Artist Feature: Tyana Arviso

Artist Feature: Tyana Arviso

My name is Tyana Arviso. I am a freelance, Navajo artist. I reside in the high desert of southwest Colorado. Things are a bit different on this corner of the earth, both desert and mountain landscapes sit in my backyard. My heart gravitates towards the desert, it is my sanctuary.

Photography by Heath Herring

My interest in photography began when I was 16. I would tag along with my mother, who is also a photographer, on her evenings out. I remember her being the first person I knew who really enjoyed the outdoors. She has that rambling personality about her, always ready for an adventure. On one of these outings I randomly began taking photos, I shot on my iPhone. My interest became more serious, I started learning about film. Eventually, I began to shoot and develop on film. I did this for about two years. My parents have always been supportive of my creativity when I graduated high school they gifted me my first DSLR camera. That is when things started taking off creatively.

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Throughout my creative journey, I’ve established a connection to the land. I hope to remain connected to the land. It’s hard to explain this connection, it is sacred. I’m thankful my eyes have opened and have seen the natural beauty of Mother Earth and Father Sky. I couldn’t imagine living a life with my eyes closed.

“Photography has brought me out of the shadows and into the light. It has brought this wave of self-motivation, confidence, and healing to my mind, body & spirit.”

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I gather inspiration from the colors of the earth, from the light of the sun and the moon. Including the feeling, I get when my feet are on the ground & when my heart and soul are wandering aimlessly. The land is a kingdom for inspiration, you must be willing to see its beauty in its many forms.

With my work comes deep respect for the sacredness of certain situations. Especially when visiting certain places or connecting with others. For example, it is considered a taboo to visit ancient ancestral ruins within the Navajo tradition. I am a landscape photographer, I often encounter these sacred places. When I encounter these sacred places, I try my best to keep my distance. If I must get close I say, “I am just passing by, I do not mean any harm or negativity. Thank you for allowing me in your space.”. Often times these sacred spaces were once homes and places of sacred worship. If you think about it, you don’t just walk into somebody’s house unannounced. That’s disrespectful. When you enter a sacred place, it is important to be mindful of your actions and intentions. Respect the space as if you were in someone else’s home.

As I get older I realize how resilient my people are. We are more than this hardship, this hardship is not our story. Today we are here reclaiming our cultural identity with the help of resources that are much more obtainable than they were a couple years ago.

I always enjoy each opportunity I get to hear of creation stories and learning the meaning of things we use today. Turquoise is one example. Turquoise jewelry isn’t a fashion trend, it holds a much deeper and sacred meaning. To wear turquoise is a way to be identified by the creator, so you are given blessings and protection. It is a piece that is worn daily and during special ceremonies. Navajo Moccasins (Kélchí) are very sacred as well, “Ké” meaning shoes & “lichí” meaning red shoe. The Diné wear kélichí to honor and respect kinship, it connects one to p Mother Earth and Father Sky, it is a way to be identified by the holy ones so you are given protection and blessings.

There’s a deeper meaning to Navajo teachings and traditions. It is important to respect those beliefs and be willing to understand them.

My hopes for my people are to continue practicing traditional Navajo teachings. I hope that we continue to be resilient and help each other along the way.

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Matt Smiley of Whispering Beat Horsemanship

Matt Smiley of Whispering Beat Horsemanship

My name is Matt Smiley. I’m a horse trainer here in the Navajo Nation and the owner of Whispering Beat Horsemanship. My story begins at my grandparents’ ranch, Billy Ranch in Manuelito, New Mexico.

Story and photography by Heath Herring

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I was raised by a single mother. There was no male figure on my side of the family. My stockmanship, respect for animals and the land, that was instilled by my grandmother. I’ve had my fair share of good and bad experiences out at Billy Ranch. Falling off, having wrecks, learning to ride on my own.

As I grew up, I would reminisce about some of the rough experiences I had with the horses out on the ranch. At some point, my father-in-law gave me some videos about horse training, and that made me realize I wanted to work with horses.
That’s when it clicked, all horses can be taught – young horses, old horses, and even horses with problems.

