California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California
Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Lacoste School of Arts in Lacoste, France
Lives in Pojoaque, New Mexico, USA
Trained as an artist, George Rivera served as the governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque in northern New Mexico. An internationally known Native American artist, he works in monumental stone and clay sculpture, painting, and architectural design. As a member of northern New Mexico’s Tewa-speaking Pueblo of Pojoaque, Pueblo culture is the driving force behind his creations. His sculpture often depicts Native American dancers and other subjects integral to Pueblo culture. Though he shows nationally and internationally, he tries to exhibit his work mainly in Pojoaque as a model for the viability and development of the arts for the other Native artists in the region. He was instrumental in the founding of the Poeh Cultural Center and Museum, an education and museum facility with working art studios and the permanent exhibit Nah Poeh Meng, meaning “the continuous path”, which portrays pueblo history within the pueblo world view. Today, traditional arts, language and culture are returning to Native American pueblo life after having been at critical risk for survival in the modern world. A recent pieces displayed in the Pueblo of Pojoaque is a12-ton monumental sculpture of a buffalo, carved from Virginia soapstone. For Rivera, the buffalo is a symbol of stability for his tribe, both culturally and economically. His newest monumental creations, on display at the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino, include a bronze Buffalo Dancer, Deer Dancer and Butterfly Dancer. He is responsible for the architectural style and aesthetics of this outstanding resort.
He has also taught art for over 20 years and a cultural preservationist for his family and extended pueblo community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA), has been a panelist for the New Mexico Arts Division, a guest lecturer at several colleges and was a participant in the 1995 U.S./China Arts Exchange in Kunming, China.