"If the paintings are successful, they should communicate a powerful force, a feeling that is contained in all of us. They are very non-tangible: an idea I have takes on a presence of its own"...Tony Abeyta. Tony Abeyta, born 1966, knew from very early on that he wanted to be an artist and nothing else. Son of respected Navajo painter Narcisso Abeyta, he had the example set from his father that a skilled artist can make a career with his talents. Growing up in Gallup, New Mexico, rather than on the reservation, was also a factor in directing Abeyta's career. Abeyta attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, earning an Associate Degree in Fine Arts. With the help of a Ford Foundation grant, he then traveled to the south of France to study sculpture. Further studies took him to Florence, Italy. Despite his affection for Europe, Abeyta chose to return to the United States and to study painting in the graduate program at the Chicago Art Institute. Abeyta views his imagery as intercultural, created out of the experiences of his own life. The creative use of textures, particularly sand, colors and themes are all evident in Abeyta's paintings. The artist currently lives and paints in Santa Fe, New Mexico.