Felix Vigil, a Jicarilla Apache and Jemez Pueblo native, has been creating art since he was a child. His father, Francis Paul Vigil, a highly regarded Indigenous American artist, taught and inspired Felix to immerse himself in the creative world. Soon after his father's untimely passing, Felix pursued art as a profession and in 1980 graduated from the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art where he was classically trained.
Felix Vigil participates in Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in numerous other legendary markets across the country. He has been an instructor at the prestigious Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has received major awards and accolades for his work, including the Peabody Award for the artwork in the movie "Surviving Columbus".
Vigil's work has been shown in prestigious museums such as The Heard Museum in Arizona, The Eitelgorg Museum in Indiana and The Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His paintings are also part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) in Washington, DC.
Over the years Vigil's work has become more esoteric in its symbolism and composition. In addition to the popular imagery of his southwest native culture, Felix has been incorporating motifs of northwest coastal tribes into some of his paintings.
The artist states states:
"There are many similarities between the philosophy of the designs of the northwest coast people and the southwest people. Paying homage to the animals is the central theme. The spirit of the animal is where our strength comes from. We emulate their character and pray that we can attain their powers.
"Within the scheme of the design, there is an interdependence and relationship that exists between each design element and symbol. This speaks of the relationship that is evident in the world around us. Each creature is dependent on another to live and survive. And we, as humans, depend on these creatures to live."