Exhibitions

The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is the country’s only museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists.

MoCNA is dedicated solely to advancing the scholarship, discourse and interpretation of contemporary Native art for regional, national and international audiences. As such, it stewards the National Collection of Contemporary Native Art, 7,500 artworks in all media created in 1962 or later. MoCNA is at the forefront of contemporary Native art presentation and strives to be flexible, foresighted and risk-taking in its exhibitions and programs. MoCNA is located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Current, upcoming, and past exhibitions are listed on this page.

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Current and upcoming exhibitions at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.

New Impressions: Experiments in Contemporary Native American Printmaking

January 20June 15

Organized by the International Print Center New York, New Impressions: Experiments in Contemporary Native American Printmaking showcases over forty prints by twelve contemporary Native American printmakers. Grounding their work in the images, textures, and experiences that shaped their lives, artists layer old and new, past and present to explore how the attitudes that informed the racial policies and practices of the last centuries continue to resonate in popular culture today. Among the artists are Lynne Allen (Hunkpapa Lakota descent), Rick…

Fred Treas, Crown Dancer, Tempera on board, 30” x 22”, 1964, MoCNA Collection A-78, Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz

Visions and Visionaries

August 20, 2015July 6, 2017

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts’s (MoCNA) new permanent collection gallery highlights the exhibition Visions and Visionaries. Drawing from the strength and diversity of the permanent collection, the works enable us to see IAIA’s history and the world through different eyes, as well as highlight the role of visionaries who forged new paths that we continue to follow. Collections tell particular stories—in this case the development of Native art in the American southwest in the 1960s and its evolution into…

2016 SWAIA’s Indian Market Moving Image Classification X Winners

October 24, 2016February 14, 2017

This film program features SWAIA’s 2016 Indian Market Moving Image Classification X winners. Awards for Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Animation Short, Experimental Short, Music Video, and Youth Winners, recognize dedication and skill in working with new media and innovative art forms while retaining a commitment to traditional creation and technique. Award-winning films will be shown in the Helen Hardin Media Gallery at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA). Total running time of this film program is 56 minutes.…

Athena LaTocha: Inside the Forces of Nature

January 20March 12

This solo exhibition showcases recent drawings and paintings by artist Athena LaTocha (Hunkpapa Lakota and Ojibwe) based on her recent experiences in Santa Fe. Her contemporary landscape paintings focus on the dynamic gesture and atmosphere that recall nature’s powerful forces. LaTocha’s unorthodox approach to the subject ‘landscape’ involves personal memories and the use of unusual tools, techniques, and materials, resulting in intense, haunting images of nature scenes on a monumental scale. Her working method is based on indigenous perceptions of…

Now is the Time: Investigating Native Histories and Visions of the Future

January 27March 16

Recent works by IAIA Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) artists explore current themes and trends in contemporary Native American art, including Indigenous science fiction and visionary Native histories. Several of the works are inspired by Native abstract symbolism of the past and their futuristic aesthetics, while others respond to popular culture and investigate the role of Star Wars™ in American Indian art and culture. Performance art installations question the “art for art’s sake” concept of many past Western art movements, and instead, promote the…

Daniel McCoy: The Ceaseless Quest for Utopia

January 27, 2017January 1, 2018

Daniel McCoy’s art addresses contemporary Native American issues, past triumphs, current disasters, and is inspired by underground comics, album covers, as well as Oklahoma flat style painting. His new mural project for IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) further develops themes and characters of his previous works which are based in Native culture and Americana. The mural will also have an underlying message on environmental issues. McCoy (Muscogee Creek/Citizen Band Potawatomi) was born in Tulsa, OK. He received his…

2017 IAIA BFA Exhibition

April 7May 12

The Institute of America Indian Arts’s 2017 BFA thesis exhibition at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) showcases the diversity of work being created by the artists trained at IAIA. The work of each artist chosen is grounded in ideas of personal, political, social, cultural, and historical import and an earnest exploration of the artists’ chosen media. This combination produces works that present each artist’s unique voice while highlighting some shared concerns. The exhibition is co-curated by IAIA…

Past Exhibitions

A listing of past exhibitions at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.

Excerpt from Moving Mountains

August 19, 2016October 23, 2016

Selected scenes from Moving Mountains (20 minutes), an upcoming feature documentary about The Repellent Fence, a two-mile long ephemeral monument created by Indigenous art collective Postcommodity that spanned the United States and Mexico border for three days in October, 2015. Download and view the .

Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain—A Retrospective Exhibition

August 19, 2016December 31, 2016

Organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, the exhibition represents 40 years of work by the Native American artist. More than 120 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints will be on view in “Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain,” a major retrospective exhibition organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) at the University of Oregon. From Nothing Coyote Creates Himself, 2004Wood, metal, 41 x 84 x 16…

2016 IAIA BFA Exhibition

April 7, 2016May 14, 2016

The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is proud to present the IAIA annual BFA graduating student exhibition. This year’s exhibition celebrates the class of 2015–2016 and showcases a diversity of styles that combine traditional skill with contemporary vision. These artists represent the future of Native art, charting a path for others to follow. Like all BFA exhibitions, there is a wealth of style and media on view. The wide-range of works selected by an esteemed jury include photography,…

IAIA Student Filmmaker Showcase

February 15, 2016July 31, 2016

Now in its third year, IAIA’s Department of Cinematic Arts is encouraging, training, and inspiring a new generation of Native filmmakers by providing them with the tools and a curriculum founded on the principles of meaningful storytelling, technical proficiency, ethical behavior, and a knowledge of cinematic history and concepts. IAIA is taking a leadership role in addressing the critical lack of American Indian representation in film, television and the media by offering a BFA degree in film, and is the…

