The majority of the works in "How It Was Handed to Me" were created by one family beginning with Julius Caesar, who has been referred to as “the dean of contemporary Native American metalsmiths” and established a thriving family legacy passed on to his son Bruce. Bruce has subsequently taught his own children. The exhibition, the first of its kind in Santa Fe, is organized by Coe board member and jewelry artist Kenneth Johnson (Muscogee/Seminole) and gathers jewelers and jewelry from New Mexico, Oklahoma, and beyond into a complex story of generational and creative legacies.
Leading the public event on December 12th is a gathering of jewelers who are connected through either family or apprenticeship legacies. As Johnson explains, this event is both about the end project and the process of how Native jewelers pass on their skills and practice to the next generation. The jewelers in attendance on December 12th include Keri Ataumbi, Cody Sanderson and his protégé Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose, Pat Pruitt, Kenneth Johnson and daughter and mentee Skye, Samuel LaFountain, Jodi Webster, Maria Samora, Emmett Navakuku, J.J. Otero, Brian Fleetwood, and Bruce Caesar and his family. The artists will all be at the Coe to share their work with the public, of which some is available for sale, while visitors will be able to enjoy the Caesar exhibition.