Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
Vern Begaye is famous for his wonderful use of eye-dazzling materials in his marvelous jewelry.
Raised on the Navajo Reservation, Vern comes from a family of artists. His parents, Jimmy and Ella Begaye were silversmiths. His mother is also a traditional Navajo rug weaver. He and his brothers Marco and Jason learned the art of making jewelry when they were children. He experimented merging Navajo tradition with contemporary design, continually evolving as the years passed. Now, he creates exceptional jewelry in an abstract style all his own, that is instantly recognizable and highly prized. His individual vision sets him apart from tradition, while retaining the cultural origins that inspired his talent.
Vern has won numerous prizes for his work, and in 1993 was awarded a coveted, and highly competitive SWAIA Fellowship Award. He has won multiple ribbons at the Gallup Ceremonial, the Heard Museum show and the Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture. His work has been included in a number of books on the subject of American Indian Art.