Taos Pueblo sculptor John Suazo, according to a University of Arizona press release, “is indeed an artist, but because of his natural propensity for sharing enlightenment, he is also an educator. He is a person who strives to impart knowledge and encourage insight through his work.”
A dedication featuring the artist took place Tuesday (Jan. 29) at the site of a limestone statue by Suazo, titled “Waiting for Grandfather,” installed at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Suazo’s work is carried by Bryan’s Gallery and Henningsen Fine Arts in Taos. He has also exhibited in Russia and France, in addition to New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.
“Waiting for Grandfather,” was created in 1986. As an outdoor sculpture, it is the latest addition to the university’s outdoor art gallery, according to the release. Some 40 public art installations enhance the campus.
“Every detail has meaning to me because every piece begins deep inside me,” Suazo is quoted in the release commenting about the work. “The young woman is waiting anxiously to see grandfather, to show her baby to him because he has not yet seen the child. The belt around her skirt is like the one my grandmother used to wear. The stairstep design at the bottom of the woman’s skirt represents the steps we take in life.”
Of the stairstep design, Suazo, a former student of New Mexico sculptor Allan Houser, explains, “A few designs have special meaning to me and so I use them over and over.” The stairstep design is one. Others include the spirit bird (eagle), lightening, the circle of life, and flowers.
“I believe there is a spiritual-ness to Native art that makes people want to get close to it,” he says. “I hope that by looking at and touching my work, one can find a missing piece of knowledge in themselves.”
Suazo’s sculpture came to Arizona State Museum last year as a gift from the family of Burt and Brenda Lazar, through sons Adam and Larry, who reside in California, the release states. Burt Lazar was owner and president of Arizona Stagecoach, familiar to Tucsonans as the airport shuttle. Brenda Lazar was an ophthalmic surgeon.
“Both had a keen appreciation for the arts, were avid world travelers, and both were generous supporters of numerous community organizations. Arizona State Museum is grateful to Adam and Larry Lazar for the gift,” the release states.
For more, visit www.statemuseum.arizona.edu.