IAIA 2021 September Newsletter
Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 8, 2021

Welcome to the September edition of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Newsletter. This edition includes recent news and past, current, and upcoming happenings at IAIA. For questions, comments, or feedback, please contact IAIA Interim Director of Communications Jason S. Ordaz at jason.ordaz@iaia.edu.
IAIA’s Recent Graduate Art Market and Partnership with SWAIA Indian Market
On Saturday, August 21, the weather was brisk when artists unloaded their art from vehicles in front of MoCNA’s portal. Still, nonetheless, that didn’t stop IAIA’s recent graduates from setting up booths to sell their art.

By all accounts, the IAIA Recent Graduate Art Market was a resounding success for many IAIA artists. The two-day Market was an all-day affair, starting at 7 am and ending by 5 pm—its success due in part to taking place during SWAIA’s Indian Market.

“Being part of the IAIA Art Market is a great opportunity because I get to network with people and show and sell my art. Having a booth during Indian Market weekend is a great experience,” says IAIA Alumni Terran Last Gun (Piikani) ’16. Being in the IAIA Art Market helped get me where I am today. In 2019, I had the opportunity to participate in the SWAIA Indian Market, which was my most successful Market ever, and I won best in my category, which was great to get that type of recognition.”

IAIA Communications staff strengthened its relationship with SWAIA in 2021 by expanding partnership opportunities. Communications wrote the featured article, Where Native Artists Emerge—IAIA’s Art Market for the official SWAIA Artist Directory, and secured the Fashion Show’s official sponsorship. Amber-Dawn Bear Robe (Blackfoot/Siksita), the Fashion Show producer and IAIA faculty, worked with Communications staff to help promote IAIA’s branding and ephemera during the event. The ever-popular Fashion Show was just that—popular as ever with cheerful crowds impressed by haute couture that was out-of-this-world.

IAIA would like to recognize and congratulate two of our alums who won awards in the 2021 SWAIA Indian Market. Denise Wallace (Church Sugpiaq) '81 won Class I in Jewelry for her piece titled Origins, Roots and Sources and Thomas Tapia (Tesuque Pueblo) won Class III in Painting, Drawing, Graphics, and Photography for his watercolor painting Buffalo Elk Dance. In addition to these winners, numerous IAIA Alumni participated in the SWAIA Indian Market this year, showcasing their talent and celebrating the 99th year of this annual event.
MoCNA’s Happenings During SWAIA Indian Market
The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) provided a platform for Indigenous artists and curators to voice their concerns about nuclear exposure in their communities during panel discussions and artist talks during SWAIA’s Indian Market weekend, August 20–22. On Friday, August 20, MoCNA premiered its newest exhibition Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology. Panel discussions and gallery sessions with artists were held on Saturday, August 21, in the galleries and art park.

Exposure artists Mariquita Lynn Davis (Chamoru, Guam), Kohei Fujito (Ainu, Japan), Dan Taulapapa McMullin (Samoa), and Will Wilson (Diné, United States) discussed how nuclear testing, nuclear “accidents,” and uranium mining have affected their traditional homelands and communities. On Saturday afternoon, MoCNA Chief Curator Manuela Well-Off-Man, Co-Curators Dr. Kóan Jeff Baysa, and Tania Willard (Secwepemc Nation) led a panel discussion followed by a vibrant question and answer session for audience members.

Attendance was strong during MoCNA’s happenings, due partly to free admission offered in August.
IAIA 2021 Scholarship Event and Auction—A Great Success
The IAIA 2021 Virtual Scholarship Event and Auction was an artistic and financial success, generating over $460,000 from event donations and art purchases for IAIA student scholarships. IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee) reports that “this extraordinary and generous support from countless individuals and businesses will make a college education a reality for hundreds of students.”

