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August 14, 2021 2 min read 8 Comments

A 19-year-old with a talent, a passion, and a dedication to her roots.

Petite and precocious, Penelope Joe discovered her gift and decided her path at a remarkably young age: she was going to be an artist. What started as a nightly after-dinner family tradition of scribbling and sketching developed into award-winning artwork and painting for pay.

“I was 12 years old when I entered my first art show, that was in the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial,” Penelope said. “And my painting won first place. By the time I decided I definitely was going to enter, I only had one week to complete that painting, Storytelling of the Creation of the Horses.”

The optimism and attitude of this recent high school graduate is inspiring under the best of circumstances, but given her origin story, it’s even more exceptional. Penelope was born and raised on the Navajo reservation, where chores and duties were ample and luxuries were scarce, not having electricity in her ranch home until age 13 and currently still living without running water. And yet, she seizes opportunities with gusto, and when they don’t exist, she creates them.

“We were blown away when she reached out to us wanting to model for Double D Ranch,” Cheryl admitted. “She was so earnest and genuine, and as you might imagine, we admire a girl with moxie! The way she presented herself and her goal, to change the narrative around the relationship between Native American artisans and the Western fashion world, and that she wanted to be the one to do it. We were flattered to learn she is a lifelong fan of DDR, and honored she wanted to be a part of our story.”

“I was very little when I first learned of Double D Ranch,” Penelope said. “The Cowboys & Indians magazine was everything in our house, and I have been keeping up with your fashion for as long as I can remember. It has been a dream of mine to model for DDR since I was young.”

Fortunately, we were able to facilitate that dream, and Penelope impressed us just as much in person. We learned so much about her, her ambitions, and her commitment to her Navajo culture. She’s headed to Diné College in the fall, focusing on art and Diné studies, and frequently gives motivational speeches to students about the importance of staying involved in the Navajo Nations and perpetuating the traditions. We have future endeavors in the works with her – and her lovely mother, Thema – that we can’t quite share yet, but you haven’t seen the last of Penelope and DDR.

She may be staying close to home, but Penelope Joe is going places. And we’ll be rooting for her every step of the way.

8 Responses

CowgrlPunk
CowgrlPunk

August 25, 2021

She’s beautiful. I hope to see her and other Native models for DDR in the future.

Velyncia J
Velyncia J

August 25, 2021

Beautiful!! Continue modeling for DoubleDRanch!

Joanna Brown
Joanna Brown

August 17, 2021

She just very Beautiful!!! its about time you guys have Native American Model on Double D Ranch, just show you all we are fans of Double D Ranch that we do follow the band for many years. Excited to see more of her in the coming years in Double D Ranch.

Cary Jo Nieman
Cary Jo Nieman

August 16, 2021

Absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful to see such talent and happy to see her fulfilling her dreams at such an early age.

Carol Stoneburner
Carol Stoneburner

August 15, 2021

Enjoyed learning about Penelope and her aspirations and goals. May she have much success as she moves forward. Tk you for sharing her story. Great little model.

Gina Harris
Gina Harris

August 15, 2021

What an amazing young lady! I have such an appreciation for someone with such ambition and spunk. Thank you Penelope for sharing with us!!

Amy
Amy

August 15, 2021

Wonderful story and I look forward to seeing more of this inspiring and beautiful young lady in DDR! She wears the clothes with such elegance and class!

Ellis L Aycock
Ellis L Aycock

August 15, 2021

Good for Penelope Joe, Cowboys and Indians, and Double D Ranch!

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