We had the good fortune of connecting with Filmer Kewanyama and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Filmer, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
My paintings, my artwork what I call Native American art or Hopi art gives me a chance to teach non native people, non Hopi people about who we are as Hopi and why it is important that we continue to practice our way of life and why we look at things in a sacred and respectful way. I strongly believe that if we all got to know each others more that in itself would allow harmony and how we treat each other as people.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider my art unique in the way that most of my artworks are about our Hopi way of life so each painting has a story as to what it represents, depicts or portrays. And I would have to say that I think all my paintings always stress the sacredness of water, nature and everything around us. I started learning art at an early age from my Hopi way of life but it was also reinforced when I started taking art classes at Yavapai College.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of the things that I also do as a seasonal job is that I work with the road scholar program from Northern Arizona University. So I would take guests around the Hopi and Navajo lands and some of these other ancient places where our ancestors left their marks such as Wupatki, Walnut Canyon, Grand Canyon, Hopi Mesas, Chaco Canyon and many other places.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If there is one person that I would give a shout out to who has made a huge positive impact and where I am at today as an artist that would be my partner Maryhelen Ewing. not only is Maryhelen a professional musician, she is also an awesome oil painter and from the moment we met she has been a huge part of my successes.
Instagram: Filmer (Yoimasa) Kewanyama
Facebook: Yoimasa: The Art of Fil Kewanyama
Other: Cactus Wren Art Gallery, Tubac, Arizona Journeys in Spirit art exhibition Prescott, Arizona National Vaterans Creative Arts Festival