Anthony Chee Emerson and his son, Zachary, are displaying their artwork at Mon’s Spanish Grill on Main Street in Farmington.
Anthony Chee Emerson and his son, Zachary, are displaying their artwork at Mon's Spanish Grill on Main Street in Farmington. (Megan Farme/The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — When Zachary Emerson was young, he used to watch his father, Anthony, paint.

"He would always kind of just paint along," Anthony Emerson said.

On Friday, Anthony and Zachary Emerson will display their art together at Mon's Spanish Grill.

"We both portray Navajo culture and lifestyles," Zachary Emerson said.

However, he said their art is different because his father's art is more contemporary and his is folk art.

"I like seeing his work because some of his ideas are an extension of his growing up, his schooling and just his imagination," Anthony Emerson said.

He gave an example of his son's painting titled "Hogan in Clouds," which is based on the Jack and the Corn Stalk story.

"The ideas behind them are just stories told from the heart," he said.

The Emersons are not the first members of their family to become artists.

Anthony Emerson's great-grandmother, Nancy Blackhorse, made Navajo pottery the family would use around the house. His grandmother, Lucy Begay, was a Two Grayhills weaver and knew her work would support her family. Even his mother was an artist.

Anthony Emerson used to have an art gallery where Mon's Spanish Grill is now. He still had some of the art on the walls when the restaurant's owner, Phil Gallegos, started moving in. He said the two of them became friends and Gallegos offered him the opportunity to display his art in the restaurant.

The exhibit featuring Zachary Emerson is not the first time the father-son duo have shown art together. They recently returned from Santa Fe, where they were showing with another father-son duo. They have also shown together at the Totah Festival, Santa Fe Indian Market and other venues.

Anthony Emerson said he is enjoying spending time creating and showing art with his son. Zachary Emerson graduated from University of New Mexico last spring with a degree in general biology. He hopes to soon join the Peace Corps and travel to Guatemala.

"I know that our moments that we're going to share are limited," Anthony Emerson said.

IF YOU GO
What: Art reception
When: 5 p.m. Friday
Where: Mon’s Spanish Grill, 121 W. Main St., Farmington

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.