On Wednesday, August 18, hundreds of people came together in person and virtually to raise critical scholarship support for IAIA students. Shane Hendren (Choctaw/Diné), artist and IAIA alum, and KOAT anchor Royale Da (San Ildefonso Pueblo) co-hosted the livestream event from the IAIA campus. The event featured virtual appearances by Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin, actor Mark Ruffalo, US Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández, New Mexico Senator Ben Ray Luján, Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber, IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin, and others.

If you want to support student success right now, make a donation.
To Be Immersed in Many Nations, One Family
Students and graduates know first-hand that it is hard work staying in school—semester after semester, year after year. IAIA students are part of a unique Indigenous legacy formed by resilience and unity, and together they are Many Nations, One Family.

IAIA Student Derrell Lopez (Navajo) ’23 said the connections he's made at IAIA, with peers and faculty, have given him the full art school experience and are the main reason why he's never wanted to take a semester off.

“We’re all just one big family. We all support each other.

There’s always something to learn in the facilities. Something’s always surprising you. There’s always something new to explore and that's a really good thing. You just walk into any of the facilities, see some people working, and just enjoy that moment with them. You can talk with them—anything. Just to really get the full experience of an art school. People just working. People who are just like you—working hard every day to achieve something later on in the future or something soon. Never a dull moment when you're walking around the facilities.
–IAIA Student Derrell Lopez (Navajo) ’23

IAIA provides an extensive listing of over 50 scholarship opportunities on the Financial Aid page—plus, financial aid advisors are available to help. Registration for Spring 2022 opens November 12, 2021.

Read the full story.
IAIA Fall 2021 Semester—Reopening Plan
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact every facet of life at IAIA. Thus, IAIA’s priority is the safety, health, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to prepare a dynamic and flexible educational experience that considers the realities of life during this pandemic. Accordingly, we will reimagine the ways in which we deliver our academic programs, housing and dining services, and extracurricular activities, gatherings, and events.

We know the 2021 Fall Semester will be unlike any in our history, requiring flexibility, compassion, patience, and persistence. Each of us will be required to act conscientiously in ways that benefit our community, because the pandemic has taught us that we are all in this together.

IAIA administration will evaluate and discuss the college’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 health crisis, and update our plans as required. Our Fall 2021 Semester Reopening Plan is based on the latest medical and scientific guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Mexico Department of Health.

There will be weekly COVID-19 testing throughout the semester in the CLE Health Clinic (view the schedule on the IAIA website). As of this message, 97.3% of students are vaccinated (2.7% of students have exemptions). Furthermore, 98% of the staff and faculty are vaccinated.

—Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee)
Santa Fe Plaza Concert Series’ Native Showcase
IAIA sponsored a show for the Santa Fe Plaza Concert Series titled Native Showcase which featured local Indigenous bands Lindy Vision and Sihasin. Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing (MFACW) Alumni Roanna Shebala (Diné) ’21 read poetry and fiction during the event.

The show took place at the Santa Fe Plaza where a crowd of more than 250 people were in attendance.

Gratitude goes to AMP Concerts staff for their work and partnership and also to Frosley “Frost” Fowler (Diné) ’16 for making a recording of the concert. The concert was a phenomenal success.
Two MFA in Creative Writing Students Awarded the WarnerMedia Scholarship
The 2021 WarnerMedia Scholarship was awarded to MFACW students Adrianne Oo-Ota (Kiowa/Apache) and Jiles Turning Heart (Lakota Cheyenne River Sioux). In addition to the financial award, the scholarship includes a mentorship.

Adrianne Oo-Ota (Kiowa/Apache), screenwriter in IAIA’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFACW) program, says that as a mother of four and a small business owner, she has often wondered if she is doing the right thing by focusing on screenwriting and pursuing an MFA. Receiving the WarnerMedia Scholarship has helped her realize that she is on the right path, that she's closer to achieving her dream than she had realized, and that she does have support.

“As a writer, so much of what I do is thinking,” Oo-Ota says. “The process of being focused—that's really hard to do when your primary goal is to keep your children fed.” With this scholarship she has more time to spend with her children, which in turn has given her more energy to write.

