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Artist and veteran Fil Kewanyama to speak at St. Luke’s Saturday

Fil Kewanyama, an award-winning Hopi artist and a U.S. Army veteran, will speak about his life and take questions from those attending the event, which is set for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 2000 Shepherd’s Lane, Prescott. The public is invited and there is no admission charge.

Selected pieces of Kewanyama artwork will be on display at the church. Its Native American ministry includes quarterly presentations.

“Our mission is building bridges of understanding through learning, caring, respecting and interacting,” St. Luke’s vestrywoman Deborah Pendleton-Maurice said in a news release.

Kewanyama grew up on the Hopi reservation, where he assimilated the history and culture of Hopi art.

“As kids growing up on Hopi land, I think all of us grew up learning because it is connected to our ceremonial way of life,” Kewanyama said. “We learn colors, images and meanings.”

His military service didn’t allow much time for his art, but he was relatively young at retirement and re-immersed himself at that time in the culture of “The People of Peace” — the ceremonies, the recognition of the sanctity of water and of nature, which surrounds and sustains us, and the Hopi art.

Through his art, Kewanyama hopes to bring understanding between the Hopi and the non-Hopi.

“What inspires me the most is who I am as a Hopi, our ceremonial way of life and the spirituality,” he said.


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