IAIA Together Apart

Keeping the IAIA community connected

#IAIATogetherApart on Instagram

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The pandemic has brought me much sadness, but also blessings. A couple months ago, my family had lost my aunt to Covid-19. When I first heard the news, I cried so many tears for my aunt. I always hoped she was doing well. It had been many years since I've last seen her. The memories of what she looked like, her voice, and smile echoed in my mind and crumbled my heart. I still really miss her as I am writing this. I deeply wish I can see her and hug her. Just seeing my family has brought me so much comfort, and so is living with my boyfriend. Family has never mattered so much more to me during times like this. All I can believe right now is everything will be okay. #iaiatogetherapart ...

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The following letter is a submission from⁣ #IAIATogetherApart, set 50 years from now. To see more submissions or submit your own, visit togetherapart.iaia.edu.⁣

Pandemic Letter—April 9, 2020, 1:42 pm, Anonymous⁣

Dear Reader,⁣

I am writing from a world in which there is no shortage of grotesque heaps of hurt. Assuming that hasn’t gone away, maybe you’re sick of being pat on the head. Maybe you’re sick of being at the receiving end of that hurt. Maybe you’re sick of having to explain why it hurts, or maybe you’re just sick. I take it you’ve heard of COVID-19. Perhaps you’ve been a witness to your grandparent or great-grandparent ranting and reeling about the effect it had on their lives, or maybe told the same stories by your parents. They were stories about how hard they had to work to keep their jobs, or how hard they had to work to educate their children by themselves with countless additional responsibilities. Maybe your elders would say things about how they needed to feel privileged that they had a job at all—from home or at risk. They needed to be grateful that they were slaves to capitalism at the desires of the rich. Maybe your grandparents were children when coronavirus initially began. Maybe your grandparents couldn’t graduate college or high school that initial year. They remember watching their parents struggle to provide, struggle to ration food, some not knowing where their money was coming from after being “guaranteed” their position, but laid off nonetheless. The other side of the coin could be stories of how they remember their parents going out, living as-is, shopping constantly, not wearing masks, or gloves, or caring. Maybe they remember losing someone—a parent, a friend, a child? Maybe they were isolated alone, or without resources. You didn’t live through it, but this is not the depression, 9/11, or the recession of yore. This is different. So much about this disease was unforeseen. It was merciless, fast, suffocating, and unpredictable.⁣

(Continued in the comments)
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On Saturday, May 4, graduating Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Creative Writing majors held the reading event Toward Our Past and Future Wor(l)ds at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA). Gabriel Schneider (Cherokee Nation), Nelson Sofer, Sareya Taylor (White Mountain Apache Tribe and Navajo), and Laverne Whitebear (Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux and Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation) read selections from their strongest works in creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, and fiction.

Listen to a recording of the reading, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) congratulates the IAIA Master of Fine Arts programs on their remarkable achievements this year. Each program held individual Hooding Ceremonies during Commencement week, and overall, they graduated a total of 40 students at the 2024 IAIA Commencement Ceremony.

Learn more and watch recordings of the events at www.iaia.edu/iaia-master-of-fine-arts-programs-celebrate-commencement-week, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) congratulates the IAIA Master of Fine Arts programs on their remarkable achievements this year. Each program held individual Hooding Ceremonies during Commencement week, and overall, they graduated a total of 40 students at the 2024 IAIA Commencement Ceremony.

Learn more and watch recordings of the events at www.iaia.edu/iaia-master-of-fine-arts-programs-celebrate-commencement-week, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“It means the world to me to be a tribal college graduate, I would not trade my time at Haskell or IAIA for any Ivy League institution,” declared keynote speaker Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) ’08 as a room of nearly 600 attendees erupted into applause at the Institute of American Indian Arts’ (IAIA) 2024 Commencement Ceremony. Held on Saturday, May 11, in the IAIA Performing Arts and Fitness Center gym, excitement and pride surged throughout campus from IAIA community members and the families who traveled from afar to join the festivities. The occasion saw 80 graduates honored—half with a Master of Fine Arts, and half with undergraduate degrees or certificates. Of the 40 master’s degrees, there were 24 MFA in Creative Writing (MFACW) degrees, 8 MFA in Studio Arts (MFASA) degrees, and 8 MFA in Cultural Administration (MFACA) degrees. This year’s celebration marks a first for MFACA, as the two-year program graduated its inaugural cohort—a milestone many years in the making. Additionally, the undergraduate degrees included 29 bachelor’s degrees, 4 associate’s degrees, and 8 certificates.