Oo-Ota says the mentorship that is a part of the WarnerMedia Scholarship is exactly what Native screenwriters need to close the gap of who is currently telling their stories in mainstream media. “The industry I’m going into is very much like an insiders’ club," Oo-Ota explains. This mentorship puts students in direct connection with those who are already in the industry. “I don't know how else I would be able to break into the industry.”

Jiles Turning Heart (Lakota Cheyenne River Sioux), screenwriter in IAIA’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFACW) program, says he's often wondered if his stories have the power to reach a larger audience. Receiving the WarnerMedia Scholarship helped Turning Heart realize that there is a large audience for his stories. “My stories deserve to be told,” Turning Heart says. “They reflect who I am and the comedy in my life. Receiving the WarnerMedia Scholarship gives me confidence to continue exploring my comedy and using my own voice.”

Turning Heart says the mentorship that is a part of the MediaWarner Scholarship will be especially helpful in navigating the film industry and knowing what steps to take next. “First generation students don’t have that path laid out for us by our parents. We’re figuring things out ourselves. With this, they’re helping us fulfill that role of someone who has gone through that whole process and can help guide us to put us on the path of success.”

Read the full story.
Artist-in-Residence Artists Announced for the 2021 Fall Semester
The IAIA Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) program has an impressive cohort of artists for the Fall 2021 semester. The A-i-R program hosts Native and First Nations artists for variable-length residencies for art-making and interaction with IAIA students, staff, faculty, and the greater Santa Fe arts community. Residencies take place on the IAIA Campus.


  • Heidi K. Brandow (Diné/Kānaka Maoli) 
  • Tamara Burgh (Swede/Inupiaq-Kawerak)
  • De Haven Solimon Chaffins (Laguna Pueblo/Zuni Pueblo)
  • Avis Charley (Spirit Lake Dakota/Diné)
  • Hollis Chitto (Laguna/Isleta/Mississippi Choctaw)
  • Karma Henry (Paiute/Italian/Portuguese)
  • April Holder (Sac/Fox/Wichita/Tonkawa)
  • Ramson Lomatewama (Hopi)
  • Paul Moore (Chickasaw)
  • Crystal Rose Demientieff Worl (Tlingit/Athabascan) 
  • Hoka Skenandore (Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin) 
  • Olivia Skenandore (Oglala Sioux Tribe)
  • Will Wilson (Diné) 

The program demonstrates the diverse ways in which art is an integral part of cultural continuity and the intergenerational transference of knowledge. Artists participate in opening and closing receptions, public workshops and demonstrations, classroom visits, critique sessions with students, and events hosted by other organizations in Santa Fe.

“A special component of IAIA’s residency program is the sense of community that comes from bringing practicing Indigenous artists together with college students who are also studying art and culture. It makes for a dynamic and inspirational experience that we are happy to share with the Santa Fe community through our free public events.”
—IAIA Artist-in-Residence Program Director Dr. Lara Evans (Cherokee)
IAIA Open House, Wednesday, September 29, 1–5 pm
Attend the annual IAIA Open House on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 1–5 pm. In usual fashion, the Open House features exhibitions and demonstrations of all types, with open studios and classrooms, allowing guests to discover more about IAIA’s mission, programs, and community. This year includes a mixture of in-person and livestream events, all of which will be broadcasted from the IAIA Campus.

If you could not “attend” in 2020, visit the Virtual Open House page to view over 40 presentations.
In President's Convocation, Keynote Speaker Kathleen Wall ’14 Tells IAIA Students How to Reach Their Dreams
During the 2021–2022 President’s Convocation, Keynote Speaker Kathleen Wall (Jemez Pueblo) ’14 encouraged students to always refine their art and always refine their focus. “As soon as you start losing track of what you’re doing, think about it and where you want to be, because where you want to be will be where you are going as long as you redirect when you’re off track.” Never limit yourself is another factor Wall stressed. “We have no idea what we’re even capable of doing.” Kathleen Wall had always been a market artist, which she loves, but wanted to branch out to galleries. By never limiting herself and always refining her focus and her skills, she has been able to do both and she wants IAIA students to reach all of their dreams too. In case you missed it, you can watch the President’s Convocation in its entirety.

