Making History: Celebrating 60 Years of IAIA and 50 Years of MoCNA
View the list of Happenings.
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), the birthplace of contemporary Native American art, has been the educational home for esteemed, innovative artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, and leaders since 1962. At the start of its humble beginnings on the Santa Fe Indian School campus, IAIA began collecting and exhibiting student artworks, a collection that soon became the world’s premier collection of contemporary Indigenous art—the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA).
Today, IAIA continues to grow on its stunning 140-acre campus, offering more and more certificate, undergraduate degree, and graduate degree programs, and MoCNA continues to expand its renowned collection of over 9,000 artworks, curating numerous progressive and innovative exhibitions, both traveling and at MoCNA’s location in downtown Santa Fe. This year, as we remember our rich history and look to our vibrant future, we ask everyone to join us in celebrating IAIA’s sixtieth anniversary and MoCNA’s semicentennial. The celebration of this monumental 60/50 anniversary will encompass the theme Making History and will be a prominent part of all IAIA and MoCNA events in 2022. Additionally, we have designed a commemorative 60/50 Anniversary logo, which will be displayed throughout the year.
Established in 1962 under the leadership of Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee), Dr. George Boyce, and others, IAIA embodied a bold and innovative approach to arts education that was revolutionary for the time. Now, sixty years later, IAIA continues to fill a vital role as the only fine arts college in the world dedicated to the study of contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. Its culturally based curricula, innovative teaching, critical inquiry, and intergenerational learning inspire students and prepare them for success and leadership that reflects Native cultures and values. As a 1994 Land-Grant institution, IAIA provides training and outreach that promotes tribal sovereignty and self-determination.
Over the past six decades, IAIA’s influence on the art world has been monumental. “With the start of the Institute of American Indian Arts, students were encouraged to experiment,” says IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation). “The boundaries were limitless. Our students were taught to develop their artistic style without being bound by tradition or history.” According to Dr. Martin, what makes IAIA such a great institution is its student body who enrich the campus community with their diversity, creativity, talents, and passion. “What I’ve admired most during my tenure here is observing the evolution of our students’ creativity and the ways in which they learn to take risks and manifest other leadership qualities while advancing their artistic expression.”
MoCNA, established in 1972 to showcase Indigenous creativity and to facilitate, advance, and support the study of museum practices, is the country’s only museum for exhibiting, collecting, and interpreting the most progressive works of contemporary Indigenous artists. MoCNA is dedicated solely to advancing the scholarship, discourse, and interpretation of contemporary Indigenous art for regional, national, and international audiences. It offers a unique perspective of Indigenous cultures and is a catalyst for intercultural dialogue, contributing profoundly to the dissemination and expansion of discourses related to the contemporary visual arts field by cultivating knowledge and appreciation advanced through dynamic exhibitions, publications, and engaging educational programs that reflect the vibrancy of contemporary Native art. While it began as a collection of student work, over the past half century, MoCNA has evolved to represent a wide range of contemporary arts from the best Indigenous artists in the world, explains IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Director Patsy Phillips (Cherokee Nation). “Many artists, scholars, and administrators both Native and non-Native have contributed to the museum’s success over the past five decades,” Phillips says. “In my fourteenth year as Director, I am proud of the staff’s continued commitment to elevate contemporary Indigenous art through exhibitions, collections, programs, partnerships, and new research.”
In 2022, when you join IAIA or MoCNA for any public event, be it the IAIA Commencement, IAIA Scholarship Event and Auction, MoCNA Opening Reception for Summer Exhibitions, IAIA’s Annual Open House, or any other exhibition or event, you will also be joining us in celebrating our 60/50 Anniversary—Making History.
Making History Happenings
Here are a few of the events that we have planned during our anniversary year.
- January 19, 2–3 pm: Unsettling the Landscape: Panel Discussion Moderated by RCCNA Mellon Scholar Kendra Greendeer (Zoom)
- January 26, 1–2 pm: IAIA A-i-R: Hudson and Hope—Virtual Studio Tour (IAIA Campus, Academic Building)
- March 9, 5 pm: IAIA A-i-R: Feddersen, Benally, and Fragua—Welcome Reception (IAIA Campus, Academic Building)
- March 11, 5–7 pm: John Well-Off-Man: Rhythm and Lines—Opening Reception (Museum Store)
- March 11, 5–7 pm: IAIA 2021–2022 BFA Exhibition: Awakened Dreamscapes—Opening Reception (Museum)
- March 23, 12–1 pm: Indigenizing Love: Supporting our LGBTQIA Community (IAIA Campus, Gym)
- March 25: MoCNA Panel Discussion with IAIA Senior Graduating Artists (Museum)
- March 25, 11 am–4 pm: Community Mural Painting with Solomon Enos (Museum)
