(1955 - )
Native American sculptor, Cliff Fragua, has learned the "secret of the stone" through his cultural and ancestral teachings. His work shows pride and a deep understanding of the inherent spirituality that he believes is embodied in the stone that he works with. Fragua has chosen stone as his medium of expression because it is formed from a combination of the basic elements of the earth. The artist feels that the "honesty" and "purity" of this most basic of materials permits him to express himself from the heart and to express the spirit that Native people respect and revere as embodied in the stone.
Fragua sculptures are featured in such public locations as the Albuquerque International Airport and in permanent collections throughout the country. Fragua's work has been included in major invitational exhibitions and one-man shows in leading museums and galleries and has earned some of the highest honors and awards.
“The stone speaks to me by its color and sound. I look at the color and the characteristics of the stone, then I tap it to listen for a ringing sound. If it rings, then the stone is solid. I interpret the ringing as singing, hence the name of my studio, Singing Stone Studio. My connection with the stone involves spirituality and reverence for the spirit that dwells within. It has been on this earth much longer than man and for this reason the stone becomes the teacher, it is simply what my ancestors believe. I am the mediator between the stone and the tools; the stone and the viewer. I visualize what the stone wants to become and I strive to help it blossom.”
•San Francisco Art Institute - San Francisco, California, 1975
•Institute of American Indian Arts - Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1973-1975