The President’s Convocation took place in the Dance Circle and Gym. IAIA sits on the homelands of the Pueblo nations.
Land-Grant Creates a Buzz on Campus and Shares the Fruits of Their Labor
As the caretakers and farmers of the IAIA food gardens, greenhouse, orchard, and apiary, the IAIA Land-Grant Department is finding ways to give back and get our IAIA Community involved.

This Spring 2021, Land-Grant established multiple honey bee hives on campus. These “Thunder Bees”—so lovingly named after the IAIA Thunderbird—help to pollinate the IAIA gardens, orchard, and surrounding neighborhood, as well as provide fresh honey and beeswax. Throughout the month of September, the Land-Grant Program beekeepers are hosting “Thunder Bee Thursdays,” and will take students, staff, and faculty on a guided tour through the campus beehives. Each session covers basic safety and approach recommendations and gives participants a look inside the beehives. Protective beekeeping gear is provided and participants get a unique up-close and hands-on experience with our campus pollinators. Land-Grant has also been “sharing the harvest” and offering fresh fruit—mostly peaches and apples—straight from the orchard to the community as a beginning of the semester welcome gift.
Art Rush Brings the IAIA Community Together Again
The annual Art Rush, held each year in the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery, is always a fun way to welcome students back to campus for the new academic year. This year, Art Rush felt even more significant than it has in the past, says Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery Director Mattie Reynolds (Choctaw). For the 2021–2022 academic year, IAIA's students, faculty, and staff are not simply returning from a summer break, but gathering again for the first time in a year and a half. "Having [the gallery] serve its purpose again and having those larger community gatherings feels like healing a wound," Reynolds says.

This year, in preparation of welcoming students back into the space, the gallery was thoroughly cleaned, which amounted in a huge art giveaway with all the recycled materials that were found. In addition to the regular giveaways of art supplies that are a part of Art Rush, tables were set up and filled with supplies for any IAIA community members to take.

For the first time in a long time, the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery once again holds art. All IAIA students, faculty, and staff who are approved to be on campus are invited to stop by and view the Art Rush exhibition and celebrate coming together again. The Art Rush exhibition will open on Friday, September 3 and will remain open until Tuesday, September 14.
Campus Bookstore T-Shirt Design Contest—Deadline Approaching
The IAIA Campus Bookstore will be holding a student design contest for a single production run of 100 t-shirts. One of the five finalists’ work will be chosen by an expert panel of artists and professionals from the IAIA Community. The winner will have their work promoted on a unique, limited-edition t-shirt focused on highlighting the artist, their work, and their future.

The theme for the 2021 t-shirt design contest is “When IAIA Goes Mask Off”—what is your hope for the IAIA Community after the COVID-19 Pandemic has passed? How do you think the IAIA Community should celebrate when we can see each other’s faces, gather, shake hands, hug, and breathe freely together again? What can you achieve at IAIA with this freedom of connection again?

For more information about submissions, please contact bookstore@iaia.edu. Deadline to submit is Friday, September 10.
Providing Outreach Excellence—Continuing Education
The IAIA Continuing Education (CE) Fall 2021 Courses are now available for registration. The course schedule features unique and affordable educational offerings, including Indigenous language and literature classes, business and entrepreneurial courses, and art and gardening workshops.

Continuing Education is committed to providing comprehensive training and adult education for the advancement and growth in workforce skills, lifelong learning, and empowerment through community-based learning opportunities.

Continuing Education is always looking for interesting course ideas and opportunities. If you would like to suggest or teach a course, please contact continuinged@iaia.edu or submit a “Suggest a Course” or “Teach A Course” proposal at www.iaia.edu/ce. If you are an IAIA Alumni or member of the IAIA community and you are interested in teaching, please submit your ideas.

