Our Story

It was in the early 70’s when John and Carol Krena began taking camping trips out west to explore the deserts of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. During their travels they were exposed to, and fell in love with, the art and jewelry of Native Americans in the Southwest. As their appreciation for this rich culture grew, they fed their curiosity by learning how to distinguish quality pieces and immersed themselves in diverse forms of art.

Upon returning home after each adventure, Carol would wear some of the jewelry they had collected and received continual compliments from people for its exotic beauty. Before long, friends were asking John and Carol to pick up a necklace, or a pair of earrings for them the next time they traveled. Realizing peoples’ interest in these works of art, they began to buy a small amount of inventory to sell to individuals and local markets. The pair started to wonder, “Could we open a gallery? Would this work?” The idea became an obsession and their passion ultimately pulled everything together. In 1974, John quit his job at the steel mill and in a small shop on Walnut Street, Four Winds Trading Post opened its doors to the people of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Over the years, John, Carol and Jody Vignale, an original member of the Four Winds team, created a venue not just to access high quality Native American art, but also to expose this radiant culture to the East.

Four Winds diligently works to hold space for extraordinary antique works of art and jewelry along with the wisdom and allegories that follow them. Four Winds also curates a selection of exciting contemporary pieces, showcasing how the past influences the future.

It has been paramount to the Four Winds family to build valuable relationships with the artists they choose to represent. Knowing the artists intimately fosters a compassion for creativity and pursues a conversation between the maker and the admirer. With Four Winds acting as a fulcrum, information and ideas pass through a network, helping its artists achieve by offering them a platform to grow.

As part of the Pittsburgh community, the gallery has repeatedly organized art exhibitions since opening, helping to secure the bonds between artist, curator and customer. It’s this connection of energy, curiosity, passion, and fierce respect of Native American culture that is the prevailing current of Four Winds.  Leaving you with the Navajo blessing: May You Always Walk in Beauty.

SINCE 1974, WE HAVE HOSTED THE NATION'S FOREMOST ARTISTS AND AUTHORITIES, BRINGING THE RICHNESS AND KNOWLEDGE OF NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE TO OUR CITY.

BROWSE THE EXTENSIVE LISTS OF ARTISTS WE HAVE WORKED WITH DURING OUR 45+ YEARS IN BUSINESS, AND TAKE A LOOK AT OUR VISUAL HISTORY OF MAILERS, SHOW INVITATIONS, AND NEWS ARTICLES BELOW.

Jewelry

  • Keri Ataumbi – Kiowa
  • Victor Beck – Navajo
  • Harvey Begay – Navajo
  • Gail Bird – Santo Domingo Pueblo – & Yazzie Johnson – Navajo
  • Shawn Bluejacket – Loyal Shawnee
  • Richard Chavez – San Felipe Pueblo
  • Edison Cummings – Navajo
  • Jennifer Curtis – Navajo
  • Kristen Dorsey – Chickasaw
  • Teri Greeves – Kiowa
  • Shane Hendren – Navajo
  • Phillip Honanie – Hopi
  • Steve LaRance – Hopi
  • Carol Krena – Resident Metalsmith
  • Aaron Bautista Lopez – Mixtec
  • Harold Lovato – Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • James Little – Navajo
  • Sam Lovato – Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Duane Maktima – Laguna/Hopi
  • Norbert Peshlakai – Navajo
  • Mckee Platero – Navajo
  • Bernice Reano – Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Angie Reano Owen – Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Percy Reano – Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Selestino Reano – Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Jesse Robbins – Creek
  • Mike Bird-Romero – San Juan Pueblo
  • Maria Samora – Taos Pueblo
  • Anthony Sanchez – Hispanic
  • Cody Sanderson – Navajo
  • Ray Tracey – Navajo
  • Liz Wallace – Navajo
  • Artie Yellowhorse – Navajo

