Taos Pueblo Fashion Designer Patricia Michaels Receives Prestigious Smithsonian Award

Greta Chapin McGill - November 14, 2014

"The magic of the City Different becomes a part of you and travels extremely well."

"Project Runway" put Santa Fe on the international fashion radar. I had the distinct honor of watching the final episode of season 11 with Patricia Michaels, her family and an intimate group of friends.  Since the end of season 11 we have become close, shared laughs in her Taos studio and martinis in elegant Manhattan hot spots. Both of us have become international citizens. We exchange emails from Paris, Venice and Milan. We understand the power of true friendship and commitment to your dreams.

Wednesday, November 12, we met up again in New York City. Michaels received the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Arts and Design Award from the museum board of directors. The steps of the museum were glowing with luminaria in tribute to the Native artists honored. The event also previewed the exhibition “Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family." This exhibition features beautiful pieces of turquoise, silver, coral and opal contemporary jewelry.

Many of the pieces were loaned to the museum by Tanner’s Indian Arts in Gallup. Manhattan was transformed. Fabulous bolo ties, squash blossom necklaces, ropes of turquoise and silver concha belts were the order of the evening. The weather cooperated with a balmy and pleasant New York night. The elegant rotunda of the museum was the perfect venue to celebrate Native America.

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is an institution dedicated to the preservation of Native American history, culture, language and tradition. The story of Native culture is ever evolving. It is a living story of many tribes. The support of Native culture is important and this national institution, with beautiful structures in New York and Washington, DC, should be a destination for anyone interested in the study of Native culture. Along with Patricia Michaels, recipients included Jacoby Ellsbury, center fielder for the Yankees, Keith M. Harper, Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council and eminent businessman Randall L. Willis.

It is always an honor to see my friend and fellow Santa Fean Patricia Michaels step forward to new plateaus. No matter how far afield we jet or how many places we live Santa Fe is always a touchstone for us. Santa Fe turns up all over the world in the most unexpected places. The magic of the City Different becomes a part of you and travels extremely well.  Michaels lives a life of fulfilled promises topped off with an eternally  beautiful smile. I find myself again giving props to Patricia Michaels and Team PM Waterlily