Shane R. Hendren was born in the fall of 1970 in Gallup, New Mexico, 30 miles south of his hometown of Tohatchi on the Navajo Reservation. As a three year old his mother observed his desire and ability to draw. He drew what he was surrounded by – horses, cattle, cowboys and indigenous people. As he matured, Shane continued to draw, paint and explore any creative avenue that was available to him.
Shane concentrated on art and agriculture while attending Moriarty High School, Moriarty, New Mexico. In the summer of 1987 the Marie Walsh Sharp Summer Art Institute at Colorado State College recognized his work and dedication to the arts and he was selected to study and improve his skills at the institute. He also studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, graduating with a degree in Museum Management. In 1991, the Governor of New Mexico, Bruce King, recognized Shane for his artistic and academic accomplishments at IAIA.
Shortly after graduation, his creativity, design skills and sensitivity to the handling and display of art and artifacts was recognized by the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Shane was contracted to assist in the installation of the inaugural exhibit at the new IAIA Museum.
The museum work did not satisfy Shane’s personal creative needs. Therefore, he enrolled at the University of New Mexico where he graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Arts. Shane was simultaneously riding bulls professionally and producing jewelry. He became proficient at advanced metalsmithing techniques such as marriage of metals, mokume and various forms of casting. His research of mokume-gane and the Samurai tradition from which the technique comes exposed parallels between it and his own Navajo traditions. The individual participant’s dedication and honoring of their craft as well as all other phases of their life define the person. Using the Japanese technique of laminating metals in his jewelry was not only symbolic of the way Shane walks in two worlds but also a physical representation of that.
Shane has received top awards at the juried Native American shows at the Autry Museum of the West American Indian Arts Marketplace, Eitlejorg Museum Indian Market, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Market and Santa Fe Indian Market. In 2018 Shane won the IAIA Alumni Award at Santa Fe Indian Market. He has won countless awards at the New Mexico State Fair including Best of Show in 2002. Shane has three times been named Artist of the Year by the Indian Arts and Crafts Association most recently in 2016.
Shane views jewelry as “sculpture for the body.” Balance and harmony are the core values that motivate Shane and define the hours of thought and hard work that he spends in his Albuquerque, New Mexico studio. Everything, from his practice of Natural Horsemanship, to art and to the time spent with his family, is entwined intimately. Shane continues to produce award winning work and to push his art to the limits to show his children and the world what is possible. His daughter Kateri is following in her father's footsteps as a horsewoman and a jeweler.
His lifestyle is reflected in the marriage of metals and mokume-gane techniques that form the foundation of his jewelry work. Hard work, sacrifice and dedication to his craft describe all that Shane has done so that today he can present to you and the rest of the world his masterpieces. Shane is a true example of art imitating life.
It is a real pleasure to know Shane and represent his work in our collections.