Read the full recap at www.iaia.edu/2024-iaia-commencement-a-day-of-honor-and-celebration, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Origins, the 2024 Spring Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Graduating Senior Exhibition representing the culminating achievements of the Spring graduating BFA in Studio Arts and BFA in Museum Studies students, opened on Thursday, April 11, in the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery on the IAIA campus. A creative, emotional, and intellectual investigation, Origins featured the work of Jesus Miguel Avena (Mexican-American, Mexica, Mestizo, Chicano), Sara Chama (Pueblo of Laguna), Isabella Cox (Diné), Jaime T. Herrell (Cherokee Nation and European), and Jacob Tyndall (Umóⁿhoⁿ Tribe of Nebraska).

Read the full story and view photos from the opening reception at www.iaia.edu/origins-a-creative-emotional-and-intellectual-investigation, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Our IAIA community is brimming with talent, and the new Community News section on the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) website captures a monthly glimpse of their noteworthy accomplishments. Our students, alums, staff, faculty, trustees, and other IAIA community members are recipients of awards, scholarships, fellowships, grants, and art residencies. They are highlighted by the press and interviewed on television, radio, and podcasts. They have been published and featured in books, anthologies, magazines, and online publications. Our community participates in art markets, fashion shows, exhibitions, readings, film festivals, and screenings. They create moving artwork, perform, give presentations, organize events, write plays, direct films, curate exhibitions, and act in shows. They regularly win ribbons at art markets. Our community members serve as integral parts of cultural institutions, serving on boards, running administration, and fundraising. From designing airplane graphics to being shown in national museums, our community has done it!

Learn more and see what our community is up to at www.iaia.edu/communications/community-news, link in bio. If you would like to be included in the Community News or share information about an IAIA community member, please submit it using the form found on the Community News page.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Please join us for family fun during Family Day at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) on June 2 from 12–3 pm. The day will include a panel discussion with curators and the filmmaker of our current exhibition, Womb of the Earth: Cosmovisions of the Rainforest. Curators Anita Ekman and Cristine Takuá (Maxakali), Indigenous leader and filmmaker Carlos Papa (Guarani Mbya), and moderator Manuela Well-Off-Man will discuss the importance of Brazil’s tropical rainforests, such as the Atlantic Forest, for the cultural and physical survival of Indigenous communities. The event will also have live music and various stations for kids to participate in fun family activities.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/event/2024-family-day-celebrate-your-family-at-mocna, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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On Monday, May 6, 2024, Alvin Sandoval (Diné; 1952–2024), a beloved longtime member of our tight-knit Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) community passed on. “People always leave a memory, a lesson, and vice-versa,” said Sandoval in a 2018 IAIA Chronicle article, “IAIA Shuttle Driver Sees Students Flourish Over the Years,” by Kyle Kootswatewa. His words resonate heavily, as he leaves behind a far-reaching legacy of stories, laughter, and lessons for IAIA Community members past and present.

Sandoval, who retired from IAIA this past March, was a staple for more than 30 years, serving as the Mail Clerk, Facilities and Operations Technician, Facilities Coordinator, and Student Life Transportation Driver. Sandoval contributed to IAIA in profoundly personal ways, lending an ear and exchanging stories and knowledge with students as he whisked them away for grocery runs and doctor visits, and often graciously providing the opening prayer at various campus events. He was fiercely loved by students, faculty, and staff alike, and was honored as the 2022 IAIA Staff Person of the Year—a highly coveted and meaningful award, as it is voted on by the students themselves.

