top of page

"Nurtured by Prayer" 11/15 - 37.5"T x 15"D x 15"W Bronze Sculpture by Joe Cajero


"Nurtured by Prayer was inspired by the desire to reflect the more feminine aspects of life. Nurtured by Prayer is the balanced response to Embodiment of Prayer, my masculine form.


The concept for this piece of art began with a swirling emotion of being enveloped by love. Thus a star shape formed at the base moves upward in a circular motion initiating curves that yield feminine features.


Like two sides of the same coin, Nurtured by Prayer wears both the masks of sunset and sunrise. They are sisters born of the same elements; bearing many of the same characteristics they remain unique. The headpiece of Sister Sunset bears the stars and the vastness of the universe while the headpiece of Sister Sunrise displays the radiance of the sun’s rays from dawn to dusk. Sister Sunset wears the rays of sunlight upon her chin as she awakes during the last moments of day. Conversely Sunrise Sister has a star upon her chin as the last visage of night fades into day. Similar to the Embodiment of Prayer, the sisters’ mouths are extended in song. One might conceive a gentle whisper as this song softly and continually yields praise and thanksgiving to our Creator.


The sisters share one body with a common base. Dragonflies, caught up in the body’s swirling motion, are symbolic of individual growth as seen on the Embodiment of Prayer. Likewise altar designs of various sizes represent the unique stage of spiritual maturity.


While working on this piece, I paid close attention to the sunrise and sunset. Dawn brought the sound of a lone bird in morning song. Within minutes a whole chorus of birds could be heard. It reminded me of a mother awakening her children. The New Mexico evening sky was filled with the opulent colors of temperate reds and intense yellows. The warmth of these colors felt like the magnificent hue of love, very feminine and nurturing. Nurtured by Prayer hopefully captures the essence of this significant emotion as well as demonstrates my desire to show reverence to all women for their sacred role as bearers of new life."


- Joe Cajero Jr.


True West, Santa Fe Presents:  Joe Cajero


Joe Cajero, Jr. was born in 1970 in Santa Fe, New Mexico and raised in the Pueblo of Jemez. He is a descendant of a long line of Pueblo artists, including his father, a painter, and his mother, Esther, a potter. As a child, Cajero would often accompany her to Indian art shows throughout the Southwest. 

Cajero knew early on he would be an artist and assumed he would follow in the lines of his father and become a painter. At fifteen years of age, while sitting in his mother's shop one day, she convinced him to take a piece of clay and try to create. That turned out to be a small bear figure. That first figure sold the same day before it had even dried.  His mother encouraged him to continue work in clay. Cajero made several more bear figures and sold them. Eventually those bears began to stand upright and take on human characteristics. Hands emerged from claws and faces began to form. He knew then he had graduated to the next level. 

In 1990, this next level took him to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe after high school, where he studied two-dimensional art with a few classes in traditional pottery making. His mentor and cousin, Felix Vigil, was teaching there at the time and provided the young artist with priceless insight; "He taught me how to look and where to look inside myself, so that I didn't have to draw from other artists in order to find inspiration. I admire the work of other artists, but I look only to myself to create." Although Cajero continues to make the smiling koshare figures he is internationally known for, he is not one to rest on his laurels. He constantly strives to satisfy his need for fresh ideas and subject matter by challenging himself to try new techniques and imagery. 

Cajero enjoys working with commercial clay and traditional Jemez clays, as well as, the process of selecting the patinas which are used in the finish of bronze sculptures. This has led to the opening of new creative doors for the artist. "It seems I've been developing my skills in clay to lead me to work in bronze, and working with bronze has enhanced my skills with natural clay." He is also creating a line of jewelry inspired by images taken from his bronze sculptures. He is excited about the creative possibilities that each medium has to offer. 



2014   Living Treasures Award - Native Treasures - Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2013   Santa Fe Indian Market, First Place, Bronze Sculpture

2009   Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, 1st Place, Bronze Sculpture 

"Nurtured by Prayer" 11/15 - 37.5"T x 15"D x 15"W Bronze Sculpture by Joe Cajero

SKU: 118218
  • You will be contacted with shipping charges once purchase is complete on all fine art pieces.

Related Products