Shonto Begay created four 8-foot tall, outdoor murals to hang on the outside of the Coconino Center for the Arts facility. The work, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, was created in collaboration with high school students from the Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy. The four murals fit the needs of the building dimensions and FALA students brainstormed with Shonto to determine the theme. Ultimately, each mural was designated to each of the four seasons and incorporated different art forms that would best represent the Center for the Arts.
“This set of images depicts, in passionate motions, the four disciplines of the arts,” says Begay’s artist statement, “this intense association of creative spirits and this great community of ours, Flagstaff; Kin’L,aani’; In Dineh’. The visual composition in the Mural includes the row of silhouettes connecting the four panels which is the audience that validates us. The four seasons, the muses, represented in various forms: in the blue of Winter: the dance; in the bouquet of Spring: the spoken words and music; in the warmth of Summer: the fine arts; in the glow of Autumn: the performing arts.
Shonto Begay is a member of the Dineh (Navajo) Nation, Member of the BitterWater Clan and born for the Salt Clan. He was born and raised in the community of Shonto, Arizona.
The murals were finished in late summer 2013 and were hung in October 2013. An unveiling took place on December 7, where Shonto celebrated with friends, family, and community members at the Coconino Center for the Arts.