Ak-Chin Indian Community member and employee, Waylon Antone began drawing as a young boy and he found art to be something he truly enjoyed. Not locked into a specific style, he likes creating all types of art and is open to different mediums.
Antone comes from a long line of artists including his mother, basket weaver Sally Antone. Some of his artwork have been displayed in the Ak-Chin Indian Community Him-Dak EcoMuseum. Antone does not sell art for a living, but he works with community members at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Him-Dak EcoMuseum and also acquires jobs within the Ak-Chin Indian Community to help with art needs.
Antone studied graphic design at Collins College in Phoenix and received a $500 scholarship from the Cowboy and Indian Days organization. Each year, this organization awards scholarship money from a roping event held in February to one student from each of the four O’odham tribes – the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Gila River Indian Community, the Ak-Chin Indian Community and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.
Antone worked at the Ak-Chin O’odham Runner newspaper as a graphics artist designer while attending school, and maintained a near-perfect grade point average. The Ak-Chin Indian Community Education Department recommended Antone for the scholarship.
After graduation, Antone started working for the Ak-Chin Him-Dak EcoMuseum and is now the art program coordinator. The museum collects, preserves and displays artifacts from the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
Antone coordinates art classes for the community. viewing this as a way to give back to the community. He believes that helping students people learn any art form – whether drawing, sketching, painting– can help them come out of their shells and express themselves through art.
“I see the look,” Antone said. “The look of learning an art form they didn’t think they were capable of learning, gaining confidence from knowing they can do it, opening themselves up to creativity.