© Laura Walker

John Suazo

John Suazo was born at Taos Pueblo in 1951.  He has been a full-time sculpture since 1974.  Suazo attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque; the Navajo Community College in Tsaile, Arizona and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Suazo went to college expecting to become a teacher. He had excelled in sports and considered being a coach.

“But I kept changing majors,” he said. “I really didn’t know what I wanted to do until one day, during my fourth year of college, when I came home on a Christmas break and started carving. Right then, I knew I had found my true calling. My uncle Ralph encouraged me to follow that path. ”

John Suazo’s work is characterized by simplifying forms, mainly figurative human beings, birds and mammals. These subjects all relate to his cultural traditions.  He has received multiple awards and distinctions. His sculpture “Waiting for Grandfather” was installed at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2013. His work is in numerous museums and galleries throughout the country and has also been exhibited in Russia and France.


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