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about greyshoes


Upton Ethelbah, Jr., a.k.a. Greyshoes, began working as a sculptor after retiring from the Santa Fe Indian School as Student Living Director. One year later, Ethelbah's first bronze "Pueblo Corn Dancer", was judged Best Contemporary Native American art work at the Colorado Springs Indian and Spanish Art Market. And ten years later, in 2009, he was awarded First Place in Stone Sculpture at the Santa Fe Indian Market, was named the Featured Artist at the Living Treasures Native Art Show and was named a Living Treasure by the NM Museum of Indian Art  And Culture. In 2011, he was awarded First Place in sculpture at the Universtiy of Arizona, a second place in bronze sculpture at the Heard Museum. In August of that year, at the biggest Native American art show of them all, The Santa Fe Indian Market, Ethelbah's Persian onyx piece, "Avanyu-A Prayer For Rain"received a Blue Ribbon as The Best Stone Sculpture.


Ethelbah works exclusively in stone: exotic and domestic marble, limestone, alabaster, and onyx. "My goal is to work in stone for the next 30 years. At some time in the future, because of age, I may need to roll over to wood or clay, but my goal is to continue to work in stone." After a lifelong career in education and social work, Ethelbah, a Viet Nam era veteran (1964-68) of the U.S. Navy, traded pen and paper for sculpting tools after a friend presented him with a chunk of red and green alabaster. In finding subject matter for his carvings, Ethelbah draws on his Pueblo and Apache heritage to create images that have Native American themes.


Although he calls Santa Clara Pueblo home,  his elaborate studio and residence is in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a 1961 graduate of Sandia High school, a 1971 graduate of the University of New Mexico and a 2000 graduate of the Poeh Arts Center.


Ethelbah served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), which produces the Santa Fe Indian Market, from 2002-2003.

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