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Three paintings by artist Elmer Yazzie

The Yazzie Art Auction

Thank you! 20 paintings sold-at-auction and $9,000 raised.

Two paintings are still available for purchase. Please contact Joel Zwart, Center Art Gallery, at (616) 526-6271 or with questions or purchase inquiries.

Mystery of the Yellow Bison

#6 Mystery of the Yellow Bison

Elmer Yazzie
Native American (Navajo)
Mystery of the Yellow Bison, 2004
Acrylic on Canvas

"While living in Montana I had the opportunity to meet Crow, Blackfeet, Northern Cheyenne and Gros Ventre Indian people. Many of them remember the old ways. My empathy for their loss of the bison touched me.

I began to see the bison in the trees. I have done several paintings showing this theme.

Black Angus are the choice cows to raise in Montana. Much of the land today is roamed by herds of Black Angus.

This piece shows that the memory of the bison remains strong."


#12 S-U-C-C-E-S-S

Elmer Yazzie
Native American (Navajo)
Acrylic on Canvas

This is a sermon illustration on success.

  • S is for salvation. Salvation is the view of the crown of thorns.
  • U is for understanding. This is the triangular line moving inward.
  • C is for conviction. In the lower right corner is a figure running from sin.
  • C is for charity. The three strand cord (Eccl. 4) is in a position of giving.
  • E is for excellence. The diamond is excellence.
  • S is for sin. We need to cross out sin in our lives.
  • S is for Spirit. The wind and the flame is the spirit.


About the auction

Twenty Yazzie paintings will be available for purchase via a silent auction, starting at 9:00 a.m. on October 24, 2008, in the Spoelhof Atrium. Bidding will continue until 7:00 p.m., at which point Elmer Yazzie will give a special presentation in the Spoelhof Center Gezon Auditorium. Bidding will continue during the reception following Yazzie’s presentation, final bids will be accepted at 8:00 p.m. Please note that upon registration bidders will be given an identification number with which to record their bids.

Supporting the arts

Elmer Yazzie '76 has donated these 20 paintings to Calvin College. Proceeds from the sale of the artwork will support the new Calvin College art gallery, which will be housed in a new addition to the Fine Arts Center.

A new addition to the Fine Arts CenterThe Fine Arts Center addition will expand useable space inside and enhance the building’s profile from the East Beltline. The addition will include a welcoming lobby and atrium featuring a large fireplace and expansive windows, and a new 240-seat recital hall to complement the 1,065-seat main auditorium.

Many pieces from Calvin’s permanent art collection will find a new home in a central campus art gallery. This gallery will also host student, faculty and alumni art and special exhibitions. The 1,000 square foot permanent collection gallery will combine with a 2,500 square foot gallery for visiting exhibitions — providing an expansive and inspiring location for visual art on campus.

The renovation and expansion of the Fine Arts Center is a component of the Campaign for Calvin College, No greater task: hearts and minds renewing God’s world.  Launched in September of 2007 with a $150 million goal, it is only the second comprehensive fund-raising campaign in the college’s 130-year history.

At a glance

Elmer YazzieA silent art auction of 20 paintings by Calvin alumnus Elmer Yazzie ’76.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Silent auction
9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Spoelhof Center Atrium
Special presentation
7:00 p.m.
Spoelhof Center Gezon Auditorium
Please contact Ms. Kat Vinson (616-526-8739) with any questions about the event.
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