Lloyd Kiva New: Art

January 22, 2016December 31, 2016

Lloyd Kiva New: Art features nearly thirty paintings by Cherokee artist Lloyd Henri “Kiva” New (1916–2002) completed between 1938–1995. New is best known for fashion design and the development of innovative concepts in cultural based education for Native people. Extravagant handbags, dresses, and modern design are calling cards of New’s art career, but his two-dimensional works are not as well known. The paintings, from his personal collection and rarely shown in a museum or gallery, exemplify how Lloyd “Kiva” New…

A Portrait of Pitseolak by Annie Pootoogook, pencil crayon, ink, Inuit, Cape Dorset (2003/2004)

Akunnittinni: A Kinngait Family Portrait—Pitseolak Ashoona | Napachie Pootoogook | Annie Pootoogook

January 22, 2016December 31, 2016

Loosely translated, the Inuktitut word Akunnittinni means “between us.” This exhibition chronicles a visual dialogue between an Inuk grandmother, mother, and daughter—Pitseolak Ashoona (1904-1983), Napachie Pootoogook (1938-2002), and Annie Pootoogook (1969- ). Their artworks provide a personal and cultural history of three generations of Inuit women whose art practices included autobiographic narratives and have chronicled intimate and sometimes harsh memories and historically resonant moments. The prints and drawings on view also include sardonic references to pop culture that now infuses…

Forward: Eliza Naranjo Morse

January 22, 2016December 31, 2016

Perhaps we yearn to make our lives good and find balance because even when we feel completely challenged there is the unrelenting proof in each of us that we are survivors, that we are the result of our ancestors histories and that eventually we will become ancestors.  This collection of work interprets facets of this thought. About the Artist Eliza Naranjo Morse is Santa Clara Pueblo, and lives in Espanola, New Mexico. Born in 1980, she comes from two large…

Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, and Influence

January 22, 2016July 31, 2016

Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, and Influence celebrates the work of Cherokee artist and educator Lloyd Henri “Kiva” New (1916-2002). This exhibition observes New’s 100th birthday and draws on three major themes of his legacy, each tied to his innovative concepts in Native art and culturally-based education. Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, and Influence includes paintings by New from his personal collection, completed between 1938-1995, many never before shown in a museum or gallery. Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, and…

2015 SWAIA’s Indian Market Moving Image Classification X Winners

October 23, 2015February 14, 2016

This film program features SWAIA’s Indian Market Moving Image Classification X winners. Awards for Animation Short, Documentary Short, Experimental Short, Narrative Short, Music Video, and Youth Short, recognize the artist’s dedication and skill in working with new media and innovative art forms while retaining a commitment to traditional creation and technique. Animated Short How the Bear Got a Short Tail, 2015 (9:30 mins) Director: Elizabeth Day (Leech Lake Ojibwe) Written by Anna Gibbs, produced by Heid E. Erdich for Wiigwaas Press/Birchbark House. Animated…

Meryl McMaster: Wanderings

August 21, 2015December 31, 2015

Meryl McMaster’s work demonstrates a continually evolving exploration of the artist’s own relationship to cultural and familial heritage within the larger framework of historical and contemporary Indigenous identities. As a person with both Indigenous and European familial lineages, McMaster treats identity subjectively, as something that is never complete, always in process, but invariably shaped by both internal and external factors and actions. Wanderings, a new body of photo-based work, represents a new progression in her photo-based practice. While previous bodies…

An Evening Redness in the West

August 21, 2015December 31, 2015

This group exhibition takes the idea of the Apocalypse and reimagines it. The fiction novel by Santa Fe author Cormac McCarthy, The Blood Meridian, which traces the violent journey of a ragtag group of men across the American West and Mexico, inspired the exhibition’s title. The end of the world, implied by the word Apocalypse, also carries with it the promise of a new one. Ornately beaded gas masks, other objects formed from the detritus of a collapsed society, intricate…

Eve-Lauryn LaFountain: Waabanishimo (She Dances Till Daylight)

August 20, 2015December 31, 2015

LaFountain’s work plays in the intersections of photography, film, and sound. In several of her works she creates her own ceremonies in order to understand traditions. She asks: “How do I, a contemporary mixed blood woman, hold onto heritage, learn my tribal language and connect with the ways my ancestors lived? I don’t have buffalo hides to make a tipi, but, as a filmmaker, I do have film. My fire is the flicker of a projector shining through the layers…

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101

August 20, 2015October 20, 2015

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 (63 minutes) chronicles the life of Comanche activist and national civil rights leader LaDonna Harris and the role that she has played in Native and mainstream American history since the 1960s. Harris’s activism began in Oklahoma, fighting segregation and assisting grassroots Native and women’s groups. She continued her work in Washington, D.C., where she helped to introduce landmark programs and legislation including tribal land return claims, improving education and healthcare for Native Americans, ending job discrimination…

War Department: Selections from MoCNA’s Permanent Collection

War Department: Selections from MoCNA’s Permanent Collection

January 24, 2015December 31, 2015

All of the works in this exhibition have something to do with war, but depict very little gore or physical violence. The armed conflicts referenced in these artworks span 500 years, from the Spanish and Pueblo conquest, to World War II, Vietnam, Wounded Knee, the Mohawk and Oka Crisis, and present-day conflicts. This selection of works from the permanent collection examines the nuanced depictions of war and civil unrest in contemporary Native art. We tend to think of war as…

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