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Aaron Freeland

June 2021 Artist of the Month

Each month in 2021 – The Year of the Artist, a different arts category will be highlighted with an artist in that field being celebrated as the Artist of the Month.


This month the Arts Council recognizes Aaron Freeland, a Dine’ (Navajo) artist from Farmington, NM. Freeland is one of the best pastel artists and printmakers in the Southwest, working in oil, pastel, and monotype with hand-applied colored chalk and opaque watercolor. His signature works are done in oil and pastels on black paper.

Freeland was born into the Bitannii Clan and the Tobaazhni Clan in 1956 at Rehoboth Mission, New Mexico. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe from 1973-1976, where he studied under Allen Houser, Doug Hyde, and other influential twentieth-century artists.

There is an authenticity and deepness in Freeland’s work that cannot be ignored. Through his work, he communicates the Native American culture and the vast New Mexico landscape. He created an award-winning block print titled “Navajo Girl” for the 2005 Indian Market, and his work has captured the attention of art collectors since the 1990s. New York Art Consultant Dannette Koke, said, “His tenacity and belief in his work has always stood out. His work has heart and soul, and his human figures come alive.”

His work is represented at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian, and other significant collections worldwide.  Marilyn Pink of Master Prints and Drawings represented Freeland from 1987 until her passing in 2016. He has been printing at Hand Graphics with numerous other master printers in Santa Fe, NM for over 30 years. Hand Graphics is the most comprehensive, privately owned printmaking atelier in the Southwest. 

Anyone interested in seeing Freeland’s art in person can find him at the Old Mesilla Farmers and Crafts Market on Fridays and Sundays.  For more info about Freeland visit:

Doña Ana Arts Council Members

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