August 29, 2022
On Thursday, August 25, 2022, the Western National Parks Association and the University of Arizona Press co-hosted an event to celebrate the launch of Michael Chiago: O’odham Lifeways Through Art with Tohono O’odham artist Michael Chiago at the WNPA headquarters in Oro Valley, Arizona.
Joanna Johnson, WNPA operations manager, welcomed the audience of book and art lovers, and introduced Wade C. Sherbrooke, a herpetologist who wrote the book’s forward and helped make it a reality. Chiago spoke to the audience about his work as an artists, the many experiences he’s had in teaching and traveling, and even recalled his military service in Vietnam.
The book, by Chiago and ethnobiologist Amadeo M. Rea, offers an artistic depiction of O’odham lifeways through the paintings of the internationally acclaimed Chiago. Rea collaborated with the artist to describe the paintings in accompanying text, making this unique book a vital resource for cultural understanding and preservation. A joint effort in seeing, this work explores how the artist sees and interprets his culture through his art.