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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“Yeah, I think it’s pretty surreal to be sitting here. I don’t feel like I’m that far removed from being a film student myself. I’d say—I mean, if I was going to give advice, just go and make stuff. Live off the McDonald’s dollar value menu for a week to get a short film made. Make stuff, make stuff, make stuff.”—Sydney Freeland (Navajo)

Last fall, Marvel Studios sponsored a private advance screening of Echo for the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) community. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Executive Producer and Director Sydney Freeland (Navajo) who recently served as a mentor in IAIA’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFACW) program, and attended IAIA’s Disney’s Summer Film and Television workshop a decade ago. The IAIA community was among one of the first audiences to see the first two episodes from the five-episode miniseries.

Read the full story at www.iaia.edu/special-screening-of-marvels-echo-for-iaia-students-during-native-american-heritage-month, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, 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 the Director of the MFA Program in Cultural Administration (MFACA), Associate Director of Institutional Advancement, Student Success Advisor, 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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“The duality of this reality is a difficult thing to navigate, but it is after all natural law that says that we would not know what daylight felt like if it weren’t for the night. So, in the mornings when I first wake up, if I’m feeling the heaviness in this world, I tell myself, ‘Get up, start your day, and go find the light, because it’s out there, and this is the time to find it.’”—Amber Morning Star Byars (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) ’18

On Thursday, January 25, the 2024 Spring President’s Convocation and Campus Blessing welcomed new and returning students to the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) campus. The event included a keynote speech by IAIA Alumni Council Vice President Amber Morning Star Byars (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) ’18, who shared a vulnerable, heartfelt speech that resonated with many attendees.

Read the full story at www.iaia.edu/amber-morning-star-byars-gives-keynote-speech-at-2024-spring-iaia-presidents-convocation, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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IAIA Alum Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) ’89 was recently named the 2024 Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) Living Treasure. This award honors Native American artists who have made outstanding artistic contributions to the field of Indigenous arts and culture.

Learn more at www.newmexicoculture.org/release/1619/1, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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The 2023–2024 IAIA BFA Exhibition: Indigenous Presence, Indigenous Futures will be on view at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) from March 1 through June 9, 2024, with a public reception taking place on May 10 from 5–7 pm.

Indigenous Presence, Indigenous Futures, highlights the remarkable creativity of IAIA’s BFA seniors in Studio Arts, Cinematic Arts, and Creative Writing. Indigenous Presence, Indigenous Futures aims to show how these graduating students honor the future as much as the past. As ambassadors, these up-and-coming graduating students carry the legacies of their cultures; as individuals, they offer unique insights; and as teammates, they reflect a collective dream for a brighter tomorrow. Although the community at IAIA is comprised of students from diverse backgrounds, the students’ voices culminate in a compelling message: “The world needs more of what we got to offer.”

Learn more about this exhibition at www.iaia.edu/event/2023-2024-iaia-bfa-exhibition-indigenous-presence-indigenous-futures, link in bio.

Image: Still from BIG, SMALL, SCARED, AT EASE, by Ethan Nopah (Navajo Nation)
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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 Marvel Studios’ private advance screening of Echo for the @instituteofamericanindianarts community, the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts’ (MoCNA) @iaiamocna “Best Art Museum” nomination for USA Today’s 10Best, IAIA student Elysia Escobedo (Kha’P’O Owingeh, Cochiti, and Hopi) winning Dyron Murphy Architects’ art competition with her acrylic painting, “You Can Start Here,” and so much more!

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

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“I came out of IAIA just with my eyes wide open, feeling like the possibilities were endless…”—Tazbah Gaussoin (Picuris Pueblo and Diné) ’15

IAIA Alum Tazbah Gaussoin (Picuris Pueblo and Diné) ’15 exemplifies carrying connections forward through her family experiences, time as a Museum Studies undergrad and a current MFA in Cultural Administration student at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), work with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), and northern Tiwa language studies with Picuris Pueblo.

Read the full Alumni Spotlight at www.iaia.edu/alumni-spotlight-tazbah-gaussoin, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Drop into the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on Tuesday, February 13, 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. Charlene Teters (Spokane) ’86 will be in the A-i-R Studio in the Academic Building, while Holly Wilson (Delaware Nation, Lenape, and Descendent of the Delaware Tribe of Indians) A-i-R ’22 will be in the Sculpture Gallery in the Allan Houser Haozous Sculpture and Foundry 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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Looking for an excuse to visit the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA)? How about free admission on Fridays!

@IAIAMoCNA was selected by the Art Bridges Foundation to receive a $240,000 grant, enabling MoCNA to offer free admission on Fridays to all attendees from January 2023 through December 2026. The grant is part of @ArtBridgesFoundation’s “Access for All” initiative, which aims to increase museum attendance through its $40 million contributions to 64 selected US museums.

