Michael Chiago

I visited the great Native American watercolor artist Michael Chiago in March 2017 at the 2017 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix, Arizona. A few days later we met again in Sells, a small town on the Tohono O’odham reservation, where Michael showed me his large mural in the central plaza. I later filmed another great mural of his in Ajo, Arizona.


“I love Mexican music. The music … it just crosses the border anyway.”

We drove the 10 miles distance to the U.S.-Mexico border ( see video below), where Michael hadn’t been in 20 years.  The border cuts through the Tohono O’odham Nation’s territory, which is roughly the size of Connecticut  with tribal members living on both sides of the fence. … more about Michael’s art on his website


© 2017 borderartists.com / Stefan Falke


  • I grew up in Casa Grande , Arizona, in the 50s and 60s, and became familiar with Michael Chiago’s paintings at a local trading post stores, on Chiuchiu Rd, on O’oDham reservation. I have bought several since then and his paintings of his culture, the landscapes are Stunning to me! I love the way he brings culture, the scenery and religion together. Would love to find a story of your life growing up as a youth on O’odham communities.
    thank you Michael for the stories you tell in your paintings. they are part of my life growing up in the area.


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