- April 15, 6–8 pm: Crossing the Realm—IAIA 2022 Spring Graduating Senior Exhibition—Opening Reception (IAIA Campus, Balzer Gallery)
- April 15–May 13: Crossing the Realm—IAIA 2022 Spring Graduating Senior Exhibition (IAIA Campus, Balzer Gallery)
- April 18, 5–6:30 pm: IAIA A-i-R: Adams, Fragua, and Rutherford—Dinner and Studio Tour (IAIA Campus, Academic Building)
- April 22–24: Earth Day Screening—Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives on Restoring Our World (Museum)
- April 26, 2–3 pm: Anthology: Burn to Emerge Reading (IAIA Campus, CLE Commons)
- April 27, 12–1 pm: IAIA Alumni Voices Series (Livestream)
- May 6–7, 6–8 pm: Performing Arts Presents Sneaky Play
- May 12, 6:30–8:30 pm: Cinematic Arts & Technology Student Filmmaker Showcase (Jean Cocteau Cinema)
- May 12, 5–7 pm: IAIA and the Jane Goodall Institute Partnership Launch Event (Livestream)
- May 14, 10–12 pm: IAIA Commencement (IAIA Campus, Gym)
- May 14, 12–4 pm: IAIA Graduation Powwow (IAIA Campus, Dance Circle)
- May 18: Museum Day (Museum)
- June 25, 12–4 pm: ArtWalk Santa Fe (Museum)
- July 18, 20, and 22, various times: MFASA Public Talks (Livestream)
- July 22, 5–7 pm: IAIA MFASA Exhibition (IAIA Campus, Balzer Gallery)
- August 15, 6–8 pm: Santa Fe Plaza Concert Series’ Indigenous Showcase
- August 17, 5:30–9 pm: IAIA Scholarship Event and Auction (La Fonda on the Plaza)
- August 19, 12–1:30 pm: IAIA Alumni Luncheon (Museum, Art Park)
- August 19, 5–7 pm: MoCNA Summer Exhibitions Art of Indigenous Fashion, Athena LaTocha: Mesabi Redux, and Matrilineal: Legacies of Our Mothers—Opening Reception (Museum)
- August 19, 5:30–5:45 pm: Art Performance by Jason Baerg (Museum)
- August 19–21: Pop-Up Shop with Jontay Kahm (Museum Store)
- August 20, 9–10 am: Matrilineal: A Fife Family Discussion (Museum, Art Park)
- August 20, 10–11 am: Gallery Tour with Matrilineal Guest Curator Laura Clark (Museum, North Gallery)
- August 20, 10 am–1 pm: Childrens’ Craft Event and Book Signing with IAIA Faculty Neecy Twinem (Museum, South Courtyard)
- August 20, 11 am–12:30 pm: Making History Premiere and Panel Discussion (Museum, Helen Hardin Media Gallery)
- August 20, 1:30–3 pm: Reading and Book Signing with Author and Alum Ramona Emerson for Shutter (Museum Store)
- August 20, 2:30–5 pm: Words of the People and Abalone Mountain Press Present: Yoo’tó “Beaded Water” Reading (Museum, Art Park)
- August 20–21, 8 am–5 pm: IAIA Student and Recent Graduate Art Market (Museum, Portale)
- August 21, 10 am–5 pm: CloudFace Live Painting, All Chola Pop-Up Shop, and Wiyaka Pop-Up Shop (Museum Store)
- August 21, 10:30 am–12 pm: Reading and Book Signing with Author and Alum T’cha-Mi’iko Cosgrove (Museum Store)
- August 21, 1–2:30 pm: Reading and Book Signing with Author Brian Lush (Museum Store)
- August 31, 6:30–8 pm: Talk with Author Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer (IAIA Campus, Gym)
- September 7, 5–6:30 pm: Art Rush Opening Reception (IAIA Campus, Balzer Gallery)
- September 21, 5–6:30: Fall 2022 Museum Studies Exhibition—Opening Reception (IAIA Campus, Balzer Gallery)
- September 21, 1–6 pm: IAIA Open House (IAIA Campus)
- October 10: IAIA and MoCNA Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration (IAIA Campus and Museum)
- October 16–17: IAIA Symposium on IAIA’s History (IAIA Campus)
- November 4, 6–8 pm: IAIA Fall Senior Graduating Exhibition (IAIA Campus, Balzer Gallery)
- December 10, 9 am–4 pm: IAIA Holiday Art Market
*Date tentative and to be determined.
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only college in the world dedicated to the study of contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. IAIA offers undergraduate degrees in Cinematic Arts and Technology, Creative Writing, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, Performing Arts, and Studio Arts; graduate degrees in Creative Writing and Studio Arts; and certificates in Broadcast Journalism, Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History. The college serves approximately 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American students from around the globe, representing nearly a hundred federally recognized tribes. Named one of the top art institutions by UNESCO and the International Association of Art, IAIA is among the leading art institutes in our nation and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
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 over 10,000 Contemporary Indigenous artworks (created 1962 to present). 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.
Institute of American Indian Arts
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Current and Upcoming MoCNA Exhibitions
A listing of current and upcoming exhibitions at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA).
List of Events
Experimental exPRESSion: Printmaking at IAIA, 1963–1980 features fifty-one recently-acquired works on paper from the Tubis Print Collection.
Athena LaTocha (Lakota and Ojibwe) created the works in her Mesabi series on-site at iron deposits in the Mesabi Mountain Range of northern Minnesota, which is known to the local Ojibwe as Misaabe-wajiw.”
Matrilineal: Legacies of Our Mothers presents the art of three generations of Mvskoke (Creek) mothers and daughters.
The Art of Indigenous Fashion offers insights into the approaches and perspectives of Indigenous designers beyond the visual and material qualities of their work.
Guest curated by IAIA Assistant Professor Brian Fleetwood (Mvskoke Creek), The Stories We Carry features contemporary jewelry, created by more than 100 Indigenous artists, from MoCNA’s permanent collection.