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I got a horse named Geronimo around 2010. He was the first one I ever trained. He was a problem horse. He bucked like crazy. He’d even broken his previous owner’s arm. The training he needed was way more advanced than basic horsemanship. I said to myself, “You can handle this horse.” I started learning any way I could; watching, reading, research. I applied all of it to Geronimo. Thinking about that broken arm, it pushed me to apply the methods I was learning and set a foundation with this horse. I knew horses could be fixed. Especially the bad ones. He gave me a lot of trouble, but I knew he could be taught.

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He bucked and fought for the first two weeks, but I started seeing a little change every time I approached him. Every morning his body language was a little different. He wasn’t showing me the whites of his eyes anymore. He wasn’t so tense. He started to have a softer eye on him. I decided it was time to saddle him up and put the first ride on him. It went ok for the first 10 or 15 minutes. He was doing good. Then he blew up. I just held on. When it was over I was still in the saddle. From there on, we had a bond. He knew I didn’t hurt him and I wasn’t going to hurt him. Right then and there I had his trust and we had a connection. He’s one of the most memorable horses I’ve ever started. He wasn’t a looker. Sure wasn’t pretty. He was no unicorn, but he was my horse. I was proud of him.

In the early days, I just started training horses for people. I didn’t know what to charge, how long I should keep a horse or how any of the business side worked. I had to learn as I go. I had to take what I was doing and find structure. I needed a name.

It started with a logo. Things that were meaningful to me. The Zia symbol is New Mexico, my home. The hummingbird represents my cousin who passed on. We were very close. The horses are the four sacred directions and the four sacred colors. We established the Navajo Nation through the horses and our prayers. They were vital to the emergence of our Nation and our people. When the design came together and I looked down at it, I saw a drum. My symbol represents a drum, a round pen and hogan. In our songs, there’s a beat. They say you can train a horse to the beats of our songs. To the rhythm of the drum. There is a rhythm to life and Mother Earth. A rhythm to the heartbeat of the hummingbird. There’s a rhythm to every gate of a horse’s steps. There’s a rhythm between the rider and the horse. And when you find that rhythm, the bond is formed. You and the horse become one. That’s your song. That’s the Whispering Beat.

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“The most important part of a horse’s life is the foundation you put on them.”

The first ride is everything. What you plant in that horse’s life, those roots and that foundation will always be strong. When I approach the round pen my spirit is talking to that horse. That’s where it begins.
Ranches and the public bring me horses to train. The problem-horses are the ones that have the biggest impact on my life. They come in with all these issues. I make them honest, reliable, and safe. Seeing that transformation, that’s what pushes me.

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Winter in Vermont

Winter in Vermont

Photography by  Maaike Bernstrom

Stetson goods are hand-crafted for enduring style and durability through all seasons.

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Introducing the Ultralight Stratoliner Fedora. Its ultralight weight means it’s crushable, travel-friendly and outdoors ready. Made of extra soft felt.

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For travel and every day, you’ll appreciate the versatility of crushable Stetson hats.

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The Men’s Leather Quilted Jacket  is durable and stylish enough to last many winters.

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For those days when you just want to cozy up, this Serape Blanket Wrap with hood has you covered. Pair with jeans and your favorite boots to bundle up in style.

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Our best selling Bozeman Outdoor Hat  is constructed of water repellent wool felt and features a pinch front crown, interior dri-lex sweatband, and leather hatband. Wool felt, made in U.S.A.

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Special thanks to our friends at Taylor Farm, Jon Wright

Styling by Kate Finnerty

Models: Chris Garafola | Galen Haas | Tatiana Olaru

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Winter on the Ranch

Winter on the Ranch

Back to Basics with Brad Karl and photography by Marisa Anderson

Days start early on the ranch and it doesn’t matter how cold it is, ranch work doesn’t end.

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Outdoorsmen keep coming to Stetson for hats, boots, and apparel designed to protect them through the toughest conditions.

Brad wears the Skyline 6X. The Skyline 6X Cowboy Hat is constructed of 6X quality fur felt and features a cattleman crease crown, interior leather sweatband and a self-matching hatband with a 3-piece silver-tone buckle accent. 6X Quality Fur Felt. Made in the USA.

