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Art Mihio Manus

Published on February 26th, 2013 | by Adrian

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Slickest in the Southwest – Mihio Manus

Who are you?
My name is Mihio Manus.  I’m Navajo, Cherokee and Omaha.  I’m from Chinle, Ariz.  I’m married to Shaunya Manus and currently live in Leupp, Ariz.  I’m not gonna do my clans, I’m related to everyone anyway.  I’m a father of three lovely children.  By profession, I’m an editor for a tribal newspaper.  By education and inherent drive within my being, I’m a photographer.

Where are you based?
Yeah, I’m living in Leupp.  And really, I love it.  I think I prefer smaller towns.

What is your background as an artist?
I went through this a few times.  First, I was all serious.  Then I read a few of the other guys interview and decided to lighten up.  It’s taken me this long to consider myself an artist mainly because I know artists who pursue their skill as their solitary form of income.  I’m more of a documentarian but I’m trying to invoke a deliberate artistic sensibility into my work recently.  I have a day job.  But I’m very serious about photography.  I love it.  I always have a camera of some sorts with me.  More recently, I’m shooting black and white film and processing and printing it in my makeshift home darkroom.

A few notable things: I was juried into Santa Fe Indian Market (SWAIA) in 2011; In 2011, I submitted one of my photographs into the New Native Photography Exhibit, which was held during the Santa Fe Indian Market at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe; I participated in the Through the Lens: Dine Photographers Exhibition at the Navajo Nation Museum; I currently, I have a photograph on loan to the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque, NM in an exhibition called Contemporary Navajo Photographers: Present Tense; I had a photo run in Thrasher Magazine once and another in a tabloid magazine called Life and Style that was essentially stolen off the internet.

How would you explain your creations in 4 words?
Deliberate.  Beautiful.  Monochromatic.  Subjective.

Where does your vision come from & what do you hope to accomplish?
I’m influenced by my peers and other professionals.  This influence could be adversity or it could be emulation.  But I process the aesthetics of images I like and try to personalize them into what I’m doing.  Or I look at things I feel might be cliché and try to go the other way.  I hope that my work inspires a few second glances.  I hope my work causes people to stop for a moment and reflect on how the image might create reference to their own lives.

When you were young, did you ever imagine your work would inspire & motivate so many people?
You mean now that I’m so old.  Haha.  In a subconscious and egotistical way, I think we all feel our work will inspire and motivate people.  We hope it does.  When any of my photographs elicits response, either positive or negative, I know I’m affecting someone and that’s really all I can ask for.  I mean, aside from a million dollars.

Could you please give our viewers some information about where they can see/hear/purchase your work?
My website needs to be updated like the Leupp store needs new groceries.  But you can still go to www.mihiomanus.com.  I just put up a FB artist page that you can check out.  I have some T-shirts for sale on there.  I’m trying to get into SWAIA this year and if I do get in I’ll have a bunch of new work for sale.
Yeah, get in contact if you’re interested in picking up any of my work: mihiomanus@gmail.com.

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