Our Story

My name is Lucky Salway, and I am an Oglala Lakota and Tohono O'odham Artist from Tucson, Arizona. My Mother's name is Mary Narcho from the Tohono O'odham Nation who is an amazingly talented and strong Woman who has supported me thru the darkest times of my life and still loved me thru it. My Father's name was Stacey Salway but was better known as Lucky Salway from the Oglala Lakota Nation. My dad's bloodline comes from the Crazy Horse Camp who lived and fought along side of the great Lakota Warrior. My dad was mentioned in Russell Means book "Were White Men Fear to Tread" were my Dad entered Russell in his first rodeo. It says my dad's nickname in it, which is my real name, so I always thought that was really cool. I was born on Winter Solstice in Phoenix, Arizona and if you really break down the name Phoenix. It relates to the Sun and it relates to the death and re birth of the Sun and rising from the ashes which is what Winter Solstice represents also when you think about it. So Phoenix and Winter Solstice are the same thing. I was born at 6:43 pm at the Solstice after the Sun goes down in Phoenix. So that makes me a Phoenix, rising from the ashes and I didn't figure this out until the old me died off. I had a step brother who lost his mind from doing to much drugs in the 70's and he was an artist. It was this reason why my mom heavily discouraged me from becoming an artist. She was afraid I would become a drug addict and lose my mind I guess? Ironically this lead me to a life of doing and selling drugs cause I never could handle working for somebody else. I also lost my mind, but not the same way my step brother did. I just lost who I was, I had no identity. I was nobody, like the Gary Farmer character in the Johnny Depp movie. Thought i was meant to roam around the streets  forever. I was getting into heavier drugs and was starting to get hooked on cocaine and meth. I was in a relationship with an addict and then I became one myself. Something happened between us and I got a Domestic Abuse charge for grabbing her by the neck and pushing her away from me cause I thought she was trying to stab me. So yea, I was out of control. I had to spend a night that turned into 3 days and this is were my life changed. The first 28 hours, I was held in a holding cell by myself and then the next day I was put into a big dorm like room with a bunch of Native men. I walked up to an artist I saw drawing on the table and started to draw next to him and asked if he had any Native books I can read. He found the book "Black Elk Speaks" and handed it to me. I grabbed the book and said to him that I will read this whole book before I get out and I laughed. But the book was huge and I had a lot on my mind but I started to read it. So the first day my Mom sent my brother Marvin to get me out, but Marvin had a warrant and got arrested too, lol. He got out but couldn't get me out, so the next day she sent my nephew in law who is Dine(Navajo). They would not release me to a non tribal member so that didn't work so the next day my mom finally came which was on a Friday. So I don't know anything that's going on and they are telling me that after 5pm on Friday that nobody gets out and has to stay til Monday. So the whole time im stressing about getting out but I am also reading the book and the 5pm deadline was getting close and then passes. I was upset but couldn't  do nothing but go back and read the book. Now I am not lying when I say that as soon as I finished the book around 545pm as soon as I read that last word and completed the book, the door opened and they called my name and I was free again. I was supposed to read that book because what I got from it was that Black Elk's life was getting dysfunctional because he wasn't doing what he was put here to do, My situation comes no were near what Black Elk was going thru but the lesson was these loud and clear. I quit doing drugs and stopped drinking for a while but then in 2020 the Pandemic hit and I started drinking again mid way thru. But before I started drinking at the beginning of it during the lockdown I created Rufus. Rufus and before that I created the design called Your on O'odham Land. I created these 2 designs while I was sober from everything and I combined these 2 images to create my first mural piece and my first piece of art ever. I started with a mural and still have not yet finished a canvas or any kind of painting. I don't know of anybody who started out with murals before trying to do a painting. Although I was strong thru the first part of the Pandemic the stress and loneliness of the pandemic broke me to drinking again for a lil while but I prevailed and made it thru and made up my mind to sober up. After I sobered up I completed the Cukson mural with an artist that I like to paint with named Wagonburner. After that I went to my dad's homelands in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and painted my Established Before Christ mural. I have many more murals to paint and I have a lot to say about injustices against my people and I like to paint powerful messages for my people that make them say FUCK YEAH! with pride.