Note: Since this post was originally posted Jay passed away in December of 2015. RIP Jay, you will be missed by many! He was a big man with an even bigger heart.
We often run across great art in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area. New Mexico is not only the land of enchantment but also the land of Art, and yes with a capital “A”. Inspiring works of art can be found at every turn, from roadside creations to galleries, art is a big part of what makes the area tick culturally and economically.
One day in July, Mari ran across a fellow working in his yard on something we at Ar(totems) Co. of course have a great appreciation for, Totem Poles. Since then we know the creator of these Totems is Jay Womack and we have begun representing him online and elsewhere. See his new Facebook page here: Jay Womack – Artist
Jay comes from a background of construction and fine woodworking. Like his totems he strikes a large imposing figure despite his amiable personality. After a couple of beers and a good conversation we realized his talent and his attitude fit well with our mission and representing him would be a pleasure. Jay’s great-grandmother was a Native American and while not all of his work is traditional much of it has the stunning impact a totem pole can have. Unlike many traditional artistic sculptures totem poles typically have specific meaning based on cultural and familial or group relationships. They are most closely associated with the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The scholar Eddie Malin has proposed that totem poles progressed from house posts, funerary containers, and memorial markers into symbols of clan and family wealth and prestige.
A Bit About Totem Poles
“The meanings of the designs on totem poles are as varied as the cultures that make them. Totem poles may recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. Some poles celebrate cultural beliefs, but others are mostly artistic presentations. Certain types of totem poles are part of mortuary structures, and incorporate grave boxes with carved supporting poles, or recessed backs for grave boxes. Poles illustrate stories that commemorate historic persons, represent shamanic powers, or provide objects of public ridicule.” Wikipedia
We Need One
Given the work that Jay does and our appreciation of it we had to work a deal out with Jay to create a totem pole for us. It just makes sense, eh? When it’s done we’ll feature it here. In the meantime here are a few photos of his current projects. Also check back here to find his new website soon.
Jay's Current Work
Sharing our creative efforts, work and travel.