana York is as well known for her detailed and sensitive renderings of Native Peoples as her gift for capturing the spirit of the horse in three-dimensions. With Medicine Pony, she has combined her love and knowledge of people with special relationships to animals by creating a Plains Indian ceremonial horse dressed with a collection of personal objects believed to give the horse?s owner power: shields, a lance, a bow, a pipe and assorted amulets and talismans."



Made of solid resin. Measures 6" high.

Artist: Bill Rabbit (Cherokee)

Read this Cherokee artist’s resume and you will understand why he is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. A Vietnam veteran whose personal philosophy is "Everything is an experiment. That goes for life, for art and for painting a Pony," Bill adorned one side of his Pony with a portrait of a Plains Indian warrior, and the other with a serene Pueblo scene. Asked for his inspiration, he wrote, "From the Great Spirit and Mother Earth, all things are made."



Made of ceramic. Measures 6" high.

Artist: Mary Bowers

This wonderful piece of art wasn't too big for Mary Bowers, a wheelchair bound artist. After a gymnastics accident at age 17 she became wheelchair bound but to paint a Pony her husband Tim designed and built a special apparatus that allowed Mitzi to have the pony tilted to where she needed it. Mary said, "A very dynamic relationship developed between this pony and me the day it entered my life. Its sheer majesty alone, in the absence of color, was breathtaking. As days turned to weeks, weeks to months, the quiet equine suddenly began to whisper inspiration and visualization to me."



Made of solid resin. Measures 6" high.

Artist: Joel Nakamura

"The Thunderbird glided across the sweeping plains of the West. A harbinger of rain and new life, the great bird was both feared and revered. The blink of its eye could cause bolts of lightning to flash; the flap of its wings could create thunder. It was said that a young warrior both brave and fast enough to ride his horse under the bird's great shadow would gain sacred spiritual powers. In the calm before the rains would fall, if you listened carefully, you could hear singing and the music of the Great Spirit...

Joel said, "I chose the Thunderbird myth as a vehicle for this project because it evoked images of the horse and music. The legend of the great bird is almost archetypal throughout America."



Made of solid resin. Measures 6" high.

Artist: Robert Rivera

"The intricate black-and-white designs found on Anasazi pottery at Chaco Canyon, which reflect the timeless character of ancient cultures, are the inspiration behind this astounding work of art. Of French and Spanish descent, Robert has also added new dimensions to the art of gourd painting, for which he is respected and collected worldwide. A versatile artist, his horizons are constantly expanding, making him one of the most exciting talents working today.

While this horse is decorated with designs found on Anasazi pottery that dates back 900 to 1200 years, the fact is the Spanish had not yet arrived on these shores when the Anasazi culture flourished. While painting, the artist found himself thinking about the logs that were hauled by hand from the timbered mountains hundreds of miles away to build the structures at Chaco Canyon, the heart of the Anasazi culture. As he painted, he toyed with an alternate title: "Where Were You When We Needed You."



Made of ceramic. Measures 6" high.

Artist: Buddy Tubinaghtewa (Hopi)

"As a young boy growing up on the Hopi mesas of Northern Arizona, Buddy would accompany his grandfather, a Hopi war chief, as he made his rounds on the back of a donkey, checking on the corn fields and herding sheep. Years later, when he developed into a multi-talented artist, collected by enthusiasts from around the world, Buddy would credit his grandfather’s gift for storytelling with the imagery - Kachina figures, corn maidens, lightning storms - that found its way into his cottonwood carvings, his mystical oil paintings and his fabulous Painted Pony."


KITTY CAT'S BALL - retired
Artist: Elizabeth Lewis Scott
Made of Ceramic; Measures 6" tall

According to the artist, "Here is what happens when daytime-snoozing feline souls cut loose by the light of the new moon. They jig and waltz, slide a sinuous tango and pound out a mad polka... By day, we only see those half-smiles on snoring kitty faces as they grace our chairs and sofas, or doze in the garden beneath the lilacs. They grin from within as they recall the gavotte from the night before and shiver with delight, dreaming of the next Kitty Cat's Ball."

Made of Resin; Measures 6" tall.

In times of great distress, its seems that many Americans turn to prayer, one of the oldest and simplest forms of communication, and truly one of the most powerful and inspiring. In the fall of 2001, at a time when this country was changed forever, children of many faiths from across the United States were invited to share their most prized possessions – their prayers. The compassion, courage, hope and forgiveness they expressed in words and art were collected in a bestselling book – Children’s Prayers for America – and are shared on this special, heartfelt Pony that is an expression of hope in its most humble form.
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