MTFA Blog

Upton "Greyshoes" Ethelbah, Jr.

Upton Greyshoes is a New Mexico treasure.  "Uppy," as people who know him, affectonately call him, brings to life in both stone and bronze the art of his Native people.  Upton is both Santa Clara Pueblo and White Mountain Apache Native American Indian. 

Greyshoes is the nom de plume of the multiple blue ribbon award-winning sculptor Upton S. Ethelbah, Jr.

Greyshoes sculpts contemporary, stylized, and flowing forms inspired by the aesthetic motifs and movements found in the ceremonial regalia and dances of his Native American heritage. Some specific representations have included Apache crown dancers, Pueblo corn, deer, elk, antelope and buffalo dancers; and even the pan-American Matachines. Greyshoes is also known for his "essentialized" Native American medicine bears and a variety of other sacred animal representations.

Greyshoes works in stone, including exotic and domestic marble, limestone, alabaster, and onyx. A selection of one-of-a-kind stone originals are then chosen to be cast in bronze in limited editions. he also works in bronze, these bronzes feature patinas in a range of colors, patterns, and textures.

Greyshoes earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Mexico, is a graduate of the Poeh Arts Center sculpture program, and has been mentored by such emminent sculptors as Evelyn Fredericks, Clifford Fragua, Dale Tsosie, George Rivera, and Nelson Tsosie. Ethelbah served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA)—producers of the Santa Fe Indian Market—from 2002-2003.

The passion he exudes for his art is apparent immediately as one viewes and interacts with his pieces and with "Greyshoes" in person.  Both his honesty and kindness is refreshing.  His art is not only simplified, sylized, but it's inspired by more than jsut a desire to recreate whats seen, but to bring whats unseen and felt into the hearts and homes of those who interact with it and own in their homes. 

Upton has a supportive and wonderfull family, he bikes regularly and puts those of a much lesser age to shame with his love for riding 15-25+ miles at a streach, even amidst the blitering heat of Albequerque, NM summers.  One you meet Upton, hear his stories and engage with his art, you'll be hard pressed not to own one for your home.