Ron Martinez Looking Elk (Isleta/Taos Pueblo) studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ron credits his artistic development to three mentors, Preston Duwyenie (Hopi), Estella Loretto (Jemez Pueblo) and Dora Tse-Pe (San Illdefonso). A fourth generation artist, Ron attributes much of his inspiration to his relatives. His family is filled with artists, ranging from storytellers, to painters, to potters. His great-grandfather, Albert Looking Elk Martinez (Taos Pueblo), was an influential painter.
“Growing up I watched my grandparents work in the fields, prepare food, and tell stories. These aspects of daily Pueblo life have shaped my work ethic. I am a direct result of the values, dreams and culture of my ancestors. I have worked with many Indigenous communities throughout the world and what I have gained most from those intercultural experiences has been how much we all cherish the wisdom of our ancestors. In my work everything I do is a reflection of the richness of the ways that creativity is manifested from the breath of our great, great, great grandparents. I am blessed with the collective memory of those who have lived before me”.