Message from Mary -

At MNA we look at the land through many lenses. Some are literal lenses - microscopes, binoculars, and telescopes. Many are figurative - mapping data to reveal an otherwise unseen pattern or reconstructing a place in time from remnants that remain.

Art can be another lens to bring the world into focus. The Great Unknown: Artists at Glen Canyon and Lake Powell opens in May, exploring that area through the artistic lens of the photographer. The starting point is Eliot Porter's striking, nearly abstracted images. Porter's book The Place No One Knew established the genre of photobooks for environmental causes. Among the other works in the exhibition are the black and white photos by Martin Stupich, where the dam itself dominates the frame, as well as more recent images by Peter Goin that bring attention to what the receding waters of Lake Powell reveal. The Great Unknown has been drawn from an exhibition of the same name previously on show at the New Mexico Museum of Art, and curated by Katherine Ware, MoA's Curator of Photography.

Museum members will get the first viewing of this new exhibition on May 6, at a special evening event. If you are not yet a member of the museum, now is a great time to join. Your support helps MNA present exhibitions like this, and create the many programs planned for this summer.

I hope to see you soon at the museum,

Mary Kershaw
Executive Director & CEO
Museum of Northern Arizona
Meet new MNA staff
The museum offices are full of people and activity again, and some of the faces are new. Maggie Twomey brings 12 years of event coordination to her position planning development events and Ventures trips. Maggie has lived in Flagstaff since 2005, but the new development associate, Katherine Fye, is fairly new to town. Come welcome them both to the museum at the first Thirsty Thursday on May 26.
Springs Stewardship Institute takes off
The Springs Stewardship Institute (SSI) has spread its wings to become an independent, globally focused institution, prompting a move from the museum campus into offices in downtown Flagstaff. Started at MNA in 2013 by Dr. Larry Stevens and Jeri Ledbetter, SSI now works with hundreds of colleagues in dozens of countries and manages a database containing 160,000 springs, primarily in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. SSI also just completed a global review of the conservation status of springs around the world, which will be published this year. Learn more about SSI here.
Grand Canyon: A stream of jewels
May 9, 3 pm via Facebook Live
Grand Canyon contains more than a thousand springs and at least 50 springbrooks that are among the few pristine perennial streams remaining in the Southwest. In this talk Dr. Larry Stevens, MNA’s Curator of Biology will explore springs hydrology and ecology, stream processes, and the biodiversity of this verdant drainage network in the Canyon. Past Grand Canyon talks are found on the YouTube.
Spring Plant Sale
May 21, 10 am - 2 pm at the Colton Garden
This event will be a one-stop shop for local plant starts and information about how to garden in Flagstaff. The Coconino Community Master Gardeners are working with MNA to hold their plant sale at our Colton Garden and Discovery Village. Besides plant starts and seeds for purchase, there will be garden talks, garden tool repairs and sharpening, kids activities, a bakesale supporting Northland Hospice, and the Dog House food truck.
Celebrating the voices of Navajo Women
May 21, 2-3 pm in person in the museum
Meet some of the women featured in the new book, “Voices of Navajo Mothers and Daughters: Portraits of Beauty,” and hear their stories. These compelling, multi-generational oral histories were collected by Kathy Eckles Hooker, and provide insights into the experiences of the Diné women, including the coming-of-age ceremony (kinaaldá), boarding schools and education, and sheep and wool-weaving.
Thirsty Thursday: Tha Yoties
May 26, 5 - 8 pm
General admission $15, $8 for MNA members
Tha 'Yoties will rock the MNA courtyard again! Led by Ed Kabotie, Tha 'Yoties are a reggae/rock/ska band known for their blend of lively performance, catchy melodies, and conscious message, which they call 'IrieZona Reggae-Rock'. Mark your calendars for upcoming Thirsty Thursdays featuring other local bands on June 23, July 28, and August 25.
Bursting with color, this retrospective exhibit presents the full spectrum of art by Baje Whitethorne Sr., a visual storyteller acclaimed for his colorful paintings full of life and energy. Born and raised on the Navajo Reservation, his art often depicts the landscape around his family home near Shonto and the harmony of the Navajo way of life. 
Opens May 7; Private viewing for MNA Members on May 6
For hundreds of years people have responded to the beauty of Glen Canyon by creating beauty of their own. This exhibition presents an artistic narrative crafted around human responses to the natural world, focusing on the twenty-first-century photographers who visited the canyon and lake to assess it as the dammed waters rose, then fell again due to drought.
These tracks were discovered in November 2020 at a construction site just a couple miles down the road from the museum. The prints are preserved in red sandstone from the Moenkopi Formation, which is estimated to be early to middle Triassic in age (252 to 235 million years). Now they are on view in the Jaime Major Golightly Courtyard.
MNA Discovery Camps
Dates July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29
(Camps for ages 5-8 are full)
You'll wish these camps were for adults. From creating art in the landscape to learning about plants, culture, and science while cooking (and eating) delicious foods, Discovery Camps are experiences your child These camps fill fast so sign up soon. Find details and links to register your child at
Family Fridays: How a museum works
May 6 at 2:30 pm on Facebook
This Friday we celebrate International Museum Day (which is May 18) by taking a tour into the Easton Collection Center to learn how objects and art are preserved, why objects are frozen before they are stored, how light can damage objects. Past Family Friday programs are found in the Family Friday playlist on the MNA YouTube channel. These programs are supported by APS.
Classes for adults at MNA's Discovery Village
Pick up a new skill, from painting to pottery.
Nature Sketching, Sundays, 1:30-3:30 pm, email Liz Blaker to register
Beginning Watercolor, Thursdays and Saturdays, email Lisa Lee Pearce to register
Landscape Painting, Tuesdays 9 am - noon, email Deborah Mechigian to register
Ceramics, email Chas Frisco to register
Full-time, part-time, and internship positions open
Whether you are an experienced collections professional looking for a new challenge or a student seeking to gain skills, the museum has several positions open now and more opening soon. These are great opportunities to join a lively, dedicated team and be part of the renaissance of this venerable and forward-looking museum.
Share your writing
In the two newest exhibitions at MNA, artists bring attention to places that matter to them through painting and photographs. Baje Whitethorne Sr. also wrote short poems to go with his paintings. We invite you to write something too, either inspired by the exhibitions, or by the places they depict. Send your poems or short essays to and you may be invited to read in the gallery at an upcoming Thirsty Thursday.
The triangular indentations around this redware pot are a distinctive pattern seen on pottery by Hopi-Tewa artist Garnet Pavatea (1915-1981). Garnet began making pottery in the 1940s and frequently demonstrated for visitors at the Museum of Northern Arizona. She created the corrugated design by pressing the end of a key style can opener into the clay. Find more pottery, as well as jewelry, baskets, and books at the Museum Giftshop, where every purchase supports MNA and the artists.
Select Museum of Northern Arizona to support MNA with every purchase when you buy through Amazonsmile.