Following a workshop and art display earlier this summer, Benton Yazzie has donated one of his paintings to the Mancos Public Library.
Yazzie is a Navajo artist who now lives in Cortez. Several of his paintings graced the entry wall of the Mancos library in June, and on July 17 he officially presented one of his paintings to library Executive Director Lee Hallberg.
Yazzie grew up on a reservation in western New Mexico, in addition to attending a boarding school in Tohatchi.
He struggled with isolation, mistreatment, and alcoholism throughout much of his childhood and young adulthood, before finding his way through art.
In addition to the therapeutic aspect of his art, painting also serves as a way to reconnect with his heritage – many of his paintings center around how he and others from his culture find themselves trapped between two worlds, that of reservation life and the modern, technological world.
Yazzie has led a few textured sand painting workshops in Mancos and Cortez this past year. He continues painting and creating art, and helps out at the Christian Discipleship Center in Cortez with maintenance, in addition to teaching art classes there.