Born and raised on a ranch north of Phoenix Arizona,Jerry Jacka has had a lifelong fascination with the Southwest and has devoted more than fifty years to photographing the land and its people.
As a young boy, he rode horseback for miles through the countryside around his home. With a 4 x 5 view camera borrowed from his high school photo department, he began to photograph the mountains and desert of his homeland. At the age of sixteen, his first award-winning photograph was published. That image was a live rattlesnake coiled on a bleached cow skull.
Jerry not only appreciated the unique beauty of the Southwest, but marveled at the prehistoric Indian Settlements in the area. Little did he know that finding broken pottery shards and stone tools would lead to an appreciation of Indian art and the publication of thousands of his photographs of Native American peoples and their art.
At fifteen, he traveled to the Navajo and Hopi country with a YMCA group sponsored by Barry Goldwater. Although his interest in Indian cultures was rooted in the prehistoric ruins of his homeland, this trip created a desire to know more. He and his wife, Lois, spent years studying the cultures and visiting with the people, but their pottery, jewelry, kachinas, weaving, basketry and much more. His collection of photographs of Native Americans, their homeland and their art is unsurpassed.