IAIA 2021 November Newsletter
Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 5, 2021

Welcome to the November edition of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Newsletter. This edition includes recent news and past, current, and upcoming happenings at IAIA. For questions, comments, or feedback, please contact IAIA Director of Communications Jason S. Ordaz at jason.ordaz@iaia.edu.
IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts Launches Its Digital Component
As many have probably heard, IAIA is opening a new Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA), which greatly extends IAIA’s objective to study, preserve, and disseminate traditional and contemporary Native American arts, cultures, literature, and history. Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, RCCNA has been undergoing development for the past three years and will contain a physical location as well as a digital component, with much of the information being searchable in IAIA’s database, which students will be able to access anywhere, including off campus. The physical location, currently in the first and second phases of three-phased construction, will include the IAIA Archives, an Archives classroom, and a Collections Classroom and will be located in the Barbara and Robert Ells Science and Technology Building on the IAIA campus. The digital component, the Research Portal, has now been launched and is available for use.

RCCNA will consolidate services that IAIA already provides by physically moving the IAIA Archives to join the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) collection in one comprehensive location. RCCNA’s Research Portal is monumental in researching Native arts and cultures, as it appears to be the first institution to combine an archival collection and an art collection into a shared database. Historically, each type of collection uses very different types of databases and requires users to be familiar with each type of organizational system. The Research Portal, using Re:Discovery’s Proficio for the Web system, returns search results from both the MoCNA collection of artworks and the IAIA Archives collection. For example, typing “Harjo” in the search field will show artworks donated to MoCNA by the Harjo family as well as provide access to digitized audio recordings of the radio program Seeing Red, coproduced by Suzan Shown Harjo in the mid-1960s. Transcripts of the radio program can also be downloaded. Some archival records include photographs or video files. Other records provide basic information about contents of the physical files so a student researcher knows what to ask for—whether that’s a request to see an artwork or a box of paper records.

“Something that has hampered Native artists is that there is comparatively little published about Native artists,” explains RCCNA Director Dr. Lara Evans (Cherokee Nation). “Students who are studying Native art don’t have the same kinds of resources as people studying Western artists. Our goal is to change that by making information about Native art more widely available and much easier to access.” Both the RCCNA physical location and the Research Portal will accomplish just that.

As we patiently await the opening of the IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts, take advantage of the collections and archives that IAIA has to offer by accessing the Research Portal online now at research.iaia.edu.
Reemergence 2021, IAIA’s First In-Person Senior Exhibition Since 2019
Please join us for the IAIA 2021 Fall BFA Senior Graduating Exhibition, Reemergence 2021, which will run from November 10–December 10, 2021, with an opening reception on November 10 from 6–8 pm (MST) in the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery on the IAIA campus. The reception will be open to the public and a light dinner and refreshments will be served. We request that all visitors be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and wear a face covering.

This year’s senior exhibition, Reemergence 2021, features IAIA’s 18 graduating BFA in Studio Arts and BFA in Museum Studies seniors. Reemergence 2021 is the first in-person senior exhibition that IAIA has held since November 2019. IAIA’s Fall 2021 graduating seniors weathered the COVID-19 Pandemic with admirable persistence—constantly creating and patiently waiting for the IAIA campus to reopen. Some students even deferred a semester in order to wait for a physical exhibition, rather than participating in a virtual exhibition like the last three IAIA senior exhibitions. Now, in this capstone exhibition, IAIA’s graduating BFA in Studio Arts and Museum Studies students have the opportunity to reemerge into the art world as they showcase the culmination of their course of study in a physical exhibition.

During students’ senior year, they work closely with faculty, staff, advisors, and colleagues to create and articulate their conceptually driven body of work. Each student’s comprehensive body of work is then showcased in the senior exhibition. Reemergence 2021 examines a wide range of concepts spanning from identity to the effects of COVID-19 and a deep individual reflection of practices and medium. “Reemergence 2021 is the title because reemergence was something all these seniors mentioned,” says Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery Director Mattie Reynolds (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma). “A common theme with this exhibition is perseverance—finally crossing the finish line on top of going through a pandemic. These seniors persevered and committed so hard to finishing.”

Reemergence 2021 will include works in the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery, throughout the Academic Building, in the Allan Houser Haozous Sculpture and Foundry Building, as well as two virtual exhibitions by off-campus Museum Studies seniors, which will be viewable from IAIA’s website in the coming months.

“It feels so good to have a senior show physically in the gallery again,” says Reynolds. “Perhaps we’re starting to come out of the dark of COVID a little bit—into the light. This exhibition is a reflection of that.”

Studio Arts

  • Brandon Armijo (Jemez Pueblo and Santo Domingo Pueblo)
  • Chelsea Bighorn (Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux/Shoshone-Paiute)
  • Renee Chavez (Isleta Pueblo)
  • Kelsey Frosch
  • 伊藤福 Fuku Ito (Japanese)
  • Jonathan Loretto (Jemez and Cochiti)
  • Joseph Maldonado (Tlingit and Ottawa, Other)
  • Jazmin Novak (Navajo)
  • Kelly Tungovia (Hopi)
  • Suni Sonqo Vizcarra Wood (Quechua Nation) 
  • Kelly L. Dale (Navajo)
  • Amalia Sparks
  • Lx Lewis (Cheyenne River and Diné)
  • Tiffanie Irizarry (Ihanktonwan Dakota)

Museum Studies

  • Darvin Descheny (Diné)
  • Johnny Gordon (Chemehuevi)
  • Paloma Mankus
  • Dawna Walters (Diné)

For more information or sales inquires, please contact Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery Director Mattie Reynolds (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) at (505) 428-5813 or at mattie.reynolds@iaia.edu.
Many Nations, One Family
Students and graduates know first-hand that it is hard work staying in school—semester after semester, year after year. In this series, Many Nations, One Family, students and graduates share reasons why they decided to stay in school at IAIA. Aside from earning a degree, additional benefits include access to studios and supplies, professional equipment, Library and Counseling resources, and peer-to-peer engagement. IAIA students are part of a unique Indigenous legacy formed by resilience and unity, and together they are Many Nations, One Family.

IAIA Student Alica J. Mteuzi (Caddo Nation, Cheyenne-Arapaho) ’23 had to take a semester off from IAIA because she is a mother and had family priorities. She said she is so grateful that it was only one semester she had to take off, and she is happy to be back, because what keeps her at IAIA is the same thing that brought her here in the first place.

“There is no other experience like being at a tribal art school—being amongst your peers, being taught by people who are from your heritage. I didn’t know there was a such thing as a tribal college, much less an art college that was specifically for Indigenous students. Prior to coming to IAIA, I struggled, as many others do, with my Indigenous identity. I had apprehensions and some self-consciousness. I didn’t necessarily connect or have a great understanding of my heritage.

After my first semester, I learned that my experience was not unique. Many other students had the same exact story, either because they’re mixed, or because of removal from their Native lands, or because they were adopted. Everybody comes from different backgrounds, and because of that, I immediately felt right at home.

When I found out about IAIA, it was a no-brainer. This is where I should be. Despite challenges with the COVID-19 Pandemic and other things that are going on in the world, I’m here, because I look at being a student and graduating college as my job. I will be a first-generation college degree holder. I’m not only here to represent my family, but to be a role model for my children.

If you’re thinking of coming to IAIA, you should already be here. Don’t hesitate. Just come.”

–Alica J. Mteuzi (Caddo Nation, Cheyenne-Arapaho) ’23
We Went Wild—BFA Exhibition at MoCNA
We Went Wild is an exhibition of emerging students in the Institute of American Indian Arts’ (IAIA) BFA programs. Some of the participating artists are from the American Southwest, Peru, Northern Great Plains, and Japan.

This exhibition of recent work comprises various media, including sculpture, painting, and jewelry, which move as conduits for complex emotions we have all attempted to navigate during these challenging times. This distance has also challenged us to re-examine closeness and the need for connection.

IAIA Museum Studies Junior and Student-Curator Jaime Herrell explains that “We, no matter the disconnect or distance, especially in this existence, are here to create, to share, to feel—to find a peaceful moment or to just be grumpy, just as these artists do in their creative processes. Any distance between people explores the power and significance of genuine feelings, emotions, and cross-cultural expressions between each other, along with the individuality and solitude within us. This distance has also challenged us to re-examine closeness and the need for connection.”

Participating Artists

  • Brandon Armijo (Jemez Pueblo)
  • Chelsea Bighorn (Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux/Shoshone-Paiute)
  • 伊藤福 (Fuku Ito) (Japanese)
  • Jazmin Novak (Diné)
  • Jonathan Loretto (Jemez/Cochiti Pueblos)
  • Joseph Maldonado (Tlingit/Ottawa)
  • Kelly Tungovia (Hopi)
  • Kelsey Frosch
  • Renee Chavez (Isleta Pueblo)
  • Suni Sonqo Vizcarra Wood (Quechua Nation, Peru)

The exhibition is on view in the South Gallery at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA).

Image: Jazmin Novak (Diné), Be Still, 2021, Bronze, 4.5 x 4.5 x 11 in.
IAIA 2021 Holiday Art Market—Artist Preview and Launch
IAIA’s Holiday Art Market will be held virtually this year from November 17–December 24, 2021. Join us on November 17, 6–7:30 pm (MST) for a special launch event and artist preview, hosted by IAIA alumnus, artist, and media personality Shane Hendren (Diné). The virtual event will include studio visits and interviews with select artists representing a range of disciplines, including painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, and more. Join us on ZOOM for this special event. (ZOOM link will be available a few days before the event, at www.iaia.edu/holidaymarket.)

IAIA alums, students, faculty, and staff are all invited to participate in the 2021 Holiday Art Market. The deadline for entries is November 10—register today.

If you have questions, please contact foundation@iaia.edu or the Office of Institutional Advancement at (505) 424-5730.

Holiday Art Market art by IAIA Student Tiara J. Yazzie (Navajo) ’22.
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts Application Workshop
IAIA’s Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts (MFASA) is now open for applications for the 2022–23 academic year. We would like to invite you to join us for a virtual workshop on Wednesday, November 17 at 2 pm (MST). The workshop will offer an overview of this new program and will go through the application process in detail. It will provide an opportunity to ask any questions about the program and the application process. For information on how to join us for this workshop, please contact mfasa@iaia.edu

In addition to the workshop, we will also be cohosting a panel with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on November 15 at 4 pm (MST). We look forward to your attendance at one or both of these events!

Offering areas of emphasis in Integrated Practice, Studio Arts 2D Practice, and Studio Arts 3D Practice, the two-year, low-residency curriculum is grounded in Indigenous cultures and reflects the history and challenges of our time. By engaging in art history and deep discussions of art’s function in society, while also incorporating critiques by peers and Master Artist Mentors, the MFASA program allows students to develop their own artistic style and find their place in the art world. 

The low-residency model provides a professional degree in Studio Arts while allowing students to live at home and continue participating in work, family, and community. This model allows for artists to fully immerse themselves in the experience of who they are, as an individual, as an artist, and as a member of their community. 

To learn more about the program and for information on how to apply, please visit the MFASA webpage. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2022 semester is March 1, 2022. 
MFACW Director Deborah Taffa Has Visions for a Healthier Literary Ecosystem
IAIA is pleased to welcome our new Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFACW) Director Deborah Taffa (Quechan/Laguna Pueblo). Taffa grew up in a Navajo Nation border town in northwest New Mexico and earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. Recently, she received the PEN America Jean Stein Award for her memoir manuscript, which also won the Santa Fe Writer’s Literary Award in 2019. Taffa is co-president of River Styx, was named a 2021 Tin House Scholar and a McDowell Fellow, is a Kranzberg Arts Foundation Resident Artist, and has taught at Webster University and Washington University.

Taffa’s primary vision for the MFACW program is to promote Indigenous values and voices by empowering writers to strengthen literary industries. As the longtime objective of the MFACW program has been to “rewrite the literary landscape,” Taffa stays true to the program’s historic vision in expanding conversation of how writers view their careers and the many possibilities that come with a professional degree in writing. “What I would like to see happen is that we create a healthier ecosystem in the publishing industry at large,” says Taffa. “We need diverse book buyers, literary agents, editors, publicists, MFA directors, teachers—there’s an entire ecosystem to fill. I know writers coming into the program want to write a story and publish a book, and of course that’s our number one aim—to educate them about that—but I would also encourage our students to think about how they can be good literary citizens and how they can help create an ecosystem that will support growth in the industry in a larger spectrum and vision of what we need.” In conjunction with this vision, Taffa looks forward to expanding programming within the remote semesters so that students remain connected to the MFACW community between residencies. She has ideas for implementing more online programming, connecting students with possibilities for internships, and expanding Chapter House, the MFACW’s online literary journal.

Taffa’s passion for, commitment to, and experience in promoting Indigenous voices reaches beyond the realm of teaching and writing. “This is more than just a career for me. It’s something very heartfelt,” she says. While serving as Executive Board Member with the Missouri Humanities Council, Taffa helped create a Native American Heritage Program in the sate of Missouri. “The era we’re living in in the United States is at an inflection point, politically and socially. People are ready to listen. People want a set of alternative values presented to them through story. Our youth, our elders, we have a perspective on the world that is unique and that has been resisting for a long time and this is a moment when Indigenous voices and alternative visions of what we can be—more inclusive as a nation—it’s ripe and it’s needed.”
IAIA Hosts International Musician Katja Šulc
IAIA is pleased to host ArtsLink International Fellow Katja Šulc, who will be joining IAIA’s Performing Arts Department for five weeks. Šulc is a musician from Slovenia whose work intertwines poetry and music and features modern and traditional poetry, including Indigenous and endangered languages. “This is a most privileged, inspiring, transformative experience, and I’m very grateful,” says Šulc. “I’ll be working on a project during my residency, searching for artistic collaborations—poetry, music, visuals, and stories of Indigenous languages—that I would like to present during the upcoming decade. I’ll be sharing my work, my work process, the vocal methods that helped me, the traditional songs from my part of the world, the songs that carry our histories, traumas, and joys.”

Katja Šulc presented her work at IAIA’s Black Box Theater on Friday, October 29. On November 8, Šulc will give a workshop focused on traditional song and vocal delivery and expression. “We will discuss the importance and the healing power of the song, its creation, how traditional songs were born, and how a poem becomes a song.” For upcoming presentations and workshops by Katja Šulc, check the IAIA Community Calendar.

Šulc’s ArtsLink International Fellowship at IAIA is made possible by CEC ArtsLink. CEC ArtsLink supports transnational cultural mobility and collaboration, empowering artists and arts leaders to engage communities in dialogue and creative projects for a more equitable, compassionate, and sustainable world.
Artist-in-Residence—Apply Today, Deadline Approaching
The IAIA Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) program is accepting applications for the 2022 Spring and Fall semesters. The A-i-R Program hosts artists for variable-length residencies that take place on the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the academic year.

These residencies provide Native American and First Nations artists the opportunity to travel to the IAIA campus for a meaningful period of art-making and interactions with IAIA students, staff, and faculty, as well as the Santa Fe art community.

The program demonstrates the diverse ways in which art is an integral part of cultural continuity and the intergenerational transference of knowledge. Artists participate in opening and closing receptions, public workshops and demonstrations, classroom visits, critique sessions with students, and events hosted by other organizations in Santa Fe. This residency is a unique opportunity to create new work within a community setting.

“A special component of IAIA's residency program is the sense of community that comes from bringing practicing Indigenous artists together with college students who are also studying art and culture. It makes for a dynamic and inspirational experience that we are happy to share with the Santa Fe community through our free public events.”—IAIA Artist-in-Residence Program Director Dr. Lara Evans (Cherokee)

This residency is open to all tribally enrolled Native American artists, as well as First Nations artists from British Columbia, Canada. Artists whose work engages with cultural traditions through materials, techniques, and subject matter are particularly encouraged to apply.

The application deadline is Monday, November 8, 2021 at midnight (MST). For more information about the A-i-R program and to apply, visit www.iaia.edu/artist-in-residence.
Staff Spook-A-Thon in Dance Circle
On Friday, October 29, 2021, in celebration of Halloween, various departments from IAIA descended into the Dance Circle on the IAIA Campus for an impromptu costume contest. It began as a friendly challenge between the IAIA Collections and Land-Grant Departments, but once word got out, other departments joined in on the fun as well. Land-Grant was out in full force, taking first place as a gang of scarecrows, while Collections took second place as characters from the 2010 animated film “Despicable Me.”

The judges gave an honorable mention to the Library team, who showed off their pride as a squirm of “bookworms,” and Student Services, who showed up as the “Island of Halloween Misfits.” Of course, we can’t forget IAIA Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Mirabal, who was spotted running around campus in a tyrannosaurus suit with a tie as a “Financial-Saurus Rex.”
IAIA’s Dr. Lara Evans to Guest Curate Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Invitational 
Dr. Lara Evans (Cherokee Nation), IAIA’s new director of its Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA), will be guest curator for the Renwick Invitational 2023 presented at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. The Renwick Invitational, established in 2000, highlights mid-career and emerging makers deserving of wider national recognition. This tenth installment of the invitational features, for the first time, all Native American artists.

This exhibition, opening in May 2023, features the works of Joe Feddersen (Arrow Lakes/Okanagan), Geo Neptune (Passamaquoddy), Erica Lord (Athabaskan/Iñupiat), Maggie Thompson (Fond du Lac Oijibwe), and the duo of Lily Hope (Tlingit) and Ursala Hudson (Tlingit). Joe Feddersen, Maggie Thompson, and Erica Lord have all been Artists-in-Residence at IAIA. Erica Lord has also been an adjunct faculty in Studio Arts for several years and recently obtained full-time status at IAIA as Visiting Faculty of Studio Arts.

As guest curator, Dr. Evans will be working closely with selected artists to determine which artworks will best suit the exhibition. “It’s great to work with artists as they’re making their work,” Dr. Evans says. “Each of the artists in some way calls upon their cultural traditions in their artwork. That carries the symbolism for artistic technique that they use. They’re honored to carry that knowledge for how they use their symbolism and their materials.”

Read the full story.
Reminder—$10,000 Broadcast Journalism Scholarship Now Open
For nearly 60 years, IAIA has played a major role in empowering Native storytellers to give voice to the Indigenous experience and share their perspectives in mainstream media. In the Fall 2021 semester, IAIA expanded this role with the new Certificate in Broadcast Journalism.

The 24-credit Broadcast Journalism Certificate program incorporates pre-existing courses from the Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, and Performing Arts departments, and involves writing courses, hands-on training, and an internship. The certificate was designed in response to IAIA's recent partnership with NBCU Academy, which is granting scholarships of $10,000 to third- and fourth-year bachelor-degree-seeking IAIA students who declare the certificate. IAIA is one of 17 colleges/universities that NBCU Academy has partnered with as part of their commitment to diversify their newsrooms. “In all aspects of storytelling, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, it’s important for Native storytellers to take responsibility and ownership over their own stories,” explains Cinematic Arts and Technology Department Chair James Lujan (Taos Pueblo), who oversees the Broadcast Journalism Certificate. “The Broadcast Journalism Certificate is a good opportunity for Native storytellers who want to tell stories from their own community, from their own point of view. This certificate will give them the tools to be able to do that and take ownership of their stories.”

In addition to providing students with the necessary skills and experience to pursue careers in broadcast media, students in the Broadcast Journalism Certificate program will have an internship to add to their résumés and students who receive the NBCU Academy scholarship can also add that they are NBC News Fellows. The deadline to apply for the $10,000 NBCU Academy scholarship is December 3.

Photograph by Lonnie R. Begaye (Diné) ’21.
MoCNA’s November 2021 Exhibitions and Public Programs
If you missed MoCNA’s monthly announcement on October 21, you can still view the November Exhibitions and Public Programs newsletter on the Constant Contact website. The newsletter features recent news, happenings, exhibitions, public programs, new offerings from the IAIA Store, and much more.

The Museum is open Monday and Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 am–5 pm, and on Sunday from 11 am–4 pm. The Museum remains closed on Tuesdays.
IAIA Alumni and Former Faculty to Participate in NAASA Conference
The Native American Art Studies Association (NAASA) holds a conference every other year, bringing Native artists and scholars together for panels and discussion. For the 2021 NAASA Conference, which will be held virtually, former faculty and alums of IAIA will participate in the roundtable discussion Action/Abstraction Redefined: Artists Remember Early Years of IAIA on Thursday, November 10 at 11:30 am (MST). This includes IAIA Alumna and former Studio Arts Faculty Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw); IAIA Alumna and 2021 National Endowment of the Arts Heritage Fellow Anita Fields (Osage/Muskogee Creek); and IAIA Alumnus Alfred Young Man (Cree).

This roundtable convenes artists who trained in and taught abstraction at IAIA in the 1960s. During the first decade of IAIA, revolutionary pedagogy encouraged experimentation as artists combined New York School art styles and media with non-naturalistic forms based in historic Indigenous art practice. Drawing on their personal experiences at IAIA, participants will reflect on abstraction in the ’60s, the history of the institute, and the ways IAIA shaped their own careers and perspectives, as well as contemporary Native American art as a whole.

The exhibition Action/Abstraction Redefined: Modern Native Art, 1940s–1970s and the publication Action/Abstraction Redefined present and analyze works by these artists and others. Organized by the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in 2018, the exhibition will soon tour multiple venues. The presentation at the Saint Louis Art Museum (summer 2023) features an expanded checklist, providing a critical opportunity to share the early works and stories of IAIA with new audiences and to amplify the voices of IAIA students in narratives of mid-century abstraction.

The 2021 NAASA Conference runs virtually on Wednesdays and Thursdays from November 3–11, 2021. To register for the NAASA Conference and attend the roundtable discussion Action/Abstraction Redefined: Artists Remember Early Years of IAIA, or for more information about NAASA, visit their website at www.nativearts.org.
Providing Outreach Excellence—Continuing Education
The IAIA Continuing Education (CE) Fall 2021 Courses are available for registration. The course schedule features unique and affordable educational offerings, including Indigenous language and literature classes, business and entrepreneurial courses, and art and gardening workshops.

Continuing Education is committed to providing comprehensive training and adult education for the advancement and growth in workforce skills, lifelong learning, and empowerment through community-based learning opportunities.

Continuing Education is always looking for interesting course ideas and opportunities. If you would like to suggest or teach a course, please contact continuinged@iaia.edu or submit a “Suggest a Course” or “Teach A Course” proposal at www.iaia.edu/ce. If you are an IAIA Alumni or member of the IAIA community and you are interested in teaching, please submit your ideas.

If you missed a webinar last semester, some recent webinars are posted to the IAIA Continuing Education web page.
2021–2022 IAIA College Catalog
“The 2021–2022 academic year will be one of recovery and renewal for each one of us, our home communities, and the world. I want you to know that IAIA will do everything it can to protect your safety and support your academic and personal growth.”
—IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin

Download and view the 2021–2022 IAIA College Catalog.

The cover art features Jeff Kahm’s Converse. This catalog is dedicated to the memory of IAIA Assistant Professor Jeff Kahm, MA, and to everyone in the IAIA Community who has suffered loss and hardship during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Join the IAIA Community—View Open Positions
IAIA is looking to hire driven individuals who believe in and support IAIA’s mission, “To empower creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and outreach.”

IAIA offers competitive salaries and an outstanding benefits package for regular full-time positions, which includes, medical, dental, vision, term life, long term disability, short term disability, a 403B investment plan, and Employee Assistance Program.

To see available positions, view the Employment page.
Town Hall Meetings Hosted by IAIA President
Watch Town Hall Meetings hosted by IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin.

The Vimeo playlist includes 20 videos, all of which are archived and can be viewed at anytime. (Includes town hall meetings, convocation, and others.)
IAIA Alumni Spotlight—Dr. Elizabeth Kianu Stahmer, DAOM
Since graduation, IAIA alumna Dr. Elizabeth Kianu Stahmer, DAOM (Wyandotte, Cherokee, Blackfeet) ’18 fell into a unique opportunity working at Stagecoach Foundation, Inc., and it wasn’t long before she was cast in a lead role as the Executive Director in 2019.

Founded by Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin and scientific innovator David Weininger, Stagecoach Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The organization brings productions to the state, manages a production building and prop warehouse, develops industry training programs, and creates work opportunities for locals in the booming television and film industry.

As a graduate of the Indigenous Liberal Studies program, Dr. Stahmer credits understanding where you stand and how you engage with other people in a respectful and honorable way as a strong backbone of the program. She believes that the education she received from IAIA helped to prepare her for her current role as Executive Director—engaging with different communities requires integrity, diplomacy, and respect—and she applies this every single day in leading a nonprofit.

Under Stahmer’s leadership, Stagecoach Foundation has developed high-caliber immersive training programs taught by industry leaders that truly mirror what it is like to be on a real set. So much so, that New Mexico IATSE Local 480, the local union chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) approved these training programs and considers them as work experience. Stagecoach Foundation also recently worked with The WB television series, Roswell, and Stahmer facilitated a season finale event with producers, directors, and New Mexicans who worked on set—which includes IAIA students and alumni.

Stagecoach Foundation provides opportunities for interns and mentees from IAIA and other local schools, and some of these IAIA community members have gone on to start exciting new careers in the film industry. Dr. Stahmer looks forward to continuing to build relationships between Stagecoach Foundation and IAIA and is proud to see IAIA students and alumni gain hands-on experience as they jump into the workforce. Learn more about Stagecoach Foundation and the offered trainings and resources, at www.stagecoachfdn.org.
Community News and Happenings
The following contains information about recent happenings and news within the IAIA community.

  1. IAIA MoCNA Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology exhibition and featured artist Jessie Kleemann (Inuit) featured in NY Times article Climate Exhibitions Look Beyond Declarations of Calamity
  2. IAIA Alumna Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation) ’68 featured on National Public Radio (NPR)
  3. Earl Biss—The Spirit Who Walks Among His People documentary about the late IAIA Alumnus Earl Biss (Crow) ’66 which features IAIA Community members Tatiana Lomahaftewa-Singer (Hopi, Choctaw), Ryan S. Flahive, Kevin Red Star (Crow), and others screening at two Native American film festivals in November
  4. IAIA Alumni Marie Watt (Seneca, Scottish, German) ’92 and Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidasta, Arikara, Lakota) ’11 exhibit Each/Other opens at Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University
  5. PBS Show, Molly of Denali, whose production team includes IAIA Trustee Princess Daazhraii Johnson (Neets’aii Gwich’in) and IAIA Alumna Sydney Isaacs (Tlingit) ’16, launches Season Two
  6. IAIA MoCNA’s book, Action Abstraction Redefined: Modern Native Art, featured by Artbook for Native American Heritage Month
  7. IAIA Trustee and noted artist Brenda Kingery’s (Chickasaw) exhibition Brenda Kingery: Weaving Messages opens at the Cahoon Museum of American Art for Native American Heritage Month
  8. IAIA MFASA to co-host Sovereignty & Indigenous Curation panel with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  9. IAIA Alumna and current Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) April Holder (Sac and Fox) ’08 featured in SF Reporter’s Three Questions segment
  10. IAIA MoCNA featured in Lonely Planet’s Thirteen of the Best Things To Do in Santa Fe
  11. IAIA Alumna Lauren E. Johnson ’15 featured in SF Reporter article Feast Your Eyes on This
  12. Tamarind Institute hosts 2021 IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair October 15–31, 2021, which features work by IAIA Alumna Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo) ’07
  13. IAIA MoCNA Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology featured artist Mallery Quetawki (Zuni), creates interactive Google Doodle celebrating the late Zuni weaver We:wa, in honor of Native American Heritage Month

Upcoming and ongoing Happenings at IAIA and MoCNA.

Current Exhibitions at MoCNA.

Additionally, you can view the IAIA Community Calendar, which includes community-only happenings, as well as important dates from the Academic Calendar. (IAIA Community: If you would like to subscribe to the IAIA Community Calendar, please send a request to jason.ordaz@iaia.edu.)
From the Collection

This month’s featured image from the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts’ digital collection.

Austin Rave (Cheyenne River Sioux/Winnebago), Untitled, n.d., oil on canvas, 18.75 x 18.75 in. S-336; Gift of James McGrath, 2020; Courtesy of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM. Copyright Austin Rave. Photograph by Eric Wimmer.
From the Photo Archive

This month’s photographic session from the archive is the 2018 IAIA Feast Day.

The IAIA Feast Day on campus included dances, music, and food. The event took place in the Performing Arts and Fitness Center Gym.
For questions, comments, or feedback, please contact IAIA Director of Communications Jason S. Ordaz at jason.ordaz@iaia.edu.

Newsletter written by IAIA Communications staff Jason S. Ordaz, Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, and Veronica Clark ’21. All photographs by Jason S. Ordaz, unless cited otherwise.
About the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only college in the world dedicated to the study of contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. IAIA offers undergraduate degrees in Cinematic Arts and Technology, Creative Writing, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, Performing Arts, and Studio Arts; graduate degrees in Creative Writing and Studio Arts; and certificates in Broadcast Journalism, Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History. The college serves approximately 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American students from around the globe, representing nearly a hundred federally recognized tribes. Named one of the top art institutions by UNESCO and the International Association of Art, IAIA is among the leading art institutes in our nation and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).