Annual youth art event returns to Shiprock

'Dahayóígíí' teaches youth art techniques through hands-on training provided by professional and renowned artists

Noel Lyn Smith
Octavia Joe makes a bracelet during a session of last year's "Dahayóígíí: A Cultural Youth Art Event" on July 8 at the Shiprock Youth Complex.

FARMINGTON — The organizers behind "Dahayóígíí: A Cultural Youth Art Event" are wrapping up preparations for the annual activity.

The free event, which is entering its third year, teaches youth art techniques through hands-on training provided by professional and renowned artists.

Open to students from third to 12th grades, the event will take place Wednesday through Friday at the Shiprock Youth Complex.

Students can select an area of focus from nine classes: sculpture, painting, rug weaving, basketry, sandpainting, jewelry, pottery, performing arts and beading.

Cyra John works on a painting on July 9, 2014, during a session of "Dahayóígíí: A Cultural Youth Art Event" at Shiprock High School.

Organizer Oreland Joe said the classes are based on traditional art forms found in the Northern Agency of the Navajo Nation.

The purpose of the event is "to plant a seed" and encourage students to think about art, Joe said last week in a telephone interview.

By the end of the three-day sessions, students can produce up to three pieces, which will be displayed during an art show from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday.

Students from the performing arts class will stage a performance at 2 p.m. Friday at the Phil L. Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock.

Organizers encourage participants to pre-register for the class they want to attend. Pre-registration is available on the event’s Facebook page, Dahayoigii a Cultural Youth Event, or by emailing

Registration forms are also available at the Shiprock Youth Center and at the event, starting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.