Navajo artist and sculptor, Ed Natiya Saxon, comes from a very proud and noble heritage. His Navajo ame, Natiya, was given to him at birth and means, ‘everywhere; all over; at once’. A family name, it was passed down to him from his late grandfather, Harding Natiya Negale, who served as a Navajo Code Talker during WWII. Ed Natiya’s grandmother, Glenna Negale, was a medicine woman and a distinguished and honored Navajo rug weaver. His great grandfather, Manuelito Begay, was a well-known medicine man and a tribal counselor for the Crown Point area in northwest New Mexico.
Natiya’s great-great grandfather, Bullet Manuelito, was one of the last four chiefs of the Navajo before Kit Carson gathered his people for the historic ‘Long Walk’ to Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
Following in the footsteps of his rich and diverse legacy, Ed Natiya is fast becoming one of this country’s leading Native American artists. Described as a ‘virtuoso’ in painting, drawing and especially sculpture, Natiya has received numerous awards for his artwork not only in New Mexico, but also throughout the greater United States.
Born in 1972, Natiya’s prodigious talent for art was recognized early on in his life. From the time he was a small child, his mother, Mary ‘Ah-so-bah’ Saxon, who herself is an accomplished Navajo potter, taught Natiya the fine art craft of making and designing traditional southwest pottery and figurines. It was through the use of these bask earthen materials that Natiya’s love for art and sculpture first became manifest.
Throughout his schooling, teachers and administrators quickly recognized his inborn artistic talent and abilities. They continued to help him develop his skills and even encouraged him to enter a few art competitions. After winning several awards and with his confidence built, Natiya decided to continue his study of art and art history at the University of New Mexico wherein he received his ‘Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art’.
Following graduation, Natiya began to pursue a career in art seriously. However, as many artists can tell you, the road to success is not an easy one. In order to support his growing family, Natiya worked for many years as manager of a local art supply store. While at night, Natiya continued to hone his talent and skills to produce wonderful works of art. Never having given up on his dream, his perseverance has been well rewarded.
Natiya’s work has shown in and continues to show in numerous galleries, museums and universities throughout the United States. He currently sculpts full-time and now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his two adorable little girls, Ivory and Avonlee.
Natiya’s strong Navajo roots have kept him grounded as well as inspired within creation. Natiya feels there is still much to be told about the wisdom of long ago and the genuine nature of native peoples. Their wisdom and integrity, gratitude for life and their deep connection with nature are only a few of the teachings Natiya learned to value at a very young age. These simple yet powerful truths communicate through his artwork and continue to this day to speak to the hearts of viewers young and old.
Natiya’s sculptures radiate with life, love and beauty. Through his divine use of clay and bronze casting, Ed Natiya is somehow able to capture the true essence of his people from a very genuine perspective. He sculpts their stories and native wisdom as it once was, in hopes that these teachings and values may be remembered and appreciated for years to come.