Wyoming Arts Council

Work of Riverton artist chosen for permanent collection at a Smithsonian Museum

The art of a rural Riverton artist has been chosen for the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Robert Martinez’ work “Four Arapaho Leaders” is a pencil drawing on faux Arapaho Census Ledger Paper. The work measures 8 by 17 inches.

“I was talking to another artist that I see around at different functions, and he asked me about the piece,” Martinez told County10.com. “I thought he was talking about having the drawing in a show, I didn’t know he worked for the Smithsonian and wanted to purchase it.”

The work was created last fall by Martinez, who has been a professional artist since 1997 and works out of his studio northwest of town. Perhaps the most visible of his work is a mural on West Main Street on a retaining wall of a parking lot at the former High Plains Power Building. Martinez also created a dozen murals at the Arapahoe School, four of which still remain. The others were lost when a new school was built at the site and a portion of the old school torn down. He also has another mural on the side of a building on North Federal south of the Trailhead Restaurant.

The 38-year-old Martinez was born and raised in Riverton and went to school at St. Stephens and Riverton High School. He is a graduate of the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver.

“It’s pretty cool,” he admitted in a telephone interview. “Most of my work is in galleries outside of the state, but I do have some at the Wind River Gallery in Riverton,” he said.

The artwork was shipped to the Smithsonian by FedEx on Friday.

Martinez specializes in Native American and Western Art, but he said he does take commissions for other styles as well.

FMI: http://www.martinezartdesign.com/

Robert Martinez is a WAC roster artist. Find out more by going to https://wyoarts.state.wy.us/wac-artist/robert-martinez/

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