Press Release January 6, 2007 from The Fonseca Studio, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Memorial Services for Harry Eugene Fonseca
Saturday, January 27, 2007
New Mexico Room, La Fonda Hotel
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Acclaimed contemporary artist and Native American activist Harry Fonseca (Nisenan/Maidu/ Hawaiian/Portuguese) died early on the morning of Thursday, December 28, 2006, at the age of 60. Family and friends had surrounded Fonseca since he was hospitalized in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in early November.
Fonseca is well known for his creation of the always-smiling, supremely self-confident “Coyote” and “Rose” over 30 years ago. Both have played a central role in Fonseca’s work and have become popular icons in the process. Fonseca’s Coyote and Rose can be found in restaurants, museums, opera houses and chamber music festivals the world over.
Throughout his life-long career as an artist, Harry Fonseca’s work went through a number of transformations but his open attitude towards new influences and sources of inspiration was constant. Fonseca was born in 1946 in Sacramento, California, and his earliest drawings, prints and paintings drew from his Maidu heritage. He was influenced by basketry designs, dance regalia, and by his participation as a traditional dancer.