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Six Navajo masters honored with Museum show

“Yeii Mask (multicolor)” by Tony Abeyta, oil/acrylic/sand on canvas, 46” x 40”. At Bryant Nagel Gallery, Sedona.

“Yeii Mask (multicolor)” by Tony Abeyta, oil/acrylic/sand on canvas, 46” x 40”. At Bryant Nagel Gallery, Sedona.

Originally Published: May 20, 2019 11:21 a.m.

Right here in Sedona visitors and residents can enjoy the fact that four of the six artists honored in “Six Navajo Masters,” a new exhibition at the prestigious Booth Western Art Museum, can be seen at a single Sedona art gallery.

Bryant Nagel Gallery is the newly merged former Lanning and Turquoise Tortoise, two of the most established art galleries in Sedona, founded in 1986 and 1971, respectively, and acquired two years ago by Thomas and Jennifer Bryant Nagel who could not be prouder of David Johns, Larry Yazzie, Tony Abeyta and Baje Whitethorne, Sr., all tremendously talented Navajo artists represented at their gallery.

The Booth Museum, in Association with the Smithsonian Institution, is a 120,000-square-foot museum located in Cartersville, Georgia (just north of Atlanta), and is the world’s largest permanent exhibition space for Western art. Abeyta, Johns, Yazzie and Whitethorne all traveled to Georgia for the exhibition’s opening which includes special presentations by each artist for museum visitors.

Also attending the opening was “guest curator” Peggy Lanning, founder of Lanning and Turquoise Tortoise. For those who wish to travel to the museum and count themselves among the more than ¾ million people who have visited since its opening in 2003, they can view “Six Navajo Masters” through August 4.

As word about this exciting destination grows so do the Museum’s accolades, including being named the 2016 Reader’s Choice “Best Western Museum” in America by True West Magazine. A worthy trip for sure. In the meantime, Bryant Nagel Gallery welcomes visitors to enjoy these artists’ works here in Sedona – several pieces are on loan to the exhibition but works by each of these four premier Navajo artists remain here to be enjoyed.

Visitors can also be among the first to view the newly merged Bryant Nagel Gallery. It has been a goal of the new owners since acquiring the two long-standing galleries to blend the extensive Native American art and jewelry collection, held at the former Turquoise Tortoise, with the contemporary art and jewelry at the former Lanning Gallery.

Rather than continuing to segregate the Native American artists, this allows them to take their place alongside the other fine national and international artists represented – to define them first as artists. Artists who draw upon their individual cultural and spiritual backgrounds as significantly as do the gallery’s Ukrainian, South Korean, German, Canadian, and other American artists.

It will take a little while for all information to merge, in the meantime Bryant Nagel Gallery can be reached for further information at 928-282-6865, contact@lanninggallery.com, www.lanninggallery.com. Located at Hozho, 431 S.R. 179, Sedona. Open daily: 10 am – 6 pm.