Jarrod Da is a Native American artist from the San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico. While a Pueblo is a village consisting of characteristic adobe buildings, the Pueblo is also an Indian entity
in the legal sense, like a tribe, while not all inhabitants of a pueblo are necessarily Native American. Pueblo Indians from various pueblos may be tied together by their language group, which is Tewa
in the case of San Ildefonso. Nearly all Pueblos are in New Mexico, except for one in Texas.
» JarrodDa «
I was born in 1973 to Tony and Lou Da in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My father is a Native American from the San Ildefonso Pueblo in northern New Mexico and my mother is of Spanish decent. I grew up living in the four corners of the southwest. Much of my time was spent traveling up and down the Continental Divide of southwestern Colorado to San Ildefonso Pueblo and Santa Fe. Staying close to my native roots, I learned to live my life by merging the two worlds of a contemporary lifestyle with the native way of life.
When I was young, living in secluded areas like the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains of New Mexico, I learned to have a creative imagination which in turn gave me an appreciation for nature and all its mysteries.
The complex patterns and colors of the world influence my artwork. I am driven to best replicate that perfection we see in the natural world. The driving influence of my life is to create interpretations of what I see as a way of celebrating the greatness and beauty all around us.
I work primarily with soft pastel. I have been working with pastel and drawing since I was a child. Over the years I have refined my skills by obtaining special techniques from my schooling like The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe New Mexico where I obtained my associate’s degree.
Many of the geometric shapes I use in my work are derivived from Pueblo Indian designs. These designs are used on pottery and painting today; they were obtained from ancestors and have been used since that time. Today these shapes and designs are being incorporated into a more contemporary form of artwork. This artwork is being used to educate and breathe new life into Pueblo Indian culture. Using these designs in contemporary native art helps us preserve our traditions and artwork for years to come.
Even though I come from a rich Tewa background, I feel my work speaks on many levels. These levels are my experiences and influences I see and deal with in current society as a Native American. By putting myself in main stream I feel I can reach more people with my work.
Through my artwork, I contemplate the constant struggle between the ever expanding modern world and the natural world. I see art as a link between past and present. As a child I watched my great grandmother, Maria Martinez, bring the images of our culture to the world through pottery. I sat in my father's studio watching the way he translated those images into his own vision. Through the process of creation, I am joining my ancestors and honoring my culture, and I am also attempting to send a message of optimism to those generations yet to come.
Jarrod Da followed his wife to Seattle, Washington, where he now lives.
7453 Newcastle Golf Club Rd. #G105
Newcastle WA. 98059