New Mexico Magazine: Artist We Love: Native Beadworker Hollis Chitto


New Mexico Magazine, August, 2019

What was your evolution as a beadworker?
When I was very little, my parents hung out with Maynard White Owl Lavadour, who is one of the most prolific Plateau beadworkers of our time. I fell in love with his beadwork. It was around this time I decided I was going to bead. In the beginning of my career, I was focused on making things beautiful. I wasn’t concerned with incorporating conceptual or abstract elements—until I created a piece for the Abbe Museum’s Twisted Path series, in Maine, which focuses on the theme of health and well-being in tribal communities. I created a beaded handbag that focused on the issues our communities face in connection to HIV [at right]. This serious topic compelled me to elevate my work conceptually, and it was probably the most important and meaningful piece I’ve ever created.

Talk about your workflow.
I love a challenge. I am always thinking about different materials to use, changing my design concepts, playing with colors and shapes. I am inspired by other beaders like Jamie Okuma, art exhibitions, and of course nature. I like beading bags because it gives me the freedom to create something that can be displayed as art but also worn as couture. I just sold a piece that I am hoping the new owner will wear rather than display.

Read the full article.

See Hollis Chitto's works.


830 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501


830 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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