ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Indigenous artist whose work features Dine female superheroes is being showcased in Albuquerque. Shaun Beyale has been drawing since he was little and has always loved art. “That was my main passion,” says Beyale.

“I grew up on the Navajo Reservation, so I didn’t have running water or electricity. So for me, this was before the internet and YouTube and all that,” he says.

After graduating from Farmington High School and the Art Institute in Santa Fe, Beyale merged his love for art with his other love – comic books. “I like the art but I also liked mythology behind it, especially superheroes,” Beyale says. “It kind of reminded me of our traditional stories.”

As an artist, he now creates his own comic book characters that feature strong, Native women. “I think they’re marginalized or shown appreciation for all the things they do. So for me, they are superheroes,” says Beyale.

With characters like Ayla the Monster Slayer, who fights creatures in a post-apocalyptic southwest. “She’s going to protect the people, but I want her to inspire people to revive the land,” says Beyale.

Beyale’s work is a reflection of his life motto – empowerment by art. “Art. [Do] you want to be empowered? Do art,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be drawing, it can be anything.”

His work has been shown throughout the U.S. and Canada and will now be showcased in the Testament of Empowerment exhibit, starting this week at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Beyale hopes visitors are inspired to find their own superhero within.

The Testament of Empowerment exhibit opens Thursday at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s Artist Circle Gallery at 5:00 p.m. It will run through October 10.