I exit my thoughts through the Corn Maiden pendants that I create, to all emerging jewelers and all artists, who want to stretch their limits by bringing out their creative thoughts and to use any materials available.


Connie Tsosie Gaussoin, of Picuris Pueblo and Navajo heritage, is the matriarch of an extraordinarily talented family of artists that includes Col. Jerry E. Gaussoin Jr, David Gaussoin, Wayne Nez Gaussoin, and Tazbah Gaussoin all of whom are nationally respected for their skills as jewelers and artists. An experienced educator, Connie has won major awards for the quality of her work and is included in the collections of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the School of American Research, the Milicent Rodgers Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Us (formally Man). She comes from a family of silversmiths, painters, rug weavers, singers, sculptors, and other artists. This, along with her personal experiences, including worldwide travels, has shaped her opportunities to view and interact with people of other cultures and artistic abilities. Her family and clan heritage provides a basis for the design and development of her jewelry.  Connie's jewelry is a personal statement about her abilities and interests at the time of its creation. It reflects her Navajo heritage, Pueblo traditions, and the development of new inspirations. The traditional and contemporary jewelry Connie designs and creates represents her interpretations of her diverse background.

In her extensive career, starting in 1971, she has continued to expand her self-taught jewelry artistic abilities through attendance at specialized classes at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Pueblo V Design Institute. She also has maintained an interest in painting and sculpting.  She has shared her jewelry abilities by teaching adult students from the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council vocational program, the Pojoaque Poeh Arts Center, children educational programs at the Wheelwright Museum, and many lectures and colloquiums throughout the country. Many of her students have advanced to become accomplished artists and award-winners. Connie has been a jewelry judge for the SWAIA Indian Market, the New Mexico State Fair; a juror for the SWAIA Fellowship Program, a judge for the Selection Committee, and a grant recipient in Business Administration from the College of Santa Fe. She has been a New Mexico State Fair Commissioner; a Regent for the Museums of NM, a Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA board member), the 2005 SWAIA Gala Chair, the Santa Fe Opera Board, the New Mexico Film Museum Board, the White Buffalo Board, Picuris Pueblo Enterprise/Hotel Santa Fe Partnership, and the IAIA Foundation Board.

Connie has exhibited at major Native American museums and galleries throughout the country, and has received awards for her jewelry at many juried art exhibitions such as the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Indian Fair, and the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos. Her honors include the Joe H. Quintana Memorial Award for Excellence in Traditional Jewelry at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture "Collectors' Choice" award. Her jewelry is included in permanent collections of the Museum of Man in San Diego, CA; the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, NM; the School of American Research in Santa Fe, NM; and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, NM.

The family tradition continues through the award winning talents of her three sons, Jerry Jr., David, and Wayne Nez. Her daughter Tazbah, enjoys carving Tufa stone and painting. Connie, David, and Wayne Nez occasionally collaborate on special projects.

Awards & Honors

  2008 Living Treasure Award, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe, NM

  2006 King Fellowship, School of American Research. Santa Fe, NM   

  2005 City of Santa Fe Mayor Award for Arts Education

             Santa Fe New Mexican's Award "10 Who Make a Difference"

   2002 Collectors Choice Award, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe, NM

   1994 Joe H. Quintana Memorial Award for Excellence in Traditional Jewelry.

   SWAIA, Southwestern Association of Indian Arts, Indian Market
   – Award winner: 1973, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003
   2002 Key Dazzler, "Crusen Around the Rez", SWAIA/IAIA Art Auction,
  ENIPC, Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council Annual Summer Show
   – Award winner: 1975, 1979, 1988, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001
  The Governor's of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council Recognition-
"Outstanding Native American Artist for her achievements representing

     Native American Women." 
  Heard Museum, Heard Museum Indian Fair, Phoenix, Arizona
  – Award winner: 1998, 2000, 2001 Artist-in-Residence
  Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, CA: Guest Instructor, Summer Indian Arts Program
  IAIA, Institute of American Indian Arts/Kellogg Foundation: Washington, D.C. panelists

Selected Invitational Exhibitions


  Museum of Indian Arts & Culture; "Native Couture I & II: A History of Santa Fe Style", NM

  Museum of Indian Arts & Culture; "Here, Now, & Always", NM

  Museum of Contemporary Native Arts; "Opulence", NM

  Heard Museum; "Norman Sandfield's Seed Pot Collection"

  Santa Fe Community Gallery, "Generations"

  Navajo Nation Museum; "2002 Invitational Art Exhibition"
  New Mexico Women in the Arts: "2002 Invitational"
  Heard Museum, Heard Museum North, Scottsdale, AZ., "2003 Container's Exhibit"
  Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ, "2002-2003 Invitational"

Permanent Collections:

  School of American Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico   

  San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego, California
  Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New Mexico
  Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  University of San Diego, San Diego, CA: David W. May Gallery, "Art Collection"

Special Projects:

"Healing Garden", A collaboration with other artists on 10 benches for the Heard Museum/Mayo  


Gallery Affiliations:

 Smithsonian, Smithsonian Institute Gift Shops, Washington, DC and New York

 Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

 IAIA, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum Gift Shop, Santa Fe, NM
 Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Recent Publications:

  Passing the Torch,, RoseMary Diaz, Metalsmith Magazine, Vol. 42 No. 2 2022

  Creating with Metal, Dr .Gregory Schaaf, Native Peoples Magazine, Sept/Oct 2007

  Artists Tackle New Genre for Mayo Clinic, Dottie Indyke, El Palacio,Vol.111/No3, 2006
  Native Artists Collaborate on Bench Project in Mayo Clinic’s Healing Garden, Heard Museum

  Journal, 2006
  FASHIONATION, Native Designers Step it up, Susan Heard, Native Peoples Magazine, 2006
  Turquoise Jewelry, 2nd Edition, Nancy N Schiffer, 2005

  PRECIOUS, Native Jewelry by 20 Living Masters, Dr. Gregory Schaaf, Native Peoples Magazine,  

  Sept/Oct 2004
  PUEBLO ARTISTS, Portraits by Toba Tucker, 1998
  Artistic Tastes, Barbara Harjo, 1998
  Indian Jewelry, World Photo Press (Japan, Spring 2000)
  American Indian Jewelry Artist Biographies, Gregory Schaaf (2003)

Connie with cousin RC Gorman (1970's)                                                                                            Back to top

Tsosie-Gaussoin Studio © All Rights Reserved.

All jewelry, fashion, and design property of Tsosie-Gaussoin Studio. Use, duplication or reproduction of images and design prohibited without the express permission of Tsosie-Gaussoin Studio.




Navajo Horizon


Corn Maiden 


Navajo Canteen

Butterfly Bangle