The In­dian Arts Re­search Cen­ter celebrates 40 years with a new lec­ture se­ries.

Native American Art - - EVENTS/FAIRS -

The In­dian Arts Re­search Cen­ter celebrates 40 years with a new lec­ture se­ries.


In about 1983, Brian Vallo vis­ited the In­dian Arts Re­search Cen­ter at the School for Ad­vanced Re­search in Santa Fe, New Mex­ico, for the first time. “I was over­whelmed,” he re­calls. His ac­com­pa­nied his grand­mother and his aunt as well as sev­eral pot­ters from Acoma Pue­blo.

To­day IARC is cel­e­brat­ing its 40th an­niver­sary with Vallo as its di­rec­tor. On his first visit he won­dered, “How can all these ob­jects be here in one place?”

The core of IARC’S col­lec­tion is the 4,280 pieces col­lected by mem­bers of the In­dian Arts Fund, a group that had be­gun in 1922 as the Pue­blo Pot­tery Fund. The col­lec­tion now com­prises about 12,000 pieces of pot­tery, tex­tiles, paint­ings, jewelry and bas­kets from the sixth cen­tury to the present day.

When the col­lec­tion was first be­ing as­sem­bled, it was thought that tribal com­mu­ni­ties were dy­ing out and the process of “sal­vage col­lect­ing,” as Vallo puts it, be­gan.

As a re­search cen­ter, IARC has es­tab­lished a set of guide­lines for col­lab­o­ra­tions with tribal com­mu­ni­ties to learn more about the pieces in the col­lec­tions and to repa­tri­ate ob­jects when they are “sig­nif­i­cant to the liv­ing cul­ture of a com­mu­nity.”

The ob­jects in the IARC col­lec­tion are cared for with the high­est mu­seum stan­dards to pre­serve them for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. In one photo from the cen­ter, Vallo con­ducts a review with Acoma pot­ters Pearl Valdo and Dolores Lewis Gar­cia, all of whom wear pro­tec­tive gloves. Gar­cia is the daugh­ter of famed Acoma pot­ter Lucy Lewis who was with Vallo and his grand­mother on his first visit to the col­lec­tion.

The IARC col­lec­tion is com­ple­mented by the 9,000-vol­ume col­lec­tion of books in the Cather­ine Mcel­vain Li­brary at SAR as well as an archival col­lec­tion of papers re­lat­ing to early 20th cen­tury New Mex­ico. SAR’S pro­grams with artists, schol­ars and writ­ers in

res­i­dence as well as in­tern­ships and sem­i­nars.

The an­nual IARC speaker se­ries “fea­tures top­ics about the his­tory and evo­lu­tion of Na­tive Amer­i­can art and the as­so­ci­ated is­sues fac­ing con­tem­po­rary in­dige­nous peo­ple. From ad­vo­cacy and pol­icy to preser­va­tion of lan­guage and tra­di­tional knowl­edge sys­tems, the sig­na­ture se­ries of­fers schol­ars, artists, SAR mem­bers, and the lo­cal com­mu­nity an op­por­tu­nity to learn and en­gage with no­table ex­perts.” The 2018 se­ries is Trail­blaz­ers and Bound­ary Break­ers: Hon­or­ing Women in Na­tive Art.

The se­ries be­gins March 28 with “Na­tive Women in the Arts: His­tory, Fam­ily, Com­mu­nity, and the World,” with speaker Dr. Tessie Naranjo. Naranjo is the sis­ter of Nora Naranjo Morse who will give a key­note pre­sen­ta­tion at the an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion to be held at the Poeh Cul­tural Cen­ter in Po­joaque, June 22. Naranjo Morse will be pre­sented with a life­time achieve­ment award for her ac­com­plish­ments in the arts and her sup­port of the IARC.

On April 4 there will be a panel dis­cus­sion, “Re­cov­er­ing a Women’s Art His­tory: Ed­mo­nia Lewis, An­gel De Cora, and Tonita Peña.” The panel will be mod­er­ated by Amer­ica Mered­ith, artist and founder, First Amer­i­can Art Mag­a­zine. Pan­elists in­clude Dr. Kirsten Pai Buick, pro­fes­sor of art his­tory, Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico; Dr. Sascha Scott, as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor of art his­tory, Syra­cuse Uni­ver­sity; and Yvonne N. Tiger, in­de­pen­dent scholar.

(Peña and her son Joe Her­rera are fea­tured in the ex­hi­bi­tion Gen­er­a­tions in Modern Pue­blo Paint­ing: The Art of Tonita Peña and Joe Her­rera, an ex­hi­bi­tion at the Fred Jones Jr. Mu­seum of Art at the Uni­ver­sity of Ok­la­homa-nor­man, through April 8.)

Artists Lil­lian Pitt and Linda Lom­a­haftewa will sit on panel mod­er­ated by Dr. Deana Dartt, “Fierce Hearts: The Fight for Recog­ni­tion,” on April 11. On April 18 there will be a panel dis­cus­sion, “Of Hopes and Dreams: New Paths, New Gen­er­a­tions,” mod­er­ated by Ja­clyn Roes­sel, founder, Grownup Navajo, with pan­elists Jor­dan Craig, artist; Dr. Jes­sica Met­calfe, owner, Be­yond Buck­skin; and El­iza Naranjo Morse, artist.

The gala cel­e­bra­tion on June 22 “rec­og­nizes the cre­ativ­ity of Na­tive Amer­i­can artist fel­lows, their ac­com­plish­ments, and the last forty years of in­no­va­tive pro­gram­ming.”



1. View of Pres­i­dent’s Gar­den at the SAR Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing. Photo by Ja­son S. Or­daz. 2. Acoma Pue­blo wa­ter jar, 1890-1900. Cat. no. IAF.1427. Photo by Ad­di­son Doty. 3. Vir­gie Big­bee, Tony Dal­las, Ig­na­cia Duran, Laura Fragua-cota, Ar­mond Lara,...

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