Jim Abeita was born in 1947 on the Navajo Nation at Crownpoint, New Mexico. He graduated from Gallup High School in 1966. He later studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, before returning to the Navajo Nation to paint full-time in the early 1970s.
For the next two decades, Abeita won many awards including at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Indian Market in Santa Fe and the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial in Gallup, New Mexico.
His work has been featured in Arizona Highways, Southwest Art, Arizona Living and The Indian Trader. A book of Jim Abeita’s paintings, entitled The American Indians of Abeita, His People was published in 1976 by Rick Tanner Publishing of Scottsdale. He was cited in Peggy and Harold Samuels’ book, Contemporary Western Artists as well as Clara Lee Tanner’s Southwest Indian Painting.