Read Helen Hardin's Biography
Her Tewa name was Little Standing Spruce (Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh) when she was born into the Santa Clara Pueblo community in 1943, but she had an Anglo father so she had a second name, Helen Hardin. Neither of her families accepted her because of her so-called "half-breed" identity. She was not allowed to do ceremonial dances with her people, which was a very important part of a child's identity in pueblo life. Her mother was well-known artist Pablita Velarde. To attend high school, she moved to Albuquerque and then went on to the University of New Mexico to study art history and anthropology. She briefly studied weaving and textile design at the University of Arizona and then returned to painting in acrylics, inks and washes.