Sandoval’s passing has been felt deeply across campus. The IAIA Powwow Club hosted a Blanket Dance at the 2024 “Honoring Our Graduates” IAIA Spring Powwow in honor of him, raising over $500 toward funeral costs—a small token of appreciation honoring the love and care that Sandoval provided to IAIA students. The following Monday, the IAIA community came together to celebrate the life of Alvin Sandoval with a potluck reception on campus to close out his memorial, where heartfelt words, memories, tears, and even a few good full-belly laughs were shared. We extend our deepest gratitude and condolences to his family and would like to thank them for sharing Alvin with our community for the past 30 years.
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On Friday, May 10, 2024, guests filled @formandconcept’s 10,000-square-foot exhibition space in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) MFASA program held the opening reception for the 2024 thesis exhibition, “We’ve Been Gathering Places.” Now going into its fourth year, this is the second graduating cohort for the IAIA MFA in Studio Arts (MFASA)—a two-year, low-residency program grounded in Indigenous cultures that reflects the history and challenges of our time, and empowers its students to give voice to the Indigenous experience through their art.

Be sure to visit “We’ve Been Gathering Places,” which will remain on view at form & concept through June 15, and a second and final reception will be held on Friday, May 31, 2024, from 5–7 pm. Learn more at www.iaia.edu/experience-weve-been-gathering-places-at-form-concept-by-june-15, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“The progress of the Mixed-Use Housing Facility is on track as per the established schedule. So far, all foundations have been successfully poured, under-slab utilities have been installed and inspected, and the north wing’s slab has been poured, using a substantial 140 yards of concrete—offering insight into the building’s considerable size.”—Larry Mirabal, IAIA Vice President of Operations

Despite facing winter weather challenges, IAIA’s Mixed-Use Housing Facility project remains on schedule, targeting substantial completion by August 1, 2024. Read the full story at www.iaia.edu/mixed-use-housing-facility-and-collections-hvac-projects-moving-forward-in-tandem, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason. S Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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On April 24, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) came together for the 2024 IAIA Staff and Faculty Years of Service Staff Celebration recognizing the invaluable contributions of IAIA staff and faculty who have been instrumental in achieving our mission of empowering creativity and leadership in Indigenous arts and cultures. Their tireless efforts have advanced higher education and enriched our community engagement initiatives, elevating Indigenous arts and cultures globally. Staff and faculty were respectively recognized for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service. The person who has been at IAIA the longest is Grace Nuvayestewa (Hopi), who has supported students in the library for a remarkable 35 years. Longtime Café Bon Appétit staff received a particularly enthusiastic round of cheers for the countless meals they have provided to the IAIA community.

Join us in thanking our staff and faculty in their efforts to support our students, and watch a recording of the event at www.iaia.edu/event/2024-iaia-staff-and-faculty-years-of-service-staff-celebration, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is looking to hire driven individuals who support IAIA’s mission—to empower creativity and leadership in Indigenous arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and community engagement.

Available openings include Academics Game and Virtual Environments Assistant Professor, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Collection Registrar, MFA in Cultural Administration Director, various positions in the Advancement and Student Services departments, and more. Learn more about careers at IAIA and the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) and apply at www.iaia.edu/about/employment, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason. S Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“Academia was not a safe space. It was always like, there’s a reason why they call it discipline. I very much felt that way throughout school. But here, there was a different kind of approach where the faculty, my peers, other people—it wasn’t just like we were talking about the things that we were putting on the page. I felt like we were also, in a lot of ways, opening up our hearts to one another.”—Joelle Estelle Mendoza (Chicana, of Diné and Mescalero Apache descent) ’23 and ’24

For IAIA MFA in Creative Writing (MFACW) Alum Joelle Estelle Mendoza (Chicana, of Diné and Mescalero Apache descent) ’23 and ’24, the MFACW program has been a place where deep, critical questions can be asked, identity can be explored, and cultures can be shared, all grounded by Indigenous-centered perspectives in immersive connection with others, where fundamental experiences as Indigenous people do not have to be explained.

Read the full Alumni Spotlight at www.iaia.edu/alumni-spotlight-joelle-estelle-mendoza, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Are you signed up for the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) monthly newsletter?

Opt in now and be the first to hear about recent news and past, current, and upcoming happenings like the @instituteofamericanindianarts’ new tagline reflecting the essence and aspirations of the university, the upcoming ArtWalk outdoor arts and crafts market at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) @iaiamocna, the Years in Service Celebration recognizing 60 Staff and Faculty members for their dedication to IAIA, and so much more!

