Barbara Teller Ornelas deftly inserts colored thread between warp threads that run vertically on an upright Navajo loom. Using a hand-carved comb, she firms the horizontal thread on the warp with swift downstrokes. As the textile tightens, a pattern slowly emerges.
Ornelas’ sister, Lynda Teller Pete, sits nearby, crafting her own small textile as she gives tips to one of their eight students. Some of them have taken the class from the two sisters for several years.
Ornelas and Pete, members of the Navajo Nation and award-winning weavers, are part of a longtime arts center that has nurtured budding and experienced artists and sustained many Native artists for more than 70 years in a bucolic mountain setting.