Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on February 14, 2014 · Page Z25
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page Z25

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Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Friday, February 14, 2014
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Page Z25
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High-quality Indian art for sale at Wigwam f est mam HE fiismri 7'i TlKitchens Day W( -kti,? s-rfrf . Design Your Bathroom Online at www.ReBathandKitchens.com Independently Owned & Operated By Lisa Nicita Special for The Republic azcentral.com Kim Obrzut vividly remembers spending time as a child watching her grandfather carve kachina dolls. But she knew she'd never be able to follow in his footsteps. Women aren't supposed to carve kachinas. So she followed her own path. Obrzut, a featured artist at this weekend's Wigwam Festival of Fine Art, casts bronze, another medium dominated by men. "It's mostly a man's world," Obrzut said. "It's a lot of steel-toed shoes and melting. It's not something women are naturally attracted to." But men and women alike are attracted to her artwork, which she describes as contemporary Native American bronze sculptures that sell for $1,800 to $26,000. Besides Obrzut, the arts festival will feature more than 100 other fine artists showing poetry, jewelry, photography, glass and metal, and leather works. Festival-goers can roam the grounds of the Wigwam, which will sell wine and cocktails and host live entertainment from Native American fiddler Arvel Bird and award-winning hoop dancer Tony Duncan. Obrzut, who splits her time between Phoenix and Flagstaff, said bronze is an expensive art form, but it lasts. It also serves as a vessel, delivering Native American beliefs and customs to its beholder. "I take my culture and things we believe in and I put it in my work. It's a bit of a teaching tool," she said. "And we still have bronzes from the Romans. It's a (high) quality product." Sharon Brening, an oil painter who specializes in scenes of Native American children, also is returning to the festival. A Cave Creek resident with more than 50 years of experience in the medium, she takes her craft seriously. Similar to a Method actor, Brening immerses herself in her subject matter. She travels for most of the summer and stays on reservations with Native American families. Brening photographs her subjects and brings the visuals back to her studio to turn into oils. "I leave myself open to everything that just happens," she said of her summer trips. "Usually when I get up there, life just unfolds. It's just magical to me." Brening, like Obrzut, was inspired at a young age to capture the essence of FULL SERVICE BATHROOM & KITCHEN REMODELING "Red Matriarch," by Kim Obrzut. Her sculptures will be on display at the 2014 Wigwam Festival of Fine Art. kim obrzut WIGWAM FESTIVAL OF FINE ART When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Feb. 14-16. Where: Wigwam Resort, 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park. Admission: Free. Details: 623-734-6526, vermillion-promotions.com. what it means to be Native American. Her family often traveled to the Four Corners region, where she learned about Native American ways and found a desire to make part of that life, part of her life. "I was just in awe of the people," she said. "I was taught very early some of their traditions and customs, and their beautiful dress and jewelry, and gentle way of life. It's just never left me." , ... -,-n Call TODAY for an In-Home Estimate & Design Consultation BBB Licensed, Bonded & Insured ROC 267942 & 270235

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