IN THE SPOTLIGHT

santa fe indian market

August 22-23, 2015. Santa Fe Indian Market - Booth #237-PAL-N

The world’s most prestigious Native American arts show opens with more than 1000 artists, food and demonstration booths, a youth market, entertainment and more! Free and open to the public. For more information click on the image above.


 

 

kenneth johnson jewelry on QVC

American West Jewelry Adds Artist Kenneth Johnson to Its Line of Native American Designer Jewelry

Press Release
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(Business Wire)--
Relios has announced a new relationship with award-winning Native American jewelry designer Kenneth Johnson. The company will bring Johnson`s unique designs to collectors around the world through its American West line of sterling silver and natural gemstone jewelry when it makes its scheduled debut on QVC March 19 from 1-3 AM (ET) and 6-8 PM (ET).

For the past 12 years, Bill and Carolyn Pollack, the CEO and vice-president of Relios, have collaborated with award-winning Native American jewelry artists, licensing designs to be made in their Albuquerque, New Mexico production studio under the direction of the artist. The designs of these Native American artists have been made available to a larger audience through American West Jewelry and QVC, which reaches more than 98 million U.S. households.

Johnson is a Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole artist known for complex and innovative jewelry designs with a distinct contemporary vision. He has been recognized with fellowships from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Santa Fe Indian Market....

To read more, go to the official press release on www.reuters.com

Purchase this jewelry on QVC go to the website: http://qvc.co/KennethJohnson-QVC

Kenneth is also featured on the American West Facebook page.



 

Mvskoke Chief George Tiger wearing the gorget


rain collection

Engraving designs around the great seal of the Mvskoke Nation

Detail of the finished gorget

Muscogee Nation News Newspaper Interview with kenneth Johnson about the commisioned Chief's Gorget

Tell us about the piece? The design style, motivation?
The gorget in crescent or round form is an iconic symbol among our people. So when a leader requests one, I approach it as a canvas to display elements important to the wearer.  In this case, the Mvskoke Tribal Seal along with symbols of Mvskoke culture such as Sun and Fire, Wind and Water.  These were the characters in my narrative in metal.  Each gorget pattern is different. 

I was teased it was the “Earth, Wind and Fire” gorget when my friends saw it.… they made me laugh.

When were you asked to create this?
 Last year.                                   

Is this something you are used to? Working under time constraints to produce a piece?  
When I make a jewelry design for a special occasion I like to get a sense of what the occasion calls for and then I focus my design efforts towards that event.

I take it the Chief got good feedback at the Inaugural receptions, any word on that?
Knowing that the Chief of one of the largest tribes in the country was wearing my work at an important national event was very gratifying.  I knew that the piece had to look good from a distance and also meet the scrutiny of anyone took the time to focus in and appreciate the detail on it.  It has great detail.

What other Chiefs have you created work for?
I’ve created work for Native leaders Muscogee Chief Perry Beaver, Seminole Nation Chief Enoch Kelly Haney, Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller, Delaware Chief Curtis Zunigha,  Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Chairman Marshall McKay and recently the 6 Principal & 2nd Chiefs of the Keetoowah Band, Eastern Band & Western Band of Cherokees. 

Celebrities, other people of note?
Some people of note that I really enjoy creating for are the newborn babies in our family who get their 1st silver and coral baby bracelets at our Winter family gatherings in Tulsa.  It was at one of family gatherings I was honored to make and present a special bracelet for the now late Lizzie Bruner, a Muscogee Living Legend.

I was also honored with the commission to create the silver, coral and copper crowns for the Seminole Nation Princesses (Little Miss, Junior Miss, Miss Seminole and Senior Miss.).  I’m always proud to see them represent at the special events with those crowns.

I’ve also worked with designer Tom Ford, collaborated with poet & activist Suzan Shown Harjo, artist Virgil Ortiz, made custom jewelry for Joy Harjo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, actress Jennifer Tilly, Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke and Asst. Secretary of the Interior Ada Deer among others.

In group effort of note, last August I coordinated the creation of a special collaborative silver and turquoise necklace from 13 artists to benefit the Santa Fe Indian Market organization (SWAIA).  We raised $60,000 at auction with the sale of that one special necklace. I enjoyed seeing that project develop to become bigger than the sum of its individual parts.

How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been making jewelry for 24 years now.

How do people find your work?
I connect with people at art shows such as Santa Fe Indian Market, Heard Museum Show in Phoenix, through my website and networking in the Native communities.

Future projects?
Currently I’m working renowned potter Christine McHorse on a silver pendant she designed to feature with the release of her new book this fall at the University of Oklahoma.

I’m currently working on designing a special jewelry line for a major company to be announced soon. Keep your eyes out for me!

 

Blood of the Sun: Artists Respond to the Poetry of Suzan Shown Harjo

Ahalenia Studios
1422 Second St., Santa Fe, NM
Friday, May 13 – Sunday, May 22, 2011

Visual artists (including Kenneth Johnson) will create works inspired by the powerful poetry of Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne-Muscogee Creek).

Suzan Harjo has been an activist and policy maker in Indian Country for decades. She has helped restore over one million acres of land to tribal control and has helped passed key legislation such as the 1978 American Indian Religous Freedom Act and the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. She will be honored by IAIA with an honorary doctorate degree this May.

Harjo will be present at the opening reception on Friday, May 13, from 6-9 pm. The reception is free and open to the public.

For the closing reception, Sunday, May 22nd, 2-4 pm, Celeste Conner (Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache) will create an installation and a performance piece.

Hours:
Friday, May 13, 2-9 pm • Opening reception: 6-9 pm
Saturday, May 14, 1-5 pm.
Sunday, May 15, 1-5 pm
Saturday, May 21, 1-5 pm
Sunday, May 22, 1-5 pm • Closing reception: 2-4 pm
May 16 through 20, the show will be open by appointment. Email to arrange an appointment.

 

Kenneth Johnson Jewelry featured in Dec 2010/Jan 2011 French VOGUE Magazine

Tom Ford guest-edited the December issue of Vogue Paris, which features bracelets and necklaces by Kenneth johnson in a Wild West–themed shoot by Terry Richardson titled "Pussy West"

vogue

 

Kenneth Johnson Designs Commemorative Coin for Muscogee Nation

Kenneth Johnson designs historic coin to commemerate the date, November 20, 2010, that marks the ownership of the Creek Council House returns to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation from the City of Okmulgee, Oklahoma

"It's an honor to do this," said Johnson, "it is a commemorative coin so I want to capture the importance of the event ."

One side of the coin features the Creek Council House and the date. The other side proudly displays the great Tribal Seal of the Muscogee Nation

The original sterling silver coins, which is the size of a silver dollar, were given to Chief and National Council representatives.


 

Kenneth Johnson featured on cover of Native Peoples Magazine!

Check out jeweler Kenneth Johnson and his 18k gold & diamond ring featured on the cover of the Special Santa Fe Indian Market Issue (September/October 2010) of Native Peoples Magazine.

Kenneth is one of 12 jewelers featured in an article on ring titled “Ring Cycle” written by Dexter Cirillo, Ph.D.

Cover photo, clothing and styling by Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo).

Read the article! Click Here or on the cover image.

red earth

More photoshoot images! Click Here.

magazine



ring

 


 

Articles!

See my work featured on the cover of the "Santa Fean" magazine, August, 2007! Click on the image to visit their web site.

Also, view my work in the September 2007 issue of Cowboys and Indians. Click on the logo to visit their web site.


Go to my Articles page for a sampling of past articles and ads.