At MoCNA, free Sundays are also offered to New Mexico residents with valid IDs. Of course, the museum is always free for Native and Indigenous peoples, children under 16, United States military veterans, and MoCNA members.

Learn more about this exciting grant and plan your visit today at www.iaia.edu/free-fridays-at-the-iaia-museum-of-contemporary-native-arts, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“It gives me freedom to slow down, witness, and react to the world one word at a time. Most importantly, it reminds me that shaping sentences is my own small way of adding beauty and peace to our existence on this planet. It’s easy for an Indigenous woman to feel that her voice is irrelevant. But today, as I look out at Santa Fe’s cold winter sky, I feel humbled by this recognition and grateful that my ancestors’ stories are being heard.”—Deborah Jackson Taffa (Kwatsaán and Laguna Pueblo)

On January 24, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) MFA in Creative Writing Director Deborah Jackson Taffa (Kwatsaán and Laguna Pueblo) is one of 35 writers selected to receive an FY (Fiscal Year) 2024 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000. This year’s fellowships are in fiction and creative nonfiction and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career development. Fellows are selected through an anonymous review process and are judged based on the artistic excellence of the work sample they provided. These fellowships are highly competitive, with more than 2,100 eligible applications received for FY 2024.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/deborah-jackson-taffa-receives-national-endowment-for-the-arts-creative-writing-fellowship, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“Its really gonna broaden my artistic perspective. Not only with the support, but the mentorship aspect of it is, I think, really helpful. You know—having someone else believe in me. I’m ready to represent my people, represent myself, and my community.”—Aiden Deleary (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation)

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is pleased to name Aiden Deleary (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation) as the first recipient of the Chihuly Scholarship, which was announced in Spring 2023 to fund an incoming Indigenous student from the United States or Canada within any full-time undergraduate major at IAIA demonstrating exceptional talent and innovation.

Deleary draws inspiration from his community for his creative pursuits in painting, photography, and music. A fancy dancer and powwow singer, he is deeply rooted in cultural practices, particularly on the powwow trail. In Deleary’s essay for the scholarship application, he asserts that his art “is often inspired by a sense of home, not merely as a physical place, but as a place of timeless existence of people, community, and culture.” He “is driven by the belief that art can make a lasting impact, helping communities and individuals alike.”

IAIA is pleased that the Chihuly Scholarship, underwritten by the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation in memory of IAIA alum and glass artist Tony Jojola, will assist Deleary in carrying his family, community, and cultural connections forward at IAIA and beyond.

Read the full story at www.iaia.edu/iaia-names-aiden-deleary-as-inaugural-recipient-of-chihuly-scholarship, link in bio.
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The application deadline for the MFA in Cultural Administration (MFACA) is fast approaching on Thursday, February 15 at 5 pm (MST).

Focused upon social equity and the support of cultural community growth, this two-year, low-residency master’s program integrates administrative tools and techniques with socially engaged leadership through the blending of organization skills and community outreach programming. The program is comprised of online coursework, summer residencies, and a community-driven thesis project in which the student practices collaborative models of leadership and community support. Students will choose one of two areas of emphasis: either Tribal Museum and Cultural Center Administration, or Arts Administration.

Learn more and apply today at www.iaia.edu/mfaca.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) has been nominated again in USA Today’s @10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards. An expert panel selected @IAIAMoCNA as a contender for Best Art Museum. The @USAToday contest gives voters four weeks to vote for the museum of their choice. Anyone can vote once daily for the entirety of the contest. Voting ends Monday, February 19, and the winners will be announced on Friday, March 1, at 2 pm (MST).

MoCNA is the only Indigenous museum nominated—please show your support of our museum at its mission, “To elevate contemporary Indigenous art through exhibitions, collections, programs, partnerships, and new research”—vote today following the link in our bio!

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Considering a masters degree in studio arts? The IAIA MFA in Studio Arts (MFASA) program is hosting a Virtual Application Workshop via ZOOM on Wednesday, January 31 from 5:30–7 pm (MST).

The MFASA program offers areas of emphasis in Integrated Practice, Studio Arts 2D Practice, and Studio Arts 3D Practice. Our two-year, low-residency curriculum is grounded in Indigenous cultures and reflects the history and challenges of our time.

The application deadline is just around the corner on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Learn more about the application process and have all of your questions answered on Wednesday at the ZOOM link in our bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe, 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, Charlene Teters (Spokane) ’86 and Holly Wilson (Delaware Nation, Lenape, and Descendent of the Delaware Tribe of Indians) A-i-R ’22, on Monday, February 5 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. Teters will be in the A-i-R Studio in the Academic Building, while Wilson will be in the Sculpture Gallery in the Allan Houser Haozous Sculpture and Foundry 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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For Spring 2024, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) will host an exciting lineup of five established and rising Native artists in our Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) Program. Artists joining us this semester are IAIA Professor Emerita and Honorary Doctorate Charlene Teters (Spokane) ’86, Holly Wilson (Delaware Nation, Lenape) A-i-R ’22, Tamara Ann Burgh (Swede and Inupiaq-Kawerak) A-i-R ’21, Brian Walker II (Inupiat and Deg Hit’an) ’20, Jerry Brown (Diné) ’95, and Golga Oscar (Yup’ik) ’20.

