NEWS RELEASE                     

For Immediate Release 



  Eric Davis, Marketing & Communications Director

                505.424.2351, or 


Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) 
to Award Honorary Degree to Alumnus
George Rivera
at 2018

Ceremony to take place Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 11:00 am
SANTA FE, N.M. - April 5, 2018 - IAIA will award an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree to noted artist and IAIA Alumnus George Rivera (Pojoaque Pueblo), AFA '84, during their Commencement Ceremony at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  The ceremony will be held in the Dance Circle on the IAIA Campus, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, on the South Side of Santa Fe -- just minutes from the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue.  For a map and direction to the campus, please click hereThe public is welcome to attend. A luncheon will follow.
George Rivera, former Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque in northern New Mexico is a man of many talents. He has served his Pueblo since 1992 as Lt. Governor and was appointed and soon elected Governor upon the passing of former longtime Governor Jacob Viarrial.

George is also a noted artist and has been sculpting and teaching art for over 20 years. His works centers primarily on monumental stone and bronze sculpture, painting, architectural design. The driving force behind all of his creations is the Native American Pueblo culture. George's artwork reflects the symbolism and realism of both the past and present-day life of the pueblo people. Many of his works focus on pueblo dancers. One of his recent pieces, on permanent display in the Pueblo of Pojoaque, is a 12-ton monumental sculpture of a buffalo, carved from Virginia soapstone. For Rivera, the buffalo is a symbol of stability for his tribe, both culturally and economically. His newest monumental creations, on display at the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino, include a bronze Buffalo Dancer, Deer Dancer, and Butterfly Dancer. George is responsible for the architectural style and aesthetics of the resort.

George Rivera

IAIA Academic Dean Charlene Teters  (Spokane) commented that "George played a pivotal role within his pueblo community using the arts for self-empowerment and leadership. I am really proud of his accomplishments, he is a valued member of our IAIA community."

IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee) remarked "George is an IAIA alumnus who has achieved remarkable success as an internationally renowned artist and tribal leader who has vigorously promoted and supported cultural and language preservation."

Previous recipients of the IAIA Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree have included notable persons such as Dan Namingha (Hopi-Tewa), Kevin Red Star  (Crow), Suzan Harjo  (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee), James Luna  (LuiseƱo), N. Scott Momaday  (Kiowa), Tony Abeyta  (Navajo), Dave Warren  (Santa Clara), David Bradley  (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe), and Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw).

T o stream the IAIA Commencement Ceremony on-line, please visit  
on the morning of commencement.

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Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, and Museum Studies -- a minor in Performing Arts -- an MFA in Creative Writing -- along with certificates in Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History -- IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school serves 517 full time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe.  IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission -- and is the only college in New Mexico accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. 

About IAIA -- For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through the IAIA Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures -- and committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at

The Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  To make a donation on-line, please click here -- or call toll free: 1.800.804.6423.