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Did You Know…this new ABC sitcom (Weds.@10 p.m. EST) features a Navajo writer and former museum employee, Sierra Teller Ornelas! Way to go Sierra, we are 100% behind you and love to see our colleagues succeed!
Forget who gets to keep the ring – when a couple splits the real question is, who gets to keep the friends? In this modern comedy, a couple’s break up will complicate all of their friends’ lives and make everyone question their choices. When life throws yo…u for a loop… hold on tight to the people you love. Every circle of friends has someone who’s the gravitational center. For years, perfect couple Dave and Alex drew their friends in and held them together. Now that they’ve split, does this group have the stuff to stay together? Or do Max, Brad, Jane, and Penny have to choose sides? Suddenly every event is a negotiation. Like, who gets to go on the annual ski trip? There are a lot of big questions to be answered, but this group has been together so long, somehow, little by little, they’ll figure out how to hold on, even though their center is split up. It helps that Dave and Alex have agreed to stay friends. But there will definitely be other complications down the road – like Penny’s long-suppressed feelings for Dave. What is the waiting period for dating a friend’s ex? This show isn’t afraid to ask the embarrassing personal questions that inevitably arise in every long-term, close-knit group of friends.
Sierra Teller Ornelas, an award winning sixth generation Navajo weaver, grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts from the University of Arizona. There she worked diligently as a contributing writer and producer for Comedy Corner, the longest running weekly college sketch comedy show in the country. After graduation she moved to Washington, DC to work as a program assistant at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. In 2009 she participated in the IAIA Summer Television & Film Workshop and the National Hispanic Media Coalition Fall Television Writers Program.
So . . . Rug Mystery Solved!
Well, I took my mystery rug to trader Jackson Clark on Friday evening just before the Autry’s preview event for the Navajo rug silent auction, which by the way had an attendance of 165. Clark was nice enough, between hanging rugs and unfolding chairs, to take a look at my rug. His verdict, in a minute.
But first, I’ll tell you about Sierra Teller Ornelas, who strutted her weaving skills during the auction on Saturday. She comes from a family of weavers out of the Two Grey Hills area in New Mexico, and they have been weaving for six generations. She now lives in Los Angeles and has “gone Hollywood.” Well,
Sierra Teller Ornelas comes from a Navajo family whose weaving tradition goes back six generations
really, Sierra is a writer for television shows. But she has been weaving since she was a girl. Given the family trade, there was just never any question that she would learn, regardless of what she grew up to be.
Navajo weavers sometimes specialize in different sizes or themes. Sierra specializes in miniature works.
“I have a hard time focusing,” she said. “For me, I feel that I’m just not at a place in my talent level yet to try to weave something that’s a large piece.”
Sierra’s mother, Barbara Teller Ornelas, is a master weaver living in Tucson, AZ. She and her sister, Rosann Teller Lee, worked four years to finish a rug that won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1987. The piece was 5 feet wide and almost 9 feet long.
“My mother always says there will always be Navajo weavers,” Sierra said. “I really do believe that that’s true.”
Judging from the interest in the auction, it doesn’t seem like a dying art. Four rugs sold online, and the most expensive rug at the auction retailed at $13,000. Jo Valiulis, director of retail special projects, said 50 bidders, many of them young collectors, bought about 70 rugs. Many rugs sold at more than $200, and several sold at more than $1,000.
As for my rug, it was probably made between about 1910 and 1920, in Northwestern New Mexico, perhaps near the Teec Nos Pos area, Clark said.
My mystery rug, no longer a mystery.
“It’s a pretty little standard geometric,” he said. “My mom’s dad had a lot of these.”
Clark, of Toh-Atin Gallery in Durango, Col., said the rug is known as an outline design, because each color is outlined by a different color.
“In that area, Red Mesa and Teec Nos Pos, they tended to do some of these outline designs,” Clark said. “These are all natural colors, with the exception of the red, which is an aniline dye that was used.”
Clark said he would appraise the rug at around $1,000. My response? What else: “You’re kidding!” Just like everyone else on Antiques Roadshow.
To watch Sierra in action, see the video below.