Most of the artists whose work is seen at Two Grey Hills Indian Art and Jewelry come from a long line of people doing the same thing.
For example, said proprietor Scot Mattheis, “Pottery is within the family.”
Two Grey Hills — which Mattheis owns with his father, Gary — will welcome back silversmith Artie Yellowhorse for the opening weekend of the Fall Arts Festival.
Two Grey Hills has worked with Yellowhorse for over four decades. Visitors to the gallery will see her new work as well as the gallery’s regular display of turquoise and other stones, jewelry, weaving, rugs and pottery.
Ranging from simple sterling silver designs, to large cut, shaped and polished turquoise pieces, Yellowhorse’s jewelry puts a contemporary spin on her family’s traditional techniques.
“Yellowhorse is a very well-known Navajo family that does silversmithing, and has worked with turquoise for many, many years,” Gary Mattheis said.
The family aspect is important, Yellowhorse said.
“We take great pride in continuing a family legacy and bringing beauty and joy to people — helping in understanding the Navajo concept of ‘walk with beauty,’” she said.
To continue her family’s silversmithing legacy, Yellowhorse includes her children and grandchildren in her artistic processes. Her openness about sharing her techniques makes her a hit with art aficionados.
“Everybody loves Artie,” Mattheis said. “She is a very outgoing lady and loves to talk to people and tell them about her art.”
As the art travels from its place of origin and into Jackson, the familial roots remain in every piece.
“Almost every artist [we feature] learns their craft and their love of the craft and the traditions from a family member,” Scot Mattheis said.
The artwork at Two Grey Hills comes in great variety.
“We have literally hundreds of artists that we work with as far as jewelry, and then, you know, pottery and weaving, we have hundreds more,” Gary Mattheis said.
With each of these of artists comes a long line of family values, traditions and ways of creating.
While other Two Grey Hills artists will not be present during the festival, the gallery’s variety of Navajo rugs, Pueblo pottery and Hopi, Zuni and Navajo jewelry tells familial stories of the Southwest.
Outside its original context the art featured at Two Grey Hills brings culture and insight from the Southwest to the alpine Mountain West.
Additionally, Native American arts are a reminder of the presence of indigenous people in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including the Cheyenne, Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone-Bannock tribes.
With a combination of natural turquoise, organic materials and generations upon generations of craftsmanship and relationships across the American West, Two Grey Hills is a time capsule of American history and tradition, just as it is art.
Artie Yellowhorse and every one of the gallery’s featured artists remind Jackson that Native American history and culture is living, breathing and still cultivating their legacy. ￼