Potters

  • Jason Garcia – Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Tina Garcia – Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Harold Littlebird – Laguna/Kewa
  • Darlene Nampeyo – Hopi
  • Nora Naranjo-Morse – Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Toni Roller – Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Louis Naranjo – Cochiti Pueblo
  • Linda Tafoya Sanchez – Santa Clara Pueblo

Painters

  • Nocona Burgess – Comanche
  • Bruce Carter
  • Rudy Fernandez – Hispanic
  • RC Gorman – Navajo
  • Dale Hovanaya – Hopi
  • Rhett Lynch – Navajo
  • Kevin Red Star – Crow

Sculpture

  • Marie Cash Romero – Hispanic
  • Cliff Fragua – Jemez Pueblo
  • Jorge Lovato – Taos Pueblo
  • Bob Haozous – Chiricahua/Apache
  • Ken Ledonne
  • Michael Naranjo – Tewa
  • Virgil Ortiz – Cochiti Pueblo
  • Isaac Sala – Inuit
  • Roxanne Swentzell – Santa Clara Pueblo

Retrospectives

  • The Biesel Collection
  • TC Cannon – Kiowa
  • Damacia Cordero – Cochiti Pueblo
  • Helen Cordero – Cochiti Pueblo
  • Edward Sheriff Curtis – Ethnographer/Photographer
  • The Sue DiMaio Collection
  • Helen Hardin – Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Allan Houser – Apache
  • Ivan & Rita Lewis – Cochiti
  • Charles Loloma – Hopi
  • Joseph Lonewolf – Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Julian Lovato – Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Maria Martinez – Tewa
  • George Nakashima – Japanese-American
  • Serefina Ortiz – Cochiti Pueblo
  • Joe H Qunitana – Cochiti Pueblo
  • Fritz Scholder – Luiséno
  • Turquoise “A History of the Sky Stone”
  • Margaret Tafoya – Santa Clara Pueblo

Lectures

  • Jackson Clark – Navajo Weavings
  • Lois Sherr Dubin – Author of North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment
  • Jed Foutz – Fifth Generation Indian Trader/Shiprock Santa Fe
  • Sandra Horn – Native American Basketry
  • Richard Mehagian – Hopi Jewelry Authority
  • Bob Gallegos – History of Native American Jewelry
  • Charles King – Pueblos ceramics and the legacy of Margaret Tafoya

Furniture

  • Mira Nakashima – Japanese/American

Musical Performances

  • Tom Russell – Singer/songwriter
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members “Save Our Symphony”

Publications

  • “In The Spirit of the Ancestors”
    The Kappmeyer Collection of Native American Art
  • “Masterworks and Eccentricities: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelry and Metalwork 1880 – 1950”
    The Druckman Collection of Native American Art
  • “Trees in A Circle: The Teec Nos Pos Story”
  • “Shared Visions”
    Carol Krena and Roxanne Swentzell exhibition catalogue
  • “Tradition and Innovation, the Legacy of Julian Lovato”
    Exhibition catalogue
  • “Born of Fire: The Pottery of Margaret Tafoya”
    Collaboration with Charles King, King Galleries

 

Exhibitions beyond the gallery

  • Charles Loloma Retrospective at Shiprock Santa Fe
  • The Art and Artistry of Margaret Tafoya: Santa Clara Pueblo Potter, Santa Fe
  • The Antique American Indian Art Show Santa Fe
  • An exhibition of George and Mira Nakashima Furniture – Antique American Indian Art Show, Santa Fe
  • “Tradition and Innovation, the Legacy of Julian Lovato,” Santa Fe
    Antique American Indian Art Show, Santa Fe
  • “Born of Fire: The Life and Pottery of Margaret Tafoya”
    A traveling exhibition curated by Four Winds Gallery honoring the life and legacy of Margaret Tafoya

    • Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Erie Art Museum, Erie, Pennsylvania
    • Ceramics Research Center at the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona
    • Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Since 1974, we have been committed to bringing our customers the highest quality native american jewelry and art.