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Turquoise Tortoise Gallery showcases work of traditional Navajo artist Frank Fowler, Jr.


“Yei Bi Chei” by Frank Fowler, Jr., acrylic on canvas, 18” x 24”, at Turquoise Tortoise, a Bryant Nagel Gallery.

“Yei Bi Chei” by Frank Fowler, Jr., acrylic on canvas, 18” x 24”, at Turquoise Tortoise, a Bryant Nagel Gallery.


Originally Published: April 29, 2019 11:28 a.m.

“Frank Fowler, Jr.: The Desert Was My Teacher” opens at Turquoise Tortoise, a Bryant Nagel Gallery in Sedona, with a 1st Friday reception, May 3, 5-8 p.m. An Artist Talk is presented at 6:15.

Frank Fowler, Jr. learned to mix colors as a child, working with a watercolor kit his mother brought him from a gas station. Now an accomplished Contemporary artist, Fowler’s acrylic paintings represent the Navajo culture and land he’s been immersed in his whole life. “I mostly work in heavy body acrylics, painting on canvas,” Fowler notes. “Right now, I’m painting Navajo culture, local landscape back home - northwestern Arizona. And I do realism, impressionist and abstracts. Modern and contemporary.”

Today, when Fowler is on a roll, he can paint all day, and he tries to paint every day. It is the mixing of his color choices that makes his work unique, and which can take some time to get the effect he wants.

His hard work and devotion has paid off: The first year Fowler exhibited, in 2006, he won a Best of Show and 1st place ribbon from The Gathering, an invitation-only showcase for top Native American artists in Litchfield Park, AZ. That same year he won Best in Division and 1st place at the Heard Museum Indian Market in Phoenix. He has since accumulated “a box full of ribbons” at all the top Indian markets and Southwest museums.

The exhibition runs through May 19th.

Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, 928/282-2262, www.TurquoiseTortoiseGallery.com, located at Hozho, 431 S.R. 179, Sedona.