If you missed a webinar last semester, some recent webinars are posted to the IAIA Continuing Education web page.
Jeff Kahm Memorial Scholarship—Make a Contribution Today
The Jeff Kahm (Jeffery Lyndon Kahmakoatayo) Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2021 through a generous gift from Barbara and Robert Ells. The Ells’ generous gift in memory of Jeff Kahm will provide scholarship support for three Studio Arts Major students for four years.
We encourage our colleagues, friends, alumni, and other supporters to contribute to the Jeff Kahm Memorial Scholarship in celebration of Professor Kahm’s dedication to IAIA and our students.
Call for Art—An Honoring and Memory Exhibit for Jeff Kahm
IAIA invites the IAIA Community to submit artwork in honor of IAIA Alumnus and Associate Professor Jeff Kahm (Plains Cree, 1968–2021).

This semi-juried exhibition is open to all IAIA students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Works submitted will be juried, but at least one piece from every artist will be accepted, and up to three entries are allowed per person. If you are unsure of what to submit and are looking for inspiration, Kahm’s expertise was linear abstraction. However, we welcome any work that is in honor of his memory. Submissions will be accepted Wednesday, September 15–Friday, September 17, 10 am–5 pm (MDT) in the IAIA Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery. The exhibition will run from Friday, September 24 to Friday, October 15, 2021.

For more information, contact Museum Studies Chair Dr. Jessie Ryker-Crawford (White Earth Chippewa) at jryker@iaia.edu or Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery Director Mattie Reynolds (Choctaw) at mattie.reynolds@iaia.edu.
2021–2022 IAIA College Catalog
“The 2021–2022 academic year will be one of recovery and renewal for each one of us, our home communities, and the world. I want you to know that IAIA will do everything it can to protect your safety and support your academic and personal growth.”
—IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin

Download and view the 2021–2022 IAIA College Catalog.

The cover art features Jeff Kahm’s Converse. This catalog is dedicated to the memory of IAIA Assistant Professor Jeff Kahm, MA, and to everyone in the IAIA Community who has suffered loss and hardship during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Join the IAIA Community—View Open Positions
IAIA is looking to hire driven individuals who believe in and support IAIA’s mission, “To empower creativity and leadership in Native Arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and outreach.”

IAIA offers competitive salaries and an outstanding benefits package for regular full-time positions, which includes, medical, dental, vision, term life, long term disability, short term disability, a 403B investment plan, and Employee Assistance Program.

To see available positions, view the Employment page.
The Udall Legacy Continues with a New Book Donation from Senator Tom Udall and Jill Cooper
Upon his retirement from United States Senator for New Mexico, Tom Udall continued his family's strong connection to IAIA with a donation of books to the IAIA Library. The collection consists of around 40 books on tribal law, Native American art history, and art criticism. The new collection is located next to his father, Stewart Udall's donation, and Lloyd Kiva New's donation. Each of these three collections is accompanied by a plaque in honor of the donor.

To celebrate the donation and the Udall legacy, IAIA held a reception on August 19 at which IAIA Board Members, students, faculty, and staff gathered to show their gratitude to the Udall family. Senator Tom Udall's wife, Jill Cooper, was awarded an IAIA Pendleton blanket during the ceremony.

Stop by the IAIA Library to browse or borrow the newest collection.
IAIA Alumni George Greendeer ’86 Donates to the IAIA Alumni Council
Former Member of the IAIA Alumni Council George Greendeer (Ho-Chunk) ’86 gave back to the IAIA community with a financial and art donation. Greendeer says that when he first joined the IAIA Alumni Council, they had no money, so he decided to host a fundraiser. In the fall of 2017 Greendeer put out a call for art donations from IAIA alumni. Fifteen alumni participated and their work was shown at the exhibition We Are Still Here, An Exhibition by Alumni of the Institute of American Indian Arts held at the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, IL during the center’s art crawl.

