Connie Tsosie Gaussoin, of Picuris Pueblo and Navajo heritage, is the matriarch of an extraordinarily talented family of artists that includes Kernel 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 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 Board member on the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), the 2005 SWAIA Gala Chair, a Regent for the Museums' of New Mexico; and is presently on the Santa Fe Opera Board, the New Mexico Film Museum Board, a member of the White Buffalo Board, Picuris Pueblo Enterprise/Hotel Santa Fe Partnership.
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.