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The original rugged snap front denim shirt is a Stetson essential.

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Stetson Men’s Denim

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Go Roam Free

Go Roam Free

Content provided by Dream Lens Media. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

How many of you can remember what you wanted to be when you were little? I’d venture to say most of us can remember what our dream job was but most of us would also say life took us down a very different career path than our young minds imagined.

But that’s not the case for Jon Sepp. He’s right where his four-year-old self hoped he’d be, owning bison in the vast prairie of Montana. “As I got older I always knew in one way or another I wanted to be able to have bison and so I worked towards that goal for a really long time,” says Jon.

Jon Sepp and his fiancé Brittany Masters run Roam Free Ranch on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. They produce a 100% grass-fed bison jerky. You’ll find them up with the sun, fencing nearly 10,000 acres of land, hand packing jerky for distribution and managing a growing team of ranch hands.

Jon wears the Boss of the Plains. Shop Stetson Western Hats.

DISCOVERING REGENERATIVE
With no ranching background, Jon and Brittany struggled to figure out how to make their land as healthy as possible.

“The ground was in really poor condition when I bought it so I was desperate and willing to try anything I could find to make grazing more efficient here and that’s when I heard about a lot of these concepts of holistic management, managing your grass better.”

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Holistic management is a way of approaching your ranch that takes the whole ecosystem into consideration. In this case that includes managing the bison in a way that mimics how wolves and other predators would have moved them across the land prior to the West being settled. It’s better for the animal and a game-changer for grasslands.

“We came to find out that our grasslands are the number one most endangered ecosystem in North America,” says Brittany. “Here in Montana, we have the second most biodiverse ecosystem. We have this beautiful American Prairie that is disappearing and we only have one percent of it left and it’s up to the ranchers that steward that land to make sure it’s there for future generations.”

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BECOMING THE SOLUTION
Jon and Brittany say once that realization hit home, they couldn’t help but do everything they could to become part of the solution. They’re tackling a tremendous project reseeding 10,000 acres of land to native grasses and building more than 80 miles of fence in order to move their bison holistically.

“Once you know, you can’t look the other way. You have to do something about it and find a way through it.”

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ALL IN
“We’ve come to realize the many challenges facing bison, healthy food production and our native grasslands,” says Jon. “We have the ability to do something about that within our realm, right now, and we’ve taken this on as being our purpose for our business but also our personal lives.”

A life mission sparked by a four-year-old’s love for our national mammal. I’d say young Jon would be proud.

Follow Jon and Brittany’s journey: Facebook Instagram

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Stetson Summer Series: On the road in New Mexico

Story by Robert W Dean

Stetson Summer Series: On the road in New Mexcio

The sun was just beginning to make its descent into the evening, the windows were down and a brisk air mixed with the smell of pine and sage was pouring into the cab as we came rolling into this quaint yet vibrant town. There is something different about this place and though I’ve been here many times, I can’t seem to put my finger on it. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to it. It is an interesting place, a crossroads of sorts for the wanderers, outsiders, and folks that just like to live at their own pace. It’s true though… this place is magical.

As I started nearing the edge of town I realized I hadn’t eaten all day so I called up Bri and asked for her recommendations and see if she wants to join. She sends me directions to a place I’ve never been to.

A few minutes later, I’m standing outside this lively restaurant and bar called Paloma, just taking in the atmosphere of the town and thinking about the next couple of days that lay ahead of us. Bri and I had a few conversations leading up to our shoot about the tone and scope of this story. We both agreed that it should be a more documentary-style approach. “It’ll feel more authentic and organic to me, how about you just follow me around for a couple of days and see what comes of it?” –

The thing about working with people you met through social media is you have no idea how it’s going to play out in person. I felt good about this meeting though because I knew we all had a common thread that ran through us — a love for adventure and a love for this iconic brand — Stetson.

