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Renovation Nears Completion on the IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts

May 8, 2023

Space to view art from the collection, space to research archival material, space for the community to learn, and space to listen to stories. The IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA) renovation project, slated to be completed in late summer of this year, offers a suite of six new learning environments covering 7,000 square feet, including the archives storage and work rooms, collections library classroom, distance learning classroom, student lounge, and storytelling room. Adding further style and comfort, high-quality contemporary furnishings have a uniform look with other new construction on campus.

“One of the exciting new components of the renovation is the storytelling room. It was designed to document stories from elders and the IAIA community. The storytelling room includes sound isolation panels on the walls and ceiling and is a dedicated space for capturing something we value here—oral histories and stories,” said Larry Mirabal, IAIA Vice President of Operations, and project director of the renovation.

Larry Mirabal

IAIA Vice President of Operations

Throughout the phased project, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) worked with New Mexico-based companies Dyron Murphy Architects, Jaynes Corporation, Brycon Construction, Shelf Image Inc., and Franken Construction Company. The entire project included three phases, starting in Fall 2021. “Phasing the renovation was a matter of logistics, from funding sources to vacating faculty and programs to renovating the spaces. Phase I was funded by Federal Title III funds, Phase II was funded by State of New Mexico Bond Issues, Phase III was funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the final phase was funded by Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds,” said Mirabal.

In late summer, after the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and humidity control grade is completed during the final phase, the new IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) collection spaces and RCCNA will be fully functional and ready for its first year of operation.

About the IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA)

The Institute of American Indian Arts established the IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA) to support IAIA’s dedication to advancing scholarship, discourse, and interpretation of contemporary Native art for regional, national, and international audiences. RCCNA streamlines access to the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) permanent collection and the IAIA archives by providing a “one-stop-shop” to students, artists, scholars, and community members. RCCNA patrons now have simultaneous online access to MoCNA’s 9000+ Contemporary Indigenous artworks and the IAIA Archival holdings that document the activities of significant Native American artists and arts advocates.

RCCNA provides reference, research support, workshops, internships, fellowships, artist residencies, exhibitions, curriculum development, and has an active acquisition program for art and archival materials. Artistic practice and scholarly activity are usually treated as separate endeavors within Western philosophy, with intellectual pursuits more highly valued than creative practices; however, within Indigenous knowledge systems, physical “making” is integral to knowledge production. The RCCNA hosts Artists-in-Residence and Scholarly Fellowships, with overlapping approaches for each.

The IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts’ mission is, “Uniting Art, Artists, and Archives.”

IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA)