IAIA held its graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 14. IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school currently serves 630 Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and is the only college in New Mexico accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
IAIA graduated 65 students this academic year, which is the largest graduating class since it began awarding BA and BFA degrees in 2001. As part of that number, 26 MFA degrees in creative writing were awarded. The graduating class included Native American students from over 30 different federally-recognized tribes.
(Taos Pueblo, '89) gave the commencement address, and IAIA Alumnus
(Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, '79) received an Honorary Doctorate. The class of '16 Valedictorian
William Ray Thoms
(Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation) delivered the Valedictory. Also, during the ceremony, Jim Rivera (Yoeme/Pascua Yaqui) received the Faculty of the Year Award.
Dr. Robert Martin
(Cherokee Nation) remarked, "This is a significant milestone in the natural evolution and expansion of IAIA's mission from a high school, to offering associate and bachelor's degrees, and now graduate programs. I am so proud of the commitment and passion of our faculty, staff, and students."
IAIA takes great pride in preparing students to pursue a life rich with ideas, expression and moral values. The college is ensuring a continual flow of leaders and leadership to carry Native heritage and traditions forward. The faculty, many of whom are Native leaders, and IAIA alumni give witness to the positive impact IAIA's unique environment and influence has had on their lives.
2016 IAIA Spring Powwow
took place on Saturday, May 7, on the IAIA campus. As opposed to last year's unseasonably cold weather, the day was beautiful, if a bit windy. A large audience enjoyed the traditional drumming, dancing, songs, and competitions. IAIA Student Activities Coordinator
(Comanche) was instrumental in putting together this wonderful event. In addition to the Powwow activities, visitors enjoyed many food and arts and craft vendors throughout the site.
As part of the ceremony, a special flute song was played in honor of the recently passed
(Comanche), a beloved former IAIA faculty member.
The Powwow staff included:
View a collection of photographs
- Head Man: Seth Picotte (Lakota/Cheyenne River Sioux)
- Head Lady: Sarah Elsberry (Osage/Swiss)
- Head Southern Drum: Southern Slam (Comanche/Zia)
- Head Northern Drum: Hawk Soldier (Intertribal)
- Head Southern Singer: Matt Taptto (Kiowa)
- Head Northern Singer: Hawk Soldier (Intertribal)
- Head Gourd: Stan Holder (Wichita)
- Master of Ceremonies: James Edwards (Pawnee/N.Cheyenne/Comanche)
- Arena Director: Aaron Fry (Cherokee/Chickasaw)
from the event.
IAIA Performing Arts Original Production: Nations of the Moon
IAIA Performing Arts proudly presented
Nations of the Moon, a devised, ensemble piece created by the students in the Performing Arts program. The cast and production team gathered stories about wolves and humans, focusing on different Native American tribal communities' relationships with this majestic animal. Through music, text, and movement they took the audience on a journey into this world. As humans, we have much to learn from wolves; we have much to learn from animal nations and our natural surroundings.
Bineshi Albert (Yuchi/Chippewa),
Emma DeMarr (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe),
Alexis Estes (Sicangu Lakota),
Lee Honie (
Anangookwe Wolf (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe/Assiniboine),
Kevin Wright (Muscogee Creek),
Dakota Yazzie (
Ryan Young (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), and Performing Arts Department Guest Artist
Ty Defoe (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe and Onyota'aka/Oneida).
The three performances, April 28, 29, and 30, 2016, were presented in collaboration with
Teklu Hogan (Tahltan/Dig' Hitan/Polish/Irish), and were inspired by research on coastal wolves by IAIA instructor
Nations of the Moon took Second Place in the One-Act Play competition at the
American Indian Higher Education Consortium conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in March.
IAIA Annual Scholarship Dinner and Auction
The IAIA Annual Scholarship Dinner and Auction will be held on
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 from 5:00-10:00 pm, at La Fonda on the Plaza. This event raises critically needed scholarship funds that assist our students in reaching their academic and artistic goals. Last year's event raised more than $170,000. Our guests had the chance to mingle with noted artists and IAIA students and acquire some extraordinary art. Please become a sponsor of the IAIA 2016 Scholarship Dinner and Auction event. The event sells out every year so get your tickets now.
New Chief Curator Named at the
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
After an extensive international search,
Dr. Manuela Well-Off-Man, has been named Chief Curator of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA). Dr. Well-Off-Man brings more than fifteen years of curatorial experience to MoCNA. She comes to us from the
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. She also served as Curator of Art at the
Montana Museum of Art and Culture (MMAC) at the
University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Prior to MMAC she worked as an Independent Curator at the
H. Earl Clack Museum in Havre, Montana, and the
Westphalian State Museum in M
ünster, Germany. She is currently working on curating her first show in MoCNA's Main Gallery, scheduled for January 2017.
Dr. Well-Off-Man possesses a comprehensive knowledge of Contemporary Native American art, organizing more than forty-five exhibitions. During her tenure as curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and at the Montana Museum of Art and Culture she developed and implemented Native and non-Native art exhibitions for local, regional, national, and international audiences.
She is married to internationally-acclaimed artist and IAIA alumni,
John Well-Off-Man (Chippewa-Cree, AFA '91).
Welcome Dr. Well-Off-Man!
Interaction in Art or the Art of Ping Pong™
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts held its third annual Interaction in Art or the Art of Ping Pong
™ event on Friday, April 26. The event, inspired by the wildly popular brainchild of Arizona's Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)
Arm Wrestling for Art, featured attendees matched against each other, competing for prizes, original works of art made specifically for the event by
Eliza Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo). The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts invited community guests to learn about current exhibitions from New Mexico Museum of Art's Chief Curator,
Merry Scully, and learn how to play ping pong from an expert,
Bob Funkhouser, President of the Santa Fe Table Tennis Club, while competing for the prizes. IAIA Alumnus
Randy Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, '83) took second place in the competition. He is shown with IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Membership and Program Manager
Andrea Hanley (Navajo) on the far right and
Eliza Naranjo Morse along with the first place winner of the tournament.
Cypher Dome Live Performance at the
IAIA Digital Dome
The last IAIA Digital Dome event for Spring was
The Cypher Dome on Saturday, May 7, at 7.30 pm. Produced by
Ehren Kee Natay (Kewa/Diné) and
Mats Reiniusson, and in conjunction with The IAIA Powwow,
The Cypher Dome was an evening performance combining the sounds of jazz, Indigenous hip-hop rhythms, and spoken word poetry. After the IAIA Powwow, the "Speaking Truth In Power" poetry class and special guest performance artists accompanied an eclectic combination of musicians to create an improvised performance-art installation. The IAIA Digital Dome provided an eye-dazzling spectacle for scenery as the evening culminated into an all-styles dance cypher in which participants blessed the circle.
Delbert Anderson (trumpet),
Lenny Lujan (guitar),
Ehren Kee Natay (electronics/percussion),
Jesse Joaquin Parker (percussion), Mats Reiniusson (bass), and
Dan Mench-Thurlow (sax).
IAIA Names Julia Wall (Jemez Pueblo)
On April 20, 2016, a competition was held on the IAIA campus, once again hosted by
Bobby Wilson (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota) of the comedy group the 1491s, to select the IAIA Ambassador for the 2016-2017 academic year. The IAIA Ambassador represents the Institute by creating and strengthening positive relationships with the greater community through educational and service activities. The IAIA Ambassador also receives support and funding to work on a community initiative of their choice.
Julia Wall was selected as 2016-2017 IAIA Ambassador. Ms. Wall is a member of the Pueblo of Jemez and is a third year Indigenous Liberal Studies major. In her statement on why she would make a good Ambassador she said, "I truly see the community and love it equal to my own. The people, the place, and the love that I feel between the two are real and I would love nothing more than for everyone to feel that also. I want our community to be acknowledged, empowered, strengthened, and most of all I want our community to thrive."
Her goals are to finish her degree plan and certificate program then move on to graduate school at the University of Victoria in their Indigenous Governance Program. MS. Wall has been on the President's and Dean's List, and in 2014 had the highest GPA in the ILS Program.
My Favorite Poem
Once again, IAIA hosted a free evening of poetry, read by a variety of Santa Fe and Albuquerque community leaders on April 21, 2016, at 6:00 pm.
The My Favorite Poem Project is hosted by the UNM English Department and IAIA. The events are organized by
Luci Tapahonso, professor and inaugural Navajo Nation Poet Laureate, who also directs the Creative Writing Program at UNM.
My Favorite Poem Project is based on former U.S. Poet Laureate
Robert Pinsky's 1998 initiative and it continues to be held in various cities to this day. The project features community members, business owners, civic leaders, teachers, students, spiritual leaders, non-profit leaders, and media personalities, all of whom read their favorite poems in five minutes or less.
The 2016 My Favorite Poems Project readers were (L-R):
Chee Brossy (
Stephen Wall (White Earth Reservation),
Phillip Bread (Comanche/Kiowa/Blackfeet),
Pamela Pierce, Patsy Phillips (Cherokee Nation),
Kelly Zunie (Cherokee/Zuni Pueblo),
Luci Tapahonso (Navajo),
Vivian Carroll (Cherokee),
Tazbah McCullah (
Open House and Tour of Rooms
at Nativo Lodge
Four IAIA Alumni created artist guest rooms at Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque. The artist rooms were unveiled on Thursday, May 5, and the IAIA Alumni transformed the guestrooms into works of art. This bold artist room project is the first of its kind in New Mexico and has been going on since 2013.
(Jicarilla Apache/Navajo, '96),
, '89), and
(Jemez Pueblo, '72), all delivered room designs that can truly be called
works of art
If you would like to reserve an artist guest room, call Nativo Lodge reservations at (505) 798-4300. Additional details and photos can be seen at
President's Circle and
Lloyd Kiva New Legacy Circle Events
During Commencement Week, IAIA hosted a variety of events for the
President's Circle and the
Lloyd Kiva New Legacy Circle donors.
On May 11, attendees were treated to a reception at the studio of IAIA Alumnus and internationally known artist
Tony Abeyta (Navajo, '86). On May 12, the group enjoyed Lunch at the studio of
Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo). That evening,
Aysen New, Lloyd Kiva New's widow, held a reception at her home. On Friday, May 13, the guests were treated to a private viewing of the
Graduating BFA Student Exhibition at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and later, a dinner with the Board of Trustees at one of Santa Fe's legendary restaurants, The Shed.
The festivities continued on Saturday, May 14, with a
breakfast with the graduating students, a
Community Lunch following the Commencement Ceremony, and a reception at the home of
Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation) and
Luci Tapahonso (Navajo Nation). Photos from some of the events are shown at left, including award-winning artist and IAIA Alumnus Tony Abeyta at his spectacular painting studio, and Dr. Robert Martin with Aysen New at her home.
Disney VIP Presentation at IAIA
Disney Imagineering Creative Executive
Zsolt Hormay once again visited IAIA on May 6. Zsolt specializes in highly-themed environments, rockwork, and character facade constructions and environmental and figurative sculpting. He shared his experiences on projects such as the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Cadillac Mountain Range in Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure, and Mysterious Island at Tokyo DisneySea with the IAIA community.
IAIA Needs Your Wheels!
At IAIA, we provide our students with the best programs, facilities, and equipment possible to help them reach their educational goals. One way you can help is to consider donating a car or motorcycle you no longer need.
Almost any vehicle can be donated
to IAIA to support our highest academic priorities. Through our partner, Center for Car Donations, we make this as simple as possible for you. To find out more about the process call (877) 411-3662 or visit,
Center for Car Donations
2016 IAIA Alpha Chi Graduates
Alpha Chi National College Honor Society is distinctive in that it involves members in all aspects of its operation: chapter officer leadership, student representation on the National Council, local chapter event planning, and presenting scholarly programs at national conventions. Alpha Chi members have been "making scholarship effective for good" since 1922.
Alpha Chi admits students for all academic disciplines. Membership is limited to the top ten percent of an institution's juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Invitation to membership comes only through an institutional chapter. Some 300 chapters, located in almost every state and in Puerto Rico, induct more than 12,000 members annually.
Student, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni News
This newsletter edition includes a feature that highlights the excellence and accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
IAIA's students, faculty, staff, and alumni are consistently involved in research, scholarly, and artistic activities, that help to further IAIA's outstanding reputation.
Some recent professional accomplishments include:
In Whose Honor? Film Screening and Q&A with Dean Charlene Teters
Albuquerque Indian Pueblo Cultural Center presented an exclusive screening of the documentary film,
In Whose Honor? with IAIA Academic Dean and activist
Charlene Teters (Spokane). The film traces Teters' courageous campaign against the University of Illinois' team mascot, Chief Illiniwek, and her evolution into a leading voice against the merchandising of Native American images. A Q&A with Dean Teters followed the screening.
2016 IAIA BFA Exhibition Groundbreakers
The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) presented the IAIA annual
BFA graduating student exhibition. This year's exhibition celebrated the class of 2015-2016 and showcased a diversity of styles that combine traditional skill with contemporary vision. These artists represent the future of Native art, charting a path for others to follow. Like all BFA exhibitions, there was a wealth of style and media on view. The wide-range of works selected by an esteemed jury included photography, painting, sculpture, installation, printmaking, and jewelry.
The IAIA BFA Graduating Students who participated were
George Alexander (Muscogee Creek),
Amanda Beardsley (Hopi, Laguna Pueblo, and Choctaw),
Terrance Clifford (Lakota, Cheyenne Eagle Butte),
Sara Elsberry (Osage),
Carly Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes),
Kristin Kaye (
Lee Palma (Comanche),
Seth Picotte (Teton Sioux),
Journeyway Price (Crow),
Melissa Shaginoff (Chickaloon/Pyramid Lake),
William Thoms (Confederated Tribes of Chehalis Reservation), and
Kuakea O. Yasak (Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino, German).
The closing reception for the exhibition was held on Friday, May 13.
Congratulations to all of the IAIA BFA students!
3rd Annual Cine Student Filmmaker Awards
IAIA's Cinematic Arts students produced some of their best work yet this year. Some of the winners included
Razelle Benally (Oglala Lakota/Navajo), who won four awards, including Outstanding Narrative Film for her film
Dwayne Joe (Navajo/Hopi) who took three awards, including Outstanding Senior Project and Outstanding Documentray Film for his film
Big Sister Rug; and
Frosley Fowler (Navajo) who received two awards including Outstanding Cinematography.
Congratulations to all!
Notah Begay III Gives Talk
on the IAIA Campus
Professional Golfer and Analyst with the Golf Channel,
Notah Begay III (Isleta Pueblo/San Felipe Pueblo/Navajo), gave an inspirational talk entitled "Empowering Stories for Career Success" on the IAIA campus. He's shown here with
Thanks to IAIA Admissions Director
Mary Curley (San Felipe Pueblo/Navajo) for bringing her famous brother to our campus.
Ty Defoe on Through our Eyes
Fresh off his amazing performance in
Nations of the Moon, IAIA Performing Arts Department guest artist
Ty Defoe (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe and Onyota'aka/Oneida) appeared on the IAIA-produced show
Through our Eyes on KSFR.FM. He's shown here with show host, IAIA Marketing and Communications Director
The Sound of Drums:
A Memoir of Lloyd Kiva New
Ryan Flahive who edited Lloyd Kiva New's memoirs
The Sound of Drums: A Memoir of Lloyd Kiva New (Sunstone Press, 2016) had the opportunity to do a couple of readings from the book at IAIA.
The first reading was held at the
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts as part of the
MoCNA Reader Book Club. Flahive, along with
Aysen New, discussed not only the book, but the
Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, Influence exhibition at the museum, which he helped curate.
The second reading, Editing History:
The Sound of Drums: A Memoir of Lloyd Kiva New, was held on Monday, April 25, in the
CLE Commons on the IAIA campus and was organized by IAIA Library Director
Valerie Nye. The presentation featured Flahive reading excerpts from the book plus some interesting stories about IAIA visionary Lloyd Kiva New. Flahive also explored the pitfalls and process of editing and publishing a historical text.
IThe IAIA Campus Bookstore provides a vital service to the IAIA campus community. A welcoming, thought-provoking creative space offering:
Located in the Center for Lifelong Education on the IAIA Campus the bookstore is open Monday-Thursday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm. For more information, call (505) 428-5395
- Photo Supplies
- Art Supplies
- Student Artwork
|IAIA Radio Show!
IAIA Radio Show! Tuesdays from 4-4:30 pm, KSFR, 101.1 FM, Santa Fe Public Radio, airs Through Our Eyes, an IAIA-produced show examining a wide variety of issues relating to the Native American community. Hosted by Eric Davis, IAIA Director of Marketing and Communications, and Chee Brossy (Diné), Alumni and Constituent Relations Manager, the show features conversations with Native American Scholars, Artists, Tribal Leaders, and more. You can listen to the show on the radio or stream it on your computer at KSFR.org. Past shows are podcast on their website, so you can listen any time you'd like at the following link.
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Exhibitions
January 22-July 31, 2016
Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, and Influence
January 22-July 31, 2016
Forward: Eliza Naranjo Morse
August 20, 2015-July 31, 2017
Visions and Visionaries
February 15-July 31, 2016
IAIA Student Filmmaker Showcase
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Happenings
August 18, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
"Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain" Opening Reception
Memorial Day Closure
IAIA Campus and IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
AIHEC Leadership Conference
IAIA Campus (various locations)
Newsletter writer, editor, and contributing photographer: Eric Davis