Charles Azbell Gallery


Biography – Ryan Benally

Born in 1976 of the many hogans, near water clan. Ryan’s great grandmother Nah-dez-beh gave him his Navajo name which is Haskaya-Teh-Des-Wod. She told stories of her grandmother and mother making the Long Walk the relocation of the Navajo to Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Between the ages of eleven to twelve, Ryan’s uncle was an assistant to an area sculptor. Ryan observed at his grandmother house his uncle coming back all dusty. Curious Ryan accompanied his uncle to another sculptors house who is, Tim Washburn, in the summer of 1989. During a visit to Tims studio he handed a stone to Ryan and said “give it a try”. From then on he’s been addicted to creating 3-D art. Ryan finds inspiration from his family to stories from his great grandmother to everyday life. From ripples on the water to flames of a fire, everything is a possible idea. Ryan is surrounded by art by living in the Santa Fe area, from working at a few area foundries, to strolling the galleries with son Giovanni and artist wife,Toya. Ryan is constantly thinking of new ideas in stone and bronze. The type of work range from contemporary realism, devotional and various ”Rock n Roll ”art to mixed media abstract work. Recently Ryan has been taking jewelry classes at the Poeh Center with jeweler Fritz Caususe. And exploring that challenging medium and having fun creating wearable works of art. August of 2009 Ryan was awarded a Wheelwright Museum fellowship for jewelry. JCCC.Nerman Musuem of contemporay art recently purchased a work for thier permanent collection


-Southwest Art; May and August issue 1993

-Laguna Beach Art Review 1993

-Collectors Guide 1993-2008

-Enduring Traditions Art of the Navajo by Lois and Jerry Jacka 1994

-Indian Artist Magizine winter 1996