Mark Silversmith ~ Navajo Painter

Published on July 24, 2014 by Amy

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By Mark Silversmith
By Mark Silversmith

Born on the Navajo Reservation in 1954, Mark Silversmith comes from a family of silversmiths. His father and grandfather were silversmiths.

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Even as a young child, Silversmith would draw and doodle on any bit of paper he found, and usually the topic was images he saw from the environment around him.

Silversmith painted the natural setting of the high country during the summertime, or when he would be in the valley grazing cattle during the winter.

After graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State at Weathorford, OK, Mark taught art and industrial art classes to elementary and middle school students at the BIA school, Dzilth-na-o-dith-hle, south of Bloomfield, NM.

He followed this with a B.A. degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and taught junior high school for seven years. He then turned professional artist and in 1982 married Barbara, who is also now his agent.

Silversmith studies all North American Indian tribes for their culture and traditions in preparation for his paintings. Since the different tribes traded among each other sometimes the subjects in his paintings may be dressed in the breastplate of one tribe and wearing another article of clothing or beads from another tribe. It is Mark Silversmith’s belief that all tribes have a common bond.

Watercolor painting is his expertise but he is also skillful in pastels, acrylics, and sculpture. Mark’s originals, limited edition prints, and posters are found in hundreds of galleries and private collections world wide.

Mark was honored as the Indian Arts and Crafts Association Native Artist of 1986. At the 1997 Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Inc. (SWAIA), Mark Silversmith was awarded First Place in Transparent Watercolor, and Second Place in Opaque Water-Based Paint.

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