The exhibition was successful in raising funds for the IAIA Alumni Council, but some art work remained after the event. “During the past few years, I held on to the unsold pieces and did my best to sell them,” Greendeer explains. These works were donated for the purpose of helping the IAIA Alumni Council and Greendeer was determined that each work of art would do just that. The funds raised from the work that sold, along with the remaining works of art were recently presented to IAIA Alumni Relations Manager Roanna Shebala (Diné/Zuni) ’21.

This donation is thanks to all of the IAIA alumni artists who donated works to the exhibition in 2017, which includes Robert Blackdeer (Ho-Chunk/Lac Courte Orielles Chippewa), Wendy Boivin (Menominee), Colleen Dodge (Menominee), Selina Farmer (Cherokee), Laura Fragua-Cota (Jemez Pueblo), Scott Hill (Oneida), Carol Isaac (Red Cliff Chippewa), Phillip Isaac (Navajo), Sharon Lewis (Acoma Pueblo), Wanesia Misquadace (Fond du Lac Chippewa), Wendy Ponca (Osage), Hoka Skenandore (Oneida), Monte Yellowbird Sr. (Arikara/Hidatsa), George Greendeer (Ho-Chunk), and the late Mike Medicine Horse Zillioux (Gila River Indian Community).
IAIA Alumni Spotlight—LeRoy Grafe ’19
This month we turn our attention to Cinematic Arts and Technology graduate LeRoy Grafe ’19. Grafe is a visual storyteller who has a style all of his own—that’s clear to see while looking at a selection of stills from his cinematic work on his website.

Over the past few years, he’s been working on various projects. In 2021, he was the cinematic drone operator for JEEP’s® short documentary and commercial Dark Skies about its new electric vehicle, the Wrangler 4XE.

At the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020, he served as the Director of Photography (DP) for the New Mexico portion of Ralph Lauren’s® 2020 Holiday commercial. Again serving as DP, he worked on the upcoming YETI short film, The Ballad of Pecos Hank, which follows a storm chaser from Texas to North Dakota. The YETI short film is slated to be released soon.

When Grafe isn’t traveling for cinematic work, he’s at home in Santa Fe with his girlfriend and IAIA Studio Arts graduate Scarlett Cortez ’20.
Community News and Happenings
The following contains information about recent happenings and news within the IAIA community.

Here are recent additions to the staff. For a full list of faculty and staff, view the Contact page. To see available positions, view the Employment page.

  • Admissions Recruiter Teklu Hogan (Deg Xit'an/Tahltan) ’20
  • Institutional Research Director Mary Beth Worley

Upcoming and ongoing Happenings at IAIA and MoCNA.

Current and upcoming Exhibitions at MoCNA.

Additionally, you can view the IAIA Community Calendar, which includes community-only happenings, as well as important dates from the Academic Calendar. (IAIA Community: If you would like to subscribe to the IAIA Community Calendar, please send a request to jason.ordaz@iaia.edu.)
From the Collection

This month’s featured image from the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts’ digital collection.

Rick Bartow (Yurok, Wiyot), The Change, Edition 36–80, 1989, Offset Lithograph on Paper, 30 in x 22 in, CAL-4; Gift of the Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2013, Courtesy of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM.
From the Photo Archive

This month’s photographic session from the archive is the 2017 Spring Scholarship Awards Night.

IAIA hosted its Spring 2017 Scholarship Awards Night on Thursday, February 16, 2017. More than 130 scholarship recipients, family, donors, and invited guests attended a dinner catered by Bon Appetit to recognize 260 scholarship recipients—totaling 534 awards—representing 32 contributing donor organizations totaling $519,906 in awards.
For questions, comments, or feedback, please contact IAIA Interim Director of Communications Jason S. Ordaz at jason.ordaz@iaia.edu.

Newsletter written by IAIA Communications staff Jason S. Ordaz, Nicole Lawe (Karuk) ’16, and Veronica Clark ’21. All photographs by Jason S. Ordaz.
About the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)
Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, and Performing Arts, MFAs in Creative Writing and Studio Arts, along with certificates in Broadcast Journalism, Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History. The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school serves approximately 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe. IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.