Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Fri, Dec. 13

Popular and successful Hopitutuqaiki art school remains in high demand
Hopi based art school has long waiting list

Rosanda Suetopka-Thayer/NHO<br>
Kaye Pooyouma runs the award winning Hopi preschool program. Pooyouma presented certificates of completion to her students at the final summer end dinner. Pictured is Jared Sahneyah, age 3, one of Pooyouma’s outstanding students.

Rosanda Suetopka-Thayer/NHO<br> Kaye Pooyouma runs the award winning Hopi preschool program. Pooyouma presented certificates of completion to her students at the final summer end dinner. Pictured is Jared Sahneyah, age 3, one of Pooyouma’s outstanding students.

THIRD MESA, Ariz. - It took countless hours, months, years and the commitment of a dedicated director and visionary board to get the Hopitutuqaiki Art School to its current rate of seriously critical success, but its here.

This is the seventh year for this one-of-a-kind art school, centered on Third Mesa on the Hopi Reservationo. It is based on Hopi values, Hopi tradition, special nurturing and intergenerational group "gentle nudging" from its master teachers to its current administrator-director and the local Hopi community to bring Hopitutuqaiki to its fullest potential.

By providing clear vision, straight-forward education goal results in outstanding high quality Hopi traditional art pieces as well as visionary, abstract contemporary artwork have made this select summer Hopi arts program one of the best in the country.

At a very family oriented year end dinner held at the Hotvela Community building on Sept. 13, Dr. Robert Rhodes, who serves as facilitator, director, supply clerk, book-keeper and "social support" director for Hopitutuqaikik, welcomed all. This year's students, whose age range from age 3 to 62, showed up with their families to display their finished art pieces and share a potluck meal to celebrate their new art knowledge and mastery over refined art disciplines.

In one particular basket weaving class, teacher Harriet Lomatska had six students signed up. She had a "waiting list" of 18.

Hopitutuqaiki keeps its classes small in size with a purpose - to develop a personal, close, mentoring relationship between master teacher and student. That is one of the major secrets to the school's success.The close one-on-one relationship building has provided its art students specialized guidance and daily, personal dialogue that is not often available at larger classrooms and more mainstreamed arts institutions.

The Hopitutuqaiki art method has proven this personal attention results in more in-depth, higher art skill development, which helps nurture immediate higher self-esteem, more focused attention to the art form, while providing the ability to explore and develop a personal art style in a supportive, non-judgmental environment.

Kaye Lowe, who holds a formal graduate degree in early childhood development, serves as one of Hopitutuqaiki's master teacher. She has successfully held an award winning Hopi preschool that adheres to Arizona state early childhood standards for the past three summers for students who are ages 3 to 4 years of age.

Lowe praised her very young students for their keen interest, constant inquisitiveness, and playful demeanor in learning new pre-school skills, while learning Hopi language and history. Lowe was on hand at the dinner to present her pint-sized students their certificates of art class completion.

Rhodes, meanwhile, praised his board and thanked them for their "patience " in dealing with him through some of the day-to-day nuts and bolts headaches and worries of running such an intense summer art program.

For more information on the Hopitutuqaiki and its class offerings coming this winter and next summer 2012, contact Dr. Robert Rhodes at (928) 734-2433 or at the school website: www.hopischool.net.

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