Meet these impressive artists at A-i-R welcome dinners and open studios throughout the semester, which are free and open to the public! Visit www.iaia.edu/spring-2024-iaia-artist-in-residence-program (link in bio) for a full list of A-i-R events.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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Join the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) for a public opening of MoCNA’s 2024 Winter Exhibitions, “Inuk Silis Høegh: Arctic Vertigo” and “Womb of the Earth: Cosmovision of the Rainforest.” Held on February 2 from 5–7 pm, MoCNA will also hold a special member-only preview with light hors d’oeuvres from 4–5 pm.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/event/2024-winter-exhibitions-opening-reception, link in bio.

Image: Inuk Silis Høegh, The Green Land, 2011, film installation, 34min. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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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 Integrated Coil Basketry course, a team-taught Indigenous Liberal Studies (ILS) traditional arts colloquia and lab course from last semester at @instituteofamericanindianarts, Free Fridays at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) @iaiamocna thanks to the Art Bridges Foundation, the collection of papers donated by Dr. Nancy Marie Mithlo (Fort Sill Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache Tribe) ’85 which are now housed at IAIA Archives, and so much more!

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

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“And I just owe so much to the college, and what it taught me, and the skills I developed there, and to bring it here, and to have my own students tell me that they want to go to school there in the future and that they know that there [are] tribal colleges and that college is attainable to them through these opportunities.”—Alberta Nells (Navajo Nation) ’14 and ’16

The positive ripple effects of IAIA’s mission is evident in the professional journey of IAIA Alumna Alberta Nells (Navajo Nation) ’14 and ’16, who has brought her knowledge and experiences to her communities, and teaches and advocates for Native children and youth.

Read the full Alumni Spotlight at www.iaia.edu/iaia-alumni-spotlight-alberta-nells-navajo-nation-14-and-16, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“It is just so amazing, because the Institute of American Indian Arts is now the most important educational institution for Native American artists anywhere, and its reputation is still growing—growing up and up.” —IAIA Board of Trustees member JoAnne Balzer

On Wednesday, November 29, 2023, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) affirmed its commitment to its students and connections to the community at large at the groundbreaking ceremony for IAIA’s new Mixed-Use Housing Facility on the IAIA campus, which will include flexible student housing spaces, two integrated studios, common areas, and an office space.

Read the full story at www.iaia.edu/mixed-use-housing-facility-groundbreaking-ceremony, 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) from Monday, January 8 through Friday, January 12, 2024, as the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFACW) program presents an Evening Reading Series featuring program mentors and special guests. Each evening will engage its audience with poetry, memoir, or fiction from some of today’s most vibrant and vital writers. These events will be held both in-person and virtually via livestream.

Check the schedule and presenter bios for additional details at www.iaia.edu/2024-mfacw-january-evening-reading-series, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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“I didn’t think I was capable or smart enough to get a higher education, but IAIA taught me to value myself, to know that I could accomplish what I put my mind to, to chase my dreams.”—Tiffanie Irizarry (Ihanktonwan Dakota, Fort Peck Tribes) ’22 IAIA Valedictorian

We’ve accomplished much this year, yet we can do so much more. Access to higher education remains an obstacle that many Indigenous people still face today. The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is working hard to overcome these obstacles by increasing access and success in higher education for Native people. IAIA offers an education that upholds cultural values, affirms Indigenous identities, and instills skills that help our students achieve their dreams.

Will you join us by making a year-end, tax-deductible gift to support IAIA and our students? Give now at https://give.iaia.edu/give/548989/#!/donation/checkout, link in bio.

Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts
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We are thrilled to announce that the Henry Luce Foundation has awarded the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) a grant for the upcoming exhibition and catalog titled Reclaiming/Transforming Spaces. This exhibition will be the first major investigation of contemporary Indigenous art from Canada and the United States that transforms and reclaims spaces through light, sound, installation, and 2-D art.

The Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program supports innovative museum projects nationwide that advance the role of visual arts of the United States in an open and equitable society and the potential of museums to serve as forums for art-centered conversations that celebrate creativity, explore difference, and seek common ground. The Foundation empowers museums to reconsider accepted histories, foreground the voices and experiences of underrepresented artists and cultures, and welcome diverse communities into dialogue.

Learn more at www.iaia.edu/henry-luce-foundation-awards-grant-to-mocna, link in bio.

Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, Institute of American Indian Arts
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VISIT THE COVID-19 PAGE

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