Thomas Tapia | This artist is a member of SWAIA.org South Western Association for Indian Arts
My name is Thomas Tapia, Tewa name Ogowee Tsaa (Roadrunner). I’m a Tewa Native from the Pueblo of Tesuque, New Mexico. I come from a long line of artist starting from my late Grandfather Tomas Vigil. He was born in 1889. There is an original watercolor painting which my grandfather painted of a Traditional Buffalo Dance, which is permanently displayed at the lobby of the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM. The painting dates back to the early 1900’s. My late Uncle Pete Vigil, Tim Vigil, Paul Vigil and Clyde Vigil were all excellent watercolor artist along with my late brother Joseph Tapia. My late Uncle Tim, Paul and late brother Joseph all competed in the Santa Fe Indian Market and won numerous awards. I started painting in high school and found it peaceful and relaxing. My medium is watercolor on matt board. Working with natural clay and making pottery is my second hobby. My mother Theresa Tapia who is a gifted potter is my inspiration and was the one who encouraged me to enter the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1996. I was so intimidated to compete with all the well renowned artist but my mom encouraged me to enter anyway. I didn’t expect it but to my surprise I won first place. I’ve been competing annually ever since at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Art show in Phoenix, AZ. I’m just following the footsteps of my late family and thank my beautiful mother for all her love, inspiration and advice. Awards: 1996 – Santa Fe Indian Market: First Place 1997- Santa Fe Indian Market: First Place / Second Place 1997 – Heard Museum Art Show: Honorable Mention 1998 – Santa Fe Indian Market: First Place 1999 – Santa Fe Indian Market: First Place / Best of Division 2000 – Santa Fe Indian Market: Third Place 2001 – Santa Fe Indian Market: Second Place 2004 – Santa Fe Indian Market: Third Place 2006 – Santa Fe Indian Market: Second Place 2007 – Santa Fe Indian Market: First Place/Third Place 2008 – Heard Museum Art Show: Honorable Mention 2008 – Santa Fe Indian Market: First Place 2011 – Heard Museum Art Show: First Place / Best of Classification 2011 – Santa Fe Indian Market: Jean Seth Award for Painting / Honorable Mention 2014 – Santa Fe Indian Market: Honorable Mention 2015 – Heard Museum Art Show: Second Place 2018 – Santa Fe Indian Market: First Place / Oqwa-Pi Award for Excellence in Pueblo Style Painting 2019 – Heard Museum Art Show: First Place, Best of Division and Judges Choices 2019 – Santa Fe Indian Market: Oqwa-Pi Award for Excellence in Pueblo Style Painting

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