Follow the link in our bio to view the May 2024 newsletter and join the mailing list.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Art enthusiasts and locals alike are in for a treat as the upcoming ArtWalk Santa Fe will take place at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) on Saturday, May 18, from 11 am–4 pm in the Allan Houser Art Park. The second ArtWalk of the year will feature 25 talented local and Indigenous artists and creators, along with live music by DJ Garronteed (Diné and Walatowa). MoCNA will provide visitors with an opportunity to experience the current exhibitions The Stories We Carry, Inuk Silis Høegh: Arctic Vertigo, and Womb of the Earth: Cosmovision of the Rainforest free of charge.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/event/2024-artwalk-santa-fe-at-mocna, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) congratulates the class of 2024! Join us this Saturday, May 11, as we honor our graduates at the 2024 IAIA Commencement Ceremony at 10 am (MDT) in the Performing Arts and Fitness Center on the IAIA campus, followed by the 2024 “Honoring Our Graduates” IAIA Spring Powwow at 1 pm in the Dance Circle at the center of campus.

This year’s Commencement program will feature keynote speaker Dyani White Hawk (Sičangu Lakota) ’08, who has been selected to give the commencement address and will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree during the ceremony. The 2024 Commencement Ceremony will also include speeches from the class Valedictorian DeMar C. Galloway (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes), IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation), and IAIA Board of Trustees Chair Beverly Wright Morris (Aleut), among other speakers.

Both events are free and open to the public, and the Commencement Ceremony will be livestreamed on our website and official Facebook page. Learn more and tune into the livestream at www.iaia.edu/event/2024-iaia-commencement-ceremony, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Drop into the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on Tuesday, May 7, 3–5 pm for IAIA Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) studio visits, where you will discover more about the artists’ processes, techniques, tools, ideas, and cultural influences. Jerry Brown (Diné) ’95 and Golga Oscar (Yup’ik) ’20 will be in the A-i-R Studio in the Academic Building. Free and open to the public.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/spring-2024-iaia-artist-in-residence-program, link in bio.
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Celebrate in May with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)! As the 2023–2024 academic year comes to a close, the IAIA Community honors art and education with an exciting lineup of events.

May Events:

• 2024 IAIA Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, May 11, 10 am–12 pm | IAIA Campus

• 2024 “Honoring Our Graduates” IAIA Spring Powwow
Saturday, May 11, 1–5 pm | IAIA Campus

• Virtual Artist Talk & Studio Visit with Inuk Silis Høegh
Wednesday, May 1, 1 pm | Virtual Event

• IAIA Large Puppet Lantern Procession
Thursday, May 2, 8:15–9 pm | IAIA Campus

• Toward Our Past and Future Wor(l)ds—Readings by Graduating Creative Writing Majors
Saturday, May 4, 2–4 pm | IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

• IAIA A-i-R: Brown and Oscar—Open Studios
Tuesday, May 7, 3–5 pm | IAIA Campus

• IAIA Twelfth Annual Student Filmmaker Showcase
Wednesday, May 8, 6:30–8:30 pm | Violet Crown Cinema

• 2024 IAIA MFACW Hooding Ceremony
Thursday, May 9, 5:30–6:30 pm | IAIA Campus

• 2023–2024 IAIA BFA Exhibition: Indigenous Presence, Indigenous Futures—Reception
Friday, May 10, 5–7 pm | IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

• 2024 IAIA MFA in Studio Arts Thesis Exhibition: We’ve Been Gathering Places—Opening Reception
Friday, May 10, 5–7 pm | form & concept

• ArtWalk Santa Fe
Saturday, May 18, 11 am–4 pm | IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Visit www.iaia.edu/celebrate2024 (link in bio) for more information about each event.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Join the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on Saturday, May 11, 1–5 pm for the 2024 “Honoring Our Graduates” IAIA Spring Powwow, immediately following the 2024 IAIA Commencement Ceremony. With the energy and spirit of the dancers and drum groups, IAIA Powwows are a vibrant display of our Tribal cultures—embodying the IAIA community’s resilience.