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Just then Bri comes walking up strutting cowgirl boots, denim shorts and a shirt that she wears inside out. We exchange our greetings and walk inside where instantly I realize just how small of a community Santa Fe really is, especially if you grew up here as Bri did. Her friend Molly is the bartender and will make you one of the best Mezcal cocktails you’ve ever had.

After chatting with Bri over a couple of drinks and some of the finest tacos around I was even more excited about this shoot. That is the great thing about social media, it allows us to connect and collaborate with a wide range of super creative folks that we may not have discovered otherwise. Artist, Craftsman, Cowgirl, and Photographer Bri Cimino is one of those people. I’ve been a fan of Bri’s work ever since I stumbled across her on social media so this was a real honor.

The next morning I follow Bri and her close friend Jason down a dirt road that led to her house and a dusty outdoor horse arena. Even though a storm is hanging on the horizon Bri and Jason take the top off her patina blue International scout. After a few squirts of starting fluid, she roars to life and Bri looks at me and says “Let’s hope the windshield wipers still work.”

Bri and her dog Falconi

Before we roll out for the day, Bri needs to do her chores.

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Bri feeding her horses Thunder and Bandit.

After the morning chores are finished up we crawl into her international scout and head out for the day.

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Bri and I have a mutual friend, Scott Corey, who owns the one and only Santa Fe Vintage. He runs a location called The Outpost and the other called the Showroom. I’ve never seen the showroom so Bri decides to make that our first stop of the day.

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Next up we decide to go back to Bri’s place for a mid-day coffee. . Bri is somewhat of a “Jill of all trades” She appreciates hard work and it is apparent that she puts her heart and soul into whatever it is she commits herself to, whether it be her leatherwork, photography or her horses.

A photograph on her wall catches my eye. It is an old film photo of a horse nibbling and tugging on a woman’s shirt. I ask Bri what the story of the photo is. She tells me “my grandfather captured that moment, it was right before my mother found out she was pregnant with me. I guess the horse knew before anyone did.” These kind of photos are my favorite.

Bri is an easy person to talk to. She keeps an abnormal situation—an interview in which a stranger is asking you personal questions about your profession —as normal and reciprocal as possible. She is kind and polite, and has a wealth of knowledge about the history of Santa Fe:

Born in Taos and raised in Santa Fe. Bri grew up loving the outdoors, animals and art. She works in Santa Fe as a hairstylist during the weekdays, traveling to photograph equestrians on the weekends, learning to make her own horse tack, and somehow still finds time to ride her horses into the desert. ” New Mexico is a special place for many people and for me, It is about the space and the light dimension that exists in the high desert air. Where the Rocky Mountains end and kiss the land where the desert begins. Where the earth meets the sky at the horizon without building to obstruct the view.”

One thing is for certain. Bri’s New Mexico roots run deep. She comes from a dying breed that still believes in heritage and has a deep love for the stories that live on through the generations.

We hop back in the scout and head South down the turquoise trail towards Cerrillos.

After a short drive, we land at Mary’s bar. If you’ve never been to Cerrillos and you ever find yourself driving down the historic turquoise trail then you must stop off here. Trust me you won’t regret it.

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After a beer and some conversations with a few locals, we head back out to a favorite place a Bri’s – Waldo Canyon.

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As the golden sun was setting over the ever-stretching landscape and the day was starting to wind down I felt like I had a newfound appreciation for this part of New Mexico.

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Day two we woke up early and headed out to Abiquiu. The entire way we talk history and Georgia O’Keeffe. “This land captivates many and until you see it for yourself, you can only look at paintings or photographs and question a place like this actually exists. One can only hope when others travel to experience it with their own two eyes, they will respect the land and cultures that have been here for hundreds of years. ” – Bri Says

Bri on her horse “Scout” ridding through the incredible Abiquiu landscape.

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We wrap up day two here at Skybound farm. A good friend of Bri’s place where she often keeps her horses.

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At the end of our two-day shoot, I felt like I had formed a new lifelong friend in Bri. Here was a super unique and talented lady that is living life on her terms. I thought to myself “That’s what this is all about right there”. What a great experience. I have a feeling it won’t be the last.

~ Robert W. Dean.

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