Carol Lujan, a clay and glass artist, is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and lives and works in both Arizona and New Mexico. She is of the Totsohnii (Big Water) clan and her original clan is Hashtl’shnii (Mud Clan). Carol’s contemporary clay and glass art is inspired by her family, her native culture and heritage, and the beautiful landscape of the Southwest.
Her colorful clay masks are influenced by the Navajo deities and her clay sculptures reflect the strength, humor, and spirit of Indigenous women of the Southwest. Additionally, her glass art transforms traditional native art into a contemporary nontraditional art form. The designs on her glass rugs are inspired by her grandmother’s rugs as well as historical Navajo rug designs from the mid-1800s. Various traditional Indigenous designs and symbols, combined with the contemporary medium of glass, complement and strengthen one another and provide a unique piece of art.
The artist participates in various art markets across the Southwest including the Heard Museum Indian Market, the Pueblo Grande Indian Market in Phoenix, Arizona; the Native Treasures Art Show, and the Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico. She has received awards for her glass and clay work from a number of the above art venues. Additionally, Carol’s glass art can be viewed at BuffaloThunder Resort and Casino near Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Carl Gorman Museum in California at UC Davis, and the current “Clearly Indigenous” glass exhibit at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work is represented by Faust Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Carol is passionate about the creative process and continues to expand her knowledge about clay and glass sculpting while incorporating the Indigenous Southwest tradition and cultures into her pieces. Her overall inspiration continues to be founded on the beauty, strength, endurance, humor, and sovereignty of American Indian nations and peoples. She aspires to have these values passed on through her art and feels blessed and privileged to be able to express herself as an Indigenous artist.
Carol is nominated by the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture to represent the United States. Each year IFAM collaborates with six neighboring institutions to uplift our shared cultural values and U.S.-based folk artists.