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Harleigh Herrera, IAIA

Harleigh's push to further her learning began in her final year in high school, working with artist Frederico Vigil as part of her service learning community project. From learning under a working artist, Harleigh knew that art was the industry she wanted to be involved in. Her network of family, mentors and artists has only pushed her further to elicit her artistic abilities.

Harleigh comes from two backgrounds: the Navajo Nation and Cochiti Pueblo. The mixture of two Indigenous backgrounds has allowed her to find similarities in her cultures and represent those values in a unique way. The background of her work comes from looking at a traditional standpoint and defining who she is as an Indigenous artist, but also creating these expressions through the use of newer technologies and mediums such as 3D printing. Her most recent work comes from the inspiration of her great-grandmother and pueblo artist Laurencita Herrera, who was known for creating pueblo pottery and art. Harleigh hopes to use these digital media visuals to influence Indigenous youth to explore contemporary mediums while keeping their value of culture alive.

Being a full time student and mother, Harleigh deeply appreciates the opportunity to focus on her professional art studies with the help of the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

"Technology has taken over the world. Just about everyone and everything is involved with technology or its elements. You are either born into it or have adapted to it. The work I create is a representation of adaptation to the modern world. Cultural elements represented with modern technologies have emerged into my artwork, by defining who I am, where I come from, and how I have grown. These works visualize the connection from history to the present."