Painting To Success: Brooke Betsuie’s Triumphs

The Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix has been known for its renowned collections of Native American art since its opening in 1929. With its zeal for advancing Native American art in society, the Heard Museum houses world-class exhibitions, which demonstrate the stories of the Native American people from a first-person stance.

The award winning “Long Ride Home”. Photo courtesy of Brooke Betsuie.

Brooke Betsuie, a senior at ACP, recently sold two of her paintings at an art show at the Heard Museum. With that, Brooke also received an award for one of the paintings. Brooke, who grew up on the Navajo reservation, uses her culture for inspiration in her art. Here’s what she had to say about her recent success:

Q: How long have you been interested in art? What inspired you to start painting?

A: I have been interested in art ever since I was young and over the years, I have been developing my skills on my own. Growing up on the Navajo reservation, I was exposed to abundant landscapes of canyons and mesas, so this is where I get my inspiration from.

Q: What sparks your creativity and gives you ideas on what to paint?

A: Going back home to the reservation, I exchange ideas with all the Navajo painters and silversmiths; these people essentially give me the motivation and courage to paint and continue to improve. Also, my own experiences of traditional practices within my rich culture is what gives me a creative outlet as well.

Q: How much did both of your paintings sell for?

A: Both my painting sold for $250 a piece.

Q: What are your paintings about?

A: The first painting is depicting a Navajo woman riding a horse with a blanket and is called “Long Ride Home”. This is the painting that won the “Judges Choice Award”. The second painting is called “What a Beautiful Dream” and depicts a woman with a hummingbird above her.

“What A Beautiful Dream” shows a woman with a hummingbird resting above her head. Photo courtesy of Brooke Betsuie.

Q: What was the award for?

A: On one of my paintings, I won an award called the “Judges Choice Award”, which essentially means that my painting was one of the judge’s favorites. With this award, I received a blue ribbon and a $100 reward.

Q: How much has your culture impacted your artistic style and paintings in general?

A: My culture has impacted my artistic style greatly as this is where most of my inspiration and ideas come from. Mostly all of my artwork depict the Navajo ways of life in which I was raised on. Also, from being away from my home and culture so frequently, I use art as an outlet to reconnect to my traditional well-being and revitalize the Navajo culture through my pieces.

A huge congratulations to Brooke for her major success at the art show! ACP wishes you good luck at your next art exhibition!