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In Conversation: Eveli Sabatie with Keri Ataumbi

July 6 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm



In Conversation: Eveli Sabatie with Keri Ataumbi

Wheelwright Library, Thursday, July 6, 2 P.M.



Friends Event: Evelie Sabotie with Keri Ataumbi


Nonfriends Members: please  Pay $15/Register by clicking here.

In 1968, Eveli Sabatie left her home in Paris, France to move to San Francisco, hoping to learn. A chance encounter led to an invitation to Arizona, where Sabatie apprenticed with master Hopi jeweler Charles Loloma. Until the Wheelwright Museum exhibition in 2015, Kiowa jeweler Keri Ataumbi was unfamiliar with the scope of Sabatie’s work. Come to enjoy a wide-ranging conversation in which Ataumbi and Sabatie will discuss Sabatie’s unique career and perspective on jeweler-making and the generation of jewelers of which she was part, while also addressing materials, narrative, and the natural world.

Born in eastern Algeria, raised in Morocco, and educated in Paris, Eveli joined Charles Loloma’s studio as his focus was moving away from cast metal and toward an interest in mosaic inlay. Fueled by his passion for traditional Hopi stone and shell work, abalone-encrusted Northwest Coast masks, and ancient Egyptian jewelry, Loloma’s work underwent a dramatic change to which Eveli Sabatie made a major contribution. She introduced him to Moroccan mosaic—“the turquoise blues, the blue-greens, the lapis blues of tiles laid into the walls of mosques and fountains”— and possessed an insatiable curiosity that made her a willing pupil and an able assistant.

After leaving the Loloma studio in 1972, Eveli moved to Santa Fe and embarked on her own career, creating a jewelry legacy marked by originality, exuberance, and spirit. Favoring exotic materials including carved bone, fossil ivory, and richly colored stone, her work highlights lavish, organic shapes, crystal cabochons in open back settings, and heavily textured and stamped metal. Eveli’s jewelry is known for its opulence and wit, and for the fact that she does not repeat herself: “Every moment is of every day is different!” she says, “So how can you repeat? The moment you repeat you kill something. You’re not really in what’s happening right now. Every material is different, every hour is different, my mood is different every day.”

Raised on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Keri Ataumbi was exposed to both traditional Native American aesthetics and contemporary art theory and practice from an early age. Her Kiowa mother ran a trading post and her Italian-American father is famous for his bronze sculptures. Ataumbi and her sister were encouraged to pursue their individual interests in art.

Ataumbi attended Rhode Island School of Design before moving to Santa Fe in 1990. After moving to Santa Fe she worked as a landscape designer while attending the Institute of American Indian Arts and eventually received a BFA in painting with a minor in art history from the College of Santa Fe. She currently lives and works in the Cerrillos Hills outside Santa Fe. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Town & Country and Forbes and has been showcased in exhibits and events in Europe and Australia. She has won multiple awards at both Swaia and Heard Museum Indian Markets. Her work has recently been worn by actresses at the Cannes Film Festival, on Reservation Dogs and more.


July 6
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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Wheelwright Library
704 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, 87505
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(505) 982-4636


Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
(505) 982-4636
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