Red Earth Names Fernando Padilla Jr. 2021 Honored One

Posted by Christy Alcox on 06/11/2021


News Information


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                             June 2, 2021



            Oklahoma City, OK - San Felipe Pueblo artist, Fernando Padilla, Jr.  will be recognized during the 35th Annual Red Earth Festival as the 2021 Red Earth Honored One. Since its inception in 1987, Red Earth, Inc has selected an artist whose support of Native art has been substantial throughout his or her life for this annual recognition.

            This award is given to someone who has had a significant influence on the Native art community; To one who has continuing involvement, activity, and participation in their art form.

            The list of previous Honored One award recipient includes some of the world’s most honored and recognized Native artists. Past honorees include Archie Blackowl, Allan Houser, Dick West, Anna Mitchell, Doc Tate Nevaquaya, Mike Larsen, Charles Pratt, Enoch Kelly Haney, Benjamin Harjo Jr., Jeri Redcorn and Harvey Pratt to name a few.

            Paula Cagigal, Red Earth President, stated “We are honored to have eight recipients of the Honored One award also participating in the Festival this year. They include Mary Aitson, Les Berryhill, Clancy Gray, Ruthe Blalock Jones, Patta LT, Nelda Schrupp, Daniel Worcester and Gordon Yellowman.”

            Born in Huntington Park, California, Fernando Padilla Jr. grew up in various places in New Mexico and Arizona due to his father's job with the U.S. Forestry Service. He moved to Oklahoma in 1978. Best known for his painting of the Southwestern landscape and Pueblo life, Padilla also creates multi-dimensional artwork, sculpture, and jewelry.

            Padilla graduated from Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque, NM and attended college in Albuquerque, NM. He later transferred to Bethany Nazarene College in Bethany, Oklahoma.

            His work has been featured in museums throughout the world including the Dallas Museum of Art, Story of the Sacred Hoop Exhibit in Stuttgart, Germany, Millicent Rogers Museum, Institute of the Franco-American Exhibit in Renes, France, the Denver Art Museum, Museum of the Great Plains, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM and in the collection at the Red Earth Art Center.

            His mural entitled “Spirit of the People" is on permanent display at the Denver International Airport. He was selected as one of ten artists by Western American Indian Chamber to create site-specific work for the airport. Chosen to illustrate Native American life during the Anasazi Period, Padilla's mural shows a panoramic view of a cliff dwelling community.

            “Fernando has been one of Red Earth’s most talented and dedicated artists since he began his career path in the Red Earth Festival in 1988. Fernando is truly a multi-talented artist whose award-winning art incorporates pastels, mixed media, bronze and most recently has become a phenomenal wire-wrapped jewelry maker,” said Red Earth board member Teri Stanek in her nomination of Padilla.

                        The award-winning Red Earth Festival will draw thousands to the Grand Casino and Hotel Resort the weekend of June 12-13. Artists from throughout the nation will be featured in a juried art market that coincides with a spectacular Dance Showcase and art activities and demonstrations.

            General admission day tickets available at the door are $15 person and include admission to the Red Earth Art Market with general admission seating for the Red Earth Dance Showcase. A $25 two-day ticket is also available. Children 6 and under are admitted free of charge.

            Red Earth, Inc. is an Allied Arts member agency and is funded in part by the Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Red Earth, Inc. is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to promote the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, a museum, and fine art markets.

            Visit or call (405) 427-5228 for additional information.


The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The agency’s mission is to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma’s thriving arts industry. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides more than 400 grants to nearly 225 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state’s arts and cultural industry and manages works of art in the Oklahoma Public Art Collection and the public spaces of the state Capitol. Additional information is available at