Join us for an evening of bold, colorful artworks of Roberta “BitterWater Arts” Begaye, as we present this pop up exhibit in conjunction with ABQArtwalk on First Friday September 7, 2018 from 5-9pm. Light refreshments will be available for our guests. This show is one night only.
“I come from a family of medicine, and I weave paintings.”
I am the Bitterwater clan, Tódích’íi’nii.
I am born for the Zuni-Edgewater clan, Naasht’ézhi Tábaahá.
Maternal grandparents : Towering House clans, Kiyaa’áanii.
Paternal grandparents : Bitterwater clans, Tódích’íi’nii.
Roberta hails from the Navajo Nation, born in Fort Defiance, Arizona and raised in Kayenta, Arizona; attended Monument Valley High School and transferred to and graduated from Ganado High School, both schools in the Navajo Nation. She is descendant of medicine people and traditional rug weavers, both maternal and paternal grand and great-grandparents.
After high school Roberta declined a stint in the Marine Corp and chose to care for her grandmother, Marie Y. John, a medicine women, herbalist, and traditional Navajo rug weaver in the Wide Ruins style.
” My grandmother Marie, spoke only Navajo (Diné bizaad), raised churro sheep, grew organic heirloom corn and lived the traditional ways. She was hard working; strong, yet gentle; dedicated to her family and her traditions. She was everything to me! Since her passing in 2015, portions of her traditional rug designs find their way into my paintings.
In this way I honor her.
She continues to weave , as I continue to paint.
I weave paintings, or perhaps she was painting weavings…”
With a desire to be of service and a calling for EMS / Rescue work, Roberta completed EMS training, which was a true calling, and a very labored decision given that dealing with sickness and death is often taboo subject matter with the Diné (Navajo) people.
In 2001, she received an Associates Liberal Arts degree and is currently seeking enrollment for a Bachelor of Fire Science Degree.
Since 2002, Roberta has been employed as a Firefighter with Kirtland Air Force Base Fire Department, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Roberta is a self-taught artist and considered her work until more recent years, as ” just doodling”.
As she became more serious about her art spirit began to reveal itself, and she began to listen.
“I will always remember a specific powerful moment in June 2017, right after a successful Art Show. My hands had a “buzzing” feeling. I looked down at my palms and finally acknowledged the Creator’s gift I was given.” This wasn’t just doodling.
Roberta has one lovely, independent offspring, inspiring much parental pride;
her name is Ophelia.
Roberta of Bitterwater-Arts houses her brushes and pigments in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
She weaves paintings…
Roberta Begaye – Bitterwater Arts
May 2017, Miniature Art Show at Metallo Gallery in Madrid, NM.
May 2017, invited & donated painting, “Behind the Badge” Fundraising event, auctioned to the highest bidder.
October 2017, Authentic Traditions Gallery, Santa Fe, NM began representing my work
October 2017, OT Circus Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. Monthly in-gallery market shows.
February 2018, invited & donated painting, “Thirteenth Annual Sweetheart Auction” Cancer Foundation For New Mexico in Santa Fe, NM.
February 2018, 5 Gallery, “The People’s Art Show”, Albuquerque, NM.
March 2018, invited & donated painting, “Behind the Badge” Fundraising Event.
May 2018, invited & donated painting, “Silent Auction for First Nations Community Healthsource” at Wright’s Indian Art in Albuquerque, NM.
June 2018, Miniature Art Show at Metallo Gallery in Madrid, NM.
June 2001, Pride Art Show, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1st place in show overall.
June 2016, Pride Art Show, Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 2017, Pride Art Show, 1st place in the Painting Division.
August 2017, accepted to the Santa Fe Indian Market, declined participation that year
December 2017, S.W.A.I.A (Southwestern Assoc for Indian Arts) Santa Fe, NM, Winter Market.
March 2018, received acceptance letter to the Santa Fe Indian Market, August 2018