Gary Snyder, winner of the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (Turtle Island), wrote the following about Harry Fonseca's Coyote paintings:

"Harry Fonseca's flower-like, bird-like bright dancing images of Coyote and Rose -- often placed on the streets of our hard-edged urban world -- are a promise like a knife: of sharp truths to come, of new ways to be. I love the wit and play of his art, and the depths of the myth it is founded on."

Carey Caldwell, Chief Curator of History for Oakland Museum of California, stated about Fonseca's "Discovery of Gold in California" series:

"This exhibit doesn't preach at anyone. The works are universal. They reach out to everyone."


In her Master's thesis, " Coyote-A Myth in the Making," Margaret Archuleta wrote that Fonseca's works:

".....have had an impact on contemporary American Indian art. No longer is it necessary to have obvious icons (feathers, beads, tipis, buffaloes, etc.) to be real Indian art. The "real" comes from cultural connections, not depictions of what the viewer superficially considers to be "Indian."

"Through his works, Fonseca allows us to use tradition to explain and understand the present; often it is the continuity of the past in the present. His images endure and with them Indian identity endures."


Santa Fe freelance writer, Judy Allison, stated about Fonseca's " Rock Art Imagery":

"In his sketchbook series, flute players, birds, animals and symbolic designs vibrate against the textures and earthen hues of volcanic rock, punctuated by vivid splashes of chartreuse and orange lichen. The larger paintings let us listen to the music and their flutes, as cavorting and dancing, they leap from those scratched, rough surfaces right into our hearts."


For his recent exhibition in the "Continuum" series at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, Jo Ortel wrote:

"Fonseca presented new works which were both rich and intriguing, in part because they entered into a dialogue with a number of modern and historic visual traditions - and yet they could be appreciated on many other levels."


In her comments, quoted by Ortel, in the "Continuum" series, Annie Ross said about "The (Four) Seasons" pieces (2003):

"These paintings are full of power, the energy of creation, and the phenomena of constant change."
" His series stands as a knowing inversion of modernism - and a pointed jab at modern art's indebtedness to indigenous traditions."
" Like the Coyote that scampers through his paintings at regular intervals, this work carries the mischievous mark of the trickster."


Floyd Solomon wrote in his article "Journeys to Transcendence" in the catalogue for Fonseca's one man exhibit at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian "EARTH, WIND AND FIRE" (1996):

"Fonseca's artistic presentation of information through the use of symbols reflecting two cultures and two philosophies serves to educate rather then merely entertain. His work presents an opportunity to initiate much-needed dialogue surrounding both history and its relationships to contemporary issues."


Aleta Ringlero, PhD., in writing for "The National Museum of the American Indian" magazine, Spring, 2005, stated:

"With the onset of a new millennium, Fonseca's new work reflects a mature style that defies simple classification. Fonseca's vision is influenced by a range of sources from the ultraradical to the dynamic tribal arts of non - Western cultures including African masks, Indonesian carving, and batik. However, it is abstraction and the nonrepresentational techniques pioneered by the New York School of abstraction expressionism that articulate the intensity of Fonseca's approach."

"While the contested arena of Native art remains politicized over issues of authorship and representation, Fonseca is not content to let others dictate what is Indian, what is authentic and what defines the traditional in his work. Do not expect the status quo from the painter for whom art is a profession, not a lifestyle. 'The task of the painter is honesty,' Fonseca remarks. The quest for self-exploration is one he is yet to exhaust."


Elizabeth Woody, winner of the American Book Award for Poetry (1990), who dedicated a poem to the artist entitled "Deer Dancer" (Luminaries of the Humble, 1994) wrote the following poem for his " EARTH WIND AND FIRE", a one man exhibit at the Wheelwright Museum of Indian Art in Santa Fe:

split the story
senseless in half
with abominable swords
ingots are conformity
cast in its depths

in heaped confusion
the embrace of light
is shadow to challenge
impulses with reverence
relatives and ancestors speak
generous serenity


In her book of poetry "Indian Singing in 20th Century America," (1990), Gail Tremblay wrote a poem for Harry Fonseca:

After days of blue haired ladies commenting
on the odd slant of your eyes, asking
if real men wear earrings, or, "darling,
perhaps he's supposed to be a pirate";
after hearing, "my, what big teeth
you have," as if all people's stories
are the same, Coyote gets lonely
for brown women whose grandfathers
told them tales, whose memories
collect adventures that run deep in time
when everything was changeable.
Coyote waits 'til no one is looking,
comes off the wall to check out other
rooms. Hoping he's found the girl
of his dreams, ripe and ready,
he laps the ass of a Maillol bronze
and sniffs the air. The hard, cold surface
caresses no one's tongue, makes him
wish for desert girls who sing
while they grind corn, who know they own
the world and shyly catch the image
of a stare in the corners of their eyes.
How was it that he ever let that bright-eyed
brown man with the wild hair talk him
into posing, tell him fame would make them
both rich; one has to laugh, mangy gambler;
one has to laugh at where vanity and wealth
will take one. An Indian understands
you're just a horny devil playing tricks
on yourself and making the whole world
rich with ironies while people try to figure
out what the image you're creating means.

Richard Tobin, writer for THE MAGAZINE, (1996), Santa Fe:

"Perhaps Fonseca's artistry, like the visual allure of medieval painting, is a human testament to an ultimate, redeeming beauty in a painful truth."



"Beautiful-powerful-moving, Harry, Pure gold."
Nicole and Daren, 18 April 98

" What an extraordinary exhibit-the way an artist's work should be shown-such a beautiful installation and such a world of information-one could spend a few weeks here."
Cecile Moocneck

" ....And the land bleeds, for it is full of gold, full of labor, and full of greed. The land of opportunity indeed."

" I have come to sit "on the riverbank" with you about three or four times so far in the few days since you opened. Each day your work works a bit more magic in me. It's not all calm-or peaceful-but it is deeply real. I expect I'll be in here several more times-no, many more times-before this show closes."

" Written in blood and gold, American literature in the raw. Thank you, Harry, for this deep California Text."
David Roche

"Wonderful, powerful, honest. A true representation that is felt."
E. Herron, 5/2/98

" Incredibly powerful images taking you through the calm, peaceful, beautiful landscape of Native land to the shattered, scattered, horrific patterns of the discovery of native land by outsiders!
Extremely important pieces-the most impressive of the entire gold rush exhibit! Thank you for your energy! Congratulations."
Oakland Resident, 1998

I was very moved-by the land, sky, and then blood and gold. So lovely, yet so tragic. So mysterious."
Tom Mosmiller.

" 7/3/98. I had to return, long after your opening, to look again at these paintings. In an empty, quiet gallery, far from the throngs at the 'Gold' exhibit, these works are wonderfully expressive. The
environment, nature, splattered and besmirched by sand, blood, and gold-far from seeming monotonous, instead, a exhibit, emphasizes the repeated changes, subtly different, wrought upon this and every land by forces often irresistible. Harry, I found it deeply moving."
Rudolf J.

"1/2/99 Harry-loved your idea-both aesthetically and the motivation. Makes me proud to be Indian. We need to expand awareness."
Maya Martinez, Mexican/American Indian, Los Angeles, CA