Skip to main content

Zia leader & artist Peter Pino offers Petroglyph Making Class

Pecking images on rock is an ancient tradition. Zia elder Peter Pino wants to help those locals interested in exploring this art form with an “Introductory Petrogylph Making” workshop at Ah Haa School for the Arts from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 17th — right in the middle of Telluride’s spring off-season.

The night before Pino will give a free lecture at 6 p.m. Wed. May 16th in the Magazine Room of the Wilkinson Public Library on “Petroglyphs and Zia Tradition,” co-sponsored with the Telluride Institute and the Telluride Historical Museum.

“We continue to bring indigenous youth and elders to town to speak, ski, and teach as part of our continuing cultural outreach in search of healing and reconciliation,” explained Institute program director Art Goodtimes. “And besides the talk, Peter’s class ought to be a fun one. I’ve always wanted to make my own rock art.”

According to the workshop description, Pino recommends students bring rock chisels or a variable speed rotary tool, like a Wen or Dremel, if they have one. Or, failing that, simply a hard nail (or screw) and a small hammer. And of course, appropriate safety goggles. In the four-hour class students should finish, or be well on their way to finishing, a small petroglyph and should leave with a better understanding of how larger projects could be undertaken.

Bring your own small flat rock, if you would like. There will be some rocks to work on, if you don’t.


A former Governor and War Chief of the Pueblo of Zia, Peter served as the Pueblo of Zia Tribal Administrator and Treasurer from 1977-2014 [CE]. He graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas (NM) in 1972 [C.E.] with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education, and followed up with a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque in 1975 [CE].

He is a traditional spiritual leader, holding a lifetime appointment as one of the tribe’s Keeper of Songs. He is also a traditional craftsman who works in rock, tans deer hides and makes moccasins, bows, arrows, digging sticks, rabbit sticks, and bone tools – many of which require using techniques employed by his Puebloan ancestors.

His archaeological interests have led him to committee and board commitments with Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Mesa Verde National Park and the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder. He served as Vice-Chair of the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs, and was the first Native American to serve on the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission.

The Library event is free.

Donations to continue TI’s cultural outreach programming are encouraged by visiting Telluride Institute’s donation page.

Two Ute Youth Ski Days were held on the Ski Area this winter for kids and chaperones from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Towaoc and the Southern Ute Tribe in Ignacio. A roundtable with Ute Indian Tribe leader Shaun Chapoose took place at the Wilkinson in January.

The Institute is partnering for Peter Pino’s workshop with the Ah Haa School for the Arts, the Wilkinson Public Library, and the Telluride Historical Museum. Special thanks to Durfee Day, San Miguel County and Audrey Marnoy for their financial support for the Institute’s Ute Reconciliation Program. The goal is to bring Ute cultural programming to town to heal old wounds and provide education for Native-Americans and Euro-Americans alike.

Leave a Reply