Map of my Heart is a retrospective exhibition reflecting on the career of one of Flagstaff’s leading artists. Covering vast years of Shonto Begay’s career as a visual artists viewers are able to grasp the growth and refinement of Shonto’s ability as a painter. The theme of the show seems to follow Shonto’s life and creative journey from his time in Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools up to his current role as a recognized artist and community leader.
The exhibition was open at the Museum of Northern Arizona from June 22-October 19, 2014. Begay was the featured artist as part of the Museum’s 8th Annual Gala as the exhibition opened for the first time.
Map of My Heart spans 30 years of Begay’s career as a professional artist and celebrates his close relationship with family, culture and the land he calls home. Autobiographical in nature, the exhibition features mythic heroes, the insides of boarding schools, dusty rodeo days, family portraits and colorful landscapes while revealing the artist’s constant struggle for balance and harmony between his natural, ancient world and contemporary cultures.
Attending Shonto’s lecture that accompanied the exhibit it was easy to grasp the interconnectedness that he feels flows throughout the events of his life, a theme that he make ever more relevant throughout his work. This exhibit was an excellent homage to the career and influence Shonto has had on Flagstaff and a reminder that his influence will persist for years to come.