Ronald Chee

Ronald Chee was born in Gallup, New Mexico on January 01, 1961, to Gilbert Brown and Betty Rose Chee, and is a full-blooded member of the Dine’/Navajo Nation. His maternal and paternal clans are the “Towering Rock People” and “Bitter Water People.”

Ronald Chee’s mother was a traditional Navajo silversmith and rug weaver. His father also worked as a silversmith, and for many years, hosted a well-known Navajo/English radio show. Many of Ronald’s relatives are artists in their own rights. His innate artistic talent was apparent by age four. His favorite subject matter was the horse. Through his drawings and watercolor, he captured its strength, beauty and movement. The horse is a sacred spirit to the native people. He often painted and drew with pencil and colored pencils on paper. He credits his cousin, Leo Chee, for teaching him how to draw, and to paint with watercolor.

During his early childhood years, Ronald Chee lived at the Manuelito Children’s Home, and spent summers in Tarzan, Texas. After eighth grade, he moved to Tarzan, Texas, with the Tate family, whom he is grateful for having met in his life, and graduated from Grady High School, a K-12 class B school. Art was not part of his life at this time, instead he concentrated on sports.

In 1993, while attending Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah, Ronald Chee found himself drawing and painting again. He was surprised that art would enter his life again and decided to give it his full attention. He left college and travelled throughout the Southwest peddling his watercolor paintings. By word of mouth, and from one lead to another, Ronald had earned enough money to move to Santa Fe, NM. Later that year, it was suggested that he try painting with acrylics, because watercolor often fades in direct sunlight, so he did and was excited with the effects of the versatile and durable medium. In 1997, a cousin suggested he try monotype printmaking, because he thought he artwork was spontaneous. Intrigued by the spontaneity of the printmaking process, he became hooked with Monotypes. Ronald was introduced to second generation master printmaker, Michael Vigil, in Taos, New Mexico, and knew right away that Mike was the guy to learn from. He is grateful for Mike’s knowledge and willingness to show him the many aspects of printmaking. Ronald Chee has earned several blue ribbon first place juried awards, in the classification of printmaking. Today, he continues to develop his ability as a painter and printmaker and is constantly searching for new ways to interpret his culture through art.

Of particular interest to Ronald Chee, are the traditional Navajo myths about the Yeii. The Navajo believe that all things are connected between the physical and spiritual worlds, and that the Yeii is a spiritual channel between these two worlds. The Yeii is symbolically used in sand paintings for spiritual healing and physical balance, and is sacred to the traditional Dine’ ceremonies. He believes that to respect and honor the power of this sacred spirit, “...one must share its true meaning.” Ronald Chee shares the Yeii teachings to his patrons thru his art by way of abstract, impressionistic images of the environment, “ Spirit of the environment ”

Ronald Chee has exhibited and sold his fine art at the following museums and gift shops: The Institute of The American Indian Arts Museum (IAIA), Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, California; Gallup Intertribal Ceremonials, Red Rock State Park, New Mexico; The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C.; The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona; The Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico; International Museum of Arts and Science (IMAS), McAllen, Texas; The Autry National Center, Los Angeles, California, and The Northern Museum of Arizona, Flaggstaff, AZ. His work is also represented by numerous fine art galleries throughout the United States.

Mr. Chee’s art can be found at the following museums:

and through many galleries located throughout the United States of America.

Ronald Chee sincerely thanks the many patrons who continue to support him as a Native American Indian artist. View Ronald Chee’s art at www.ronaldchee.com. Contact him at rachee@mac.com.