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Felix Vigil, a Jicarilla Apache and a Jemez Pueblo native, has been creating art since he was a child. His father, Francis Paul, a highly regarded artist taught and inspired him to create art. Soon after his father’s untimely passing, Felix pursued art as a profession and in 1980 graduated from the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in painting. He participates at The Indian Market in Santa Fe and numerous shows across the country. He has received many major awards and accolades for his work including the Peabody Award for the artwork in the movie “Surviving Columbus”. His work has been shown in prestigious museums such as The Heard Museum, The Eitelgorg and The Wheelwright in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His paintings are also part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) in Washington, DC.
Over the years his work has become more esoteric in its symbolism and composition. In addition to the popular imagery of his southwest native culture, Felix has been incorporating motifs of Northwest Coast tribes into some of his paintings. Felix states: “There are many similarities in the philosophy of the designs between the Northwest Coast peoples and the Southwest. Paying homage to the animals is the central theme. The spirit of the animals is where our strength comes from. We emulate their character and pray that we can attain their powers.
“Within the scheme of the design, there is an interdependence and relationship that exists between each design element and symbol. This speaks of the relationship that is evident in the world around us. Each creature is dependent on another to live and survive. And we, as humans, depend on these creatures to live.”