Edison was inspired by Navajo painter Jim Abeita at a very young age. He attended Toyei Boarding School, graduated Holbrook High School in Arizona in 1981 and then moved to Santa Fe to study at the lnstitute of American Indian Arts. Initially, he studied painting, but Cummings began to shift his interests toward three-dimensional art, particularly sculpture, and he also took a few jewelry classes.
Cummings left New Mexico to attend Arizona State University in Tempe to pursue an art education degree. While there, his curriculum required him to take metal stretching courses, which he found to be very intriguing. In the summer of 1990, he acquired hands-on experience by working at the White Hogan in Scottsdale, Arizona. He continued working there for five years, incorporating his artistic ideas into jewelry making and and creating jewelry and flatware. When getting ideas for his work, Cummings notices equally the sharp designs of a well-designed building or the curvilinear lines of a piece of metal on the side of the highway. Both can serve as inspiration for the three-dimensional silver forms he creates.
The very first art competition Edison Cummings entered garnered him a gold award, and the painter and sculptor-turned-silversmith has been bringing home honors ever since. “I’ve been an artist all my life. My interest in learning to paint began at a very young age. As a child, my mother bought me sketchpads and watercolors to paint, and in the eighth grade, my art class took a trip to visit the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. It was then that I decided I was going to be an artist. I told myself I would be back in four years.”
Four years later, Cummings did return to study two-dimensional art but graduated from IAIA with a three-dimensional art degree. He then began working towards his art education degree at Arizona State University.
In 2014 Edison won 1st Place in Jewelry at the very prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market!!