Fernando Padilla, Jr.


  • Internationally renowned artist
  • San Felipe Pueblo / Navajo
  • Multifaceted Artist Specializing in Painting, Mixed Media, Bronze, and Jewelry
  • Listed in many publications, including "The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters"
  • 1st Place 70th Intertribal Ceremonial
  • 1st Place Dallas Indian Art Festival and Market
  • 1st Place Red Earth Festival

Painter, sculptor, pastor, Fernando Padilla, jr (San Felipe, Navajo, Apache) discusses his inspiration, history, and connections to his amazing artwork.

Posted by Shumakolowa Native Arts on Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bringing creative visions to life has always come naturally to Fernando Padilla, Jr. (San Felipe, Navajo), who carved his first wooden animals in elementary school using his mother’s kitchen knives. By fifth and sixth grade, exposure to Navajo artwork began to influence his drawings, while architectural drafting in high school fostered a love for measurement and precision rendering.

In the decades since then, Padilla has established himself as a nationally renowned artist by winning first place in such shows as the 70th Intertribal Ceremonial (1987), the Dallas Indian Art Festival and Market (1994), and the Red Earth Festival (1995, 1997, 2000, and 2015). What’s perhaps most remarkable is that these awards ran the gamut of categories, from painting and pastels to mixed media and bronze. Padilla’s affinity for blending materials and stretching a concept from two dimensions to three sets him apart as an artist in today’s creative scene.

In anticipation of his appearance at Shumakolowa Native Arts on January 21, 2017, Padilla took the time to talk with us about how he brings his ideas to life for everyone to appreciate.  Read Interview here.