Born in 1965, Gallup, New Mexico, USA
MFA, 2002, New York University, New York, USA
BFA, 1988, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
AFA, Institute of American Indian Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Chicago, Illinois, USA
Tony Abeyta, of Diné and Anglo descent, was raised in Gallup, New Mexico. About his life in New Mexico, he writes "I was raised in a small town surrounded by the Navajo (Diné) and Zuni reservation, with Acoma and Laguna in my backyard. Route 66 ran through town and the railroad as well. There was always a sense that there was other places to be and I left Gallup at 16 years old to study art in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the Institute of American Indian art."
Mr. Abeyta has exhibited widely across the Unites States and abroad and his work is held in many prestigious collections. His individual style incorporates bold colors and strong forms with abstractions and historic Native forms. Mr. Abeyta works in a variety of media, including different types of printmaking, oil paintings, large-scale charcoal drawings, and sand paintings. By adding sand to oil paint and encaustic wax with sand, his paintings have a unique rough surface. Recently he created a series of large-scale paintings of Diné (Navajo) deities.
Recently he is creating a new series of large three-dimensional sculptures as well. He is trying "… to diversify as an artist, there are certainly many directions I take as a painter. I am concurrently working on large neo-modernist landscapes, black and white abstract bio mechanical charcoal and ink wash drawings, colorful deity paintings with abrupt textures and paint, and now sculpture as well.”
Mr. Abeyta has studied art across the United States and abroad. He attended classes at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, Lacoste School of Art in southern France, SACI in Florence Italy, Chicago Art Institute, Haystack School in Bangor, Maine, and finally New York University for graduate studies. Currently he works in both Santa Fe, New Mexico and in Chicago, Illinois, where he lives with his son Gabriel, keeping a studio in both places. He believes that "[l]iving in an urban place adds an element of progressive cultural experience. In a city there is the whole discourse of cultures, thinking, music and international art. I consider myself a regionalist, accepting that much of what I do is tied to a native culture and place."