The Virtual Coe Being together while being apart....
September 18, 2020
Collection Spotlight
is back!

Our next Collections Spotlight event is Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at 3 pm MDT with Melissa Shaginoff entitled Dene (Athabascan) Art in Materials, Potlatch, and Collection.

Melissa Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay'dini'aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village, Alaska). She is an Ahtna and Paiute person, an artist, a social activist, and currently the curator of Alaska Pacific University's Art Galleries. Her work is shaped by the structure and processes of the Dene potlatch. In 2021 Melissa will participate in two international residencies in Canada and Sweden to explore conversation as artistic practice.

Collections Spotlight, a program developed in partnership with First American Art Magazine, is a free interactive, online discussion that brings together the public, scholars, and Native artists who select artworks from the Coe's collection to interpret and discuss.

This event is free.
To register, click here.

Baby is safe and close-by...

This fully beaded Gwich’in type of baby strap or carrying belt was made in the late 1980s. Devices for carrying babies are known worldwide. While there are a wide variety of forms, as parents, we strive for ergonomic comfort. Carrying our child frees up our hands so we can take care of other business and know our baby is safe and close-by. For the child, it means a privileged perch from which to observe and learn from their surroundings.

Ted bought this strap directly from its maker while on a visit to Gwich'in territory. His story about this experience perfectly captures how and why he loved to collect works from artists themselves. He explains, I was told the best way to meet traditional artists was to wait the next morning for the senior citizen's luncheon program bus to come by, to get on, and to have a $.50 lunch.

At the appointed hour, I waited out in front of the B&B, and several times I was vouchsafed a glimpse of a small bus meandering in and amongst the trees going from log house to log house. Finally, it pulled up to me, and I got on. The driver asked who I was, and I told him. He then asked where I came from. Upon hearing that I came from New Mexico, he swung around in his seat and said, "This is Ted Coe from New Mexico. He has a very long walk home this afternoon...

To learn more about this piece and read the rest of Ted's story, click here.
Margaret John (Gwichyaa Gwich'in, Fort Yukon, Alaska), Baby Carrying Belt, 1988-90.
Animal hide, beads, and yarn, 46 x 13 in. NA0486b
Hands-On student website is live!

If you haven't had a chance to visit and explore the student created 2020 Hands-On Curator's online exhibition (I'm Nostalgic For) Memories I've Never Lived Before, we encourage you to take some time diving into the incredible experience.

This project is the culmination of nearly a year of collaborative efforts by our student curators through the Coe Center's Hands-On Curatorial Program. It perfectly captures not only their own creative vision, but much of our collective experiences in the face of a world dominated by COVID-19.

If you know a teenager who might be interested in joining the next virtual Hands-On Student Curatorial Program starting soon, please reach out to Bess Murphy ( or 505-983-6372) for more information.
Veronica Silva, Time Shift, digital photo collage (New media), 2020.

The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts is a private operating 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of the Internal Revenue Code. Please donate online or mail checks to the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, 1590 B Pacheco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Your support creates connection. Thank you.

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