This free outdoor event is open to the public, and Grand Entry begins at 1 pm in the IAIA Dance Circle at the center of campus. The IAIA Community will provide food, drinks, and art sales. Visitors may bring their own lawn chairs, and umbrellas and canopies are allowed in available open spaces.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/powwow, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Join the the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) as we welcome our newly arrived IAIA Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) artists, Jerry Brown (Diné) ’95 and Golga Oscar (Yup’ik) ’20, on Monday, April 22 for dinner and a chance to experience their artistic processes firsthand. Dinner is served from 5–6 pm, and a visit with the artists in their studios is from 6–7 pm. Brown and Oscar will be in the A-i-R Studio in the Academic Building. Free and open to the public.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/spring-2024-iaia-artist-in-residence-program, link in bio.
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Join the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Land-Grant Department for the IAIA Land Healing and Restoration Celebration. Taking place on the IAIA campus on Friday, April 19 from 9 am–4 pm and Saturday, April 20 from 9 am–2 pm, activities include presentations from renowned land, water, seed, and food stewards, hands-on activity stations on ancestral water catchment practices, seeds, pollinators, and traditional ecological knowledge approaches for soil conservation and habitat regeneration, tree planting, and more! Join us in honor of the land as we collaborate in community to share, learn, and grow. The event will feature live music including New Mexico’s own Indigenous reggae band, INNASTATE, and cool swag, food, and friendship.

This all-ages event is free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to come both days or just one, however, to better gauge numbers for food and swag, attendees are asked to please RSVP. Learn more and RSVP at www.iaia.edu/event/iaia-land-healing-and-restoration-celebration, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Join the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) today, Thursday, April 11, 5:30–7:30 pm at the opening reception for “Origins,” the 2024 Spring IAIA Graduating Senior Exhibition representing the culminating achievements of the Spring graduating BFA in Studio Arts and BFA in Museum Studies students. “Origins” will be on view at the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery from April 11 through May 10, 2024, featuring both conceptually and traditionally informed bodies of work and research developed during the student’s final semester of study and academic experiences.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/event/2024-spring-iaia-graduating-senior-exhibition-origins-opening-reception.
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The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Communications Department is pleased to announce the release of Connections, a quarterly print magazine highlighting stories from the IAIA community. Connections builds upon the IAIA email newsletter, presenting articles from January–March (Winter), April–June (Spring), July–September (Summer), and October–December (Fall).

Read about our legacy of renowned artists, intellectual luminaries, critically acclaimed poets, celebrated authors, visionary scholars, civil rights changemakers, esteemed museum professionals, innovative educators, and influential cultural leaders carrying connections forward and shaping future generations.

You can download and view the Connections 2024 Winter issue at www.iaia.edu/connections-iaias-new-quarterly-publication, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Join the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on Thursday, April 11, 5:30–7:30 pm at the opening reception for “Origins,” the 2024 Spring IAIA Graduating Senior Exhibition representing the culminating achievements of the Spring graduating BFA in Studio Arts and BFA in Museum Studies students. “Origins” will be on view at the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery from April 11 through May 10, 2024, featuring both conceptually and traditionally informed bodies of work and research developed during the student’s final semester of study and academic experiences.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/event/2024-spring-iaia-graduating-senior-exhibition-origins-opening-reception.
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“We are honored that USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice recognizes the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) as the ninth Best Art Museum in the USA. The acknowledgment is not about competition but about recognition of dedicated and committed staff who elevate contemporary Indigenous arts in all we do.”—IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Director Patsy Phillips (Cherokee Nation)

For the fourth year in a row, the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) has made the list for the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Art Museum in the United States. A panel of experts was selected by USA TODAY and partnered with 10Best editors—together, they selected the top twenty nominees, and the top ten were determined by popular vote.

We thank everyone who believes in MoCNA’s mission “to elevate contemporary Indigenous art through exhibitions, collections, programs, partnerships, and new research” and took the time to cast a vote for us.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/2024-iaia-museum-of-contemporary-native-arts-selected-as-no-9-museum-by-usa-today, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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VISIT THE COVID-19 PAGE

View the COVID-19 resource page on the IAIA website.