Message from Mary -

March at the Museum is full of learning opportunities, starting with fun, hands-on Spring Break activities for kids. We welcome young visitors March 11-16 for special programs investigating bugs, bones, stones, poems and much more. Toward the end of the month, science, art, and culture converge in the opening of Horse & Rider: A Southwest Story. The impetus for our latest exhibit is new research showing that Indigenous people in North America had ridden and cared for horses earlier than previously thought. Fine art from the Museum’s collection, including a beautiful leather, silver, and turquoise saddle, comes together with first-person accounts of the cultural and spiritual importance of horses in Indigenous communities.

Lastly, don't miss your chance to see macro photography by Taylor James in Designed to Move: Seeds That Float, Fly or Hitchhike. The exhibit closes March 15.


I’m getting excited about spring, and I hope you are, too. The season of growth builds momentum for one of the Museum’s busiest and most vibrant times. Look below to see what might spark your interest. I can’t wait to see you here.

Mary Kershaw

Executive Director & CEO

Museum of Northern Arizona

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Open 10 am to 5 pm Daily

Purchase admission tickets online or at the door.

Mark Your Calendar

Easton Collection Center Tours ............... March 8, April 12, May 10

African Americans and the Arizona Lumber Industry .......... March 9

Spring Break Student Activities .................................. March 11-16

Glen Canyon Rises: An Art and Advocacy Tour ................. March 16

Members' Preview: Horse and Rider Exhibit ...................... March 29

Horse and Rider Exhibit Opens ......................................... March 30

Slow Art Day ....................................................................... April 13

Bugs, Bones, Stones & Poems

March 11-16, from 1:00-2:30 pm

Bring the kids to the MNA each afternoon during Spring Break for activities covering a range of topics, including bugs, bones, poetry, and fossils. Young students will delight in hands-on fun with new activities each day. No registration is required. It all takes place from 1:00-2:30 pm March 11-16. Free for museum members and kids 9 and younger. See our events page for information on each day's activities.

Junior Indigenous Art Exhibit

We are grateful to the 23 young artists who submitted work to our 2024 Junior Indigenous Art Exhibition and Competition. This is the fourth year of the online competition, though MNA has been championing youth art since our early days nearly 100 years ago. This year we are pleased to share these pieces during Youth Art Month. Congratulations to the artists who garnered awards in fine art and cultural art categories. View the exhibit..

Discovery Camps Registration

Registration for our summer day camps begins March 18 for the general public. Discover Camps take place on the 200-acre museum campus immersing children in regional arts, sciences, cultures, and environment. Taught by knowledgeable and enthusiastic educators, the inquiry-based camps appeal to varied learning styles and engage children ages 4-11 with authentic experiences. Become a Museum member for early registration and discounts. See the schedule of camps and register.

Heritage Festival Save the Date

Connect with the people, art, and culture of the Colorado Plateau June 22-23 on the forested grounds of the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Our premier festival features Native American artists, dancers, musicians, demonstrators, and cultural experts. Buy direct from artists while enjoying the sounds and traditions of the region. Adults and children alike will delight in a variety of activities and experiences. Tickets go on sale in early May.

Help map our community through poetry

Submission deadline is April 2

Submit your original short poems to accompany pieces of art from our collection as part of Poetry Maps, our project for the 2024 ARTx Festival. Find inspiration from30 paintings selected from the museum collection. Select poems will be installed with the art around town and at MNA during the ARTx Festival this spring. See the art and learn how to submit poems.

NAGPRA regulations in the news

New regulations for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act require museums to consult with tribes more comprehensively when it comes to displaying Native artifacts. Our own NAGPRA specialist, Kate Compton-Gore, recently joined as a featured guest on Native America Calling, answering questions and clarifying new changes to the regulations and how they impact MNA and the greater museum community. Listen to the broadcast.

Selling the Southwest curator talk

The talk by MNA Fine Arts Curator Alan Petersen drew such interest that we've put a video of it online. Hear how the Selling the Southwest exhibit came together and how art and culture were impacted by marketing that drew early visitors to these enchanting lands. The railroad and hotelier of the day were looking to sell train tickets, rooms, and meals, but they were also selling "mystery, and beautiful landscapes, and exotic cultures that were unfamiliar to most people," says Petersen.

Landscape Painting

Tuesdays from 9am-12pm

Landscape painter Deborah Mechigian teaches fundamentals of composition, perspective, and color mixing in the Guernsey Building. Email Deborah at for details, prices, and to sign up.

Beginner's Drawing and Watercolor

Drawing: March 7-May 9

Watercolor: March 8-May 10

Students learn and practice the fundamental skills and techniques to create and enjoy painting in watercolor. Led by professional artist Lisa Lee Pearce, the eight-week course includes drawing basics, color theory, composition, elements of art, and principals of design. Email Lisa at for details, prices, and to register.

Wood-fired Ceramics

Beginner: March 18-May 7

Intermediate/Advanced: March 21-May 9

Pottery classes with potter Chas Frisco take place at different days and times. The class fee includes instruction all tools, glaze materials and one 25lb bag of clay. Email Chas at for details, prices, and to sign up.

Horse & Rider: A Southwest Story

Opens March 31

The history of horses in North America is being rewritten as radiocarbon dating reveals that Indigenous people had ridden and cared for horses earlier than previously thought. The new research was the impetus for this exhibition that combines fine art from Museum collection with first-person accounts of the cultural and spiritual importance of horses in Diné, Hopi, and Zuni culture.

Selling the Southwest

In the early 20th century, entrepreneurs employed artists to create a sense of wonder and mystery about the American Southwest that attracted tourists and established a romanticized vision that has remained to this day. Many of the artists are now prominent names in the canon of classic Southwest art, including Thomas Moran, Louis Akin, and Gunnar Widforss.

Seeing People Through Trees

From stone axes to crosscut saws, this exhibition looks at the forest and our relationship to it through MNA collections and historic photos. At the center of the exhibition is a slice from a 290-year-old ponderosa pine from the west side of the San Francisco Peaks.

Designed to Move

Closes March 15

See Southwest seeds in a new way through macro-photography by Taylor James. This up-close look reveals the beauty and functional diversity of desert seeds that use different methods for dispersal and propagation. They can float in the air and water, fly far from their mother plant, and hitchhike on the fur of animals. The exhibition was organized by the Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University in collaboration with Desert Botanical Garden, ASU’s Herbarium and ASU’s Design School. It features items from the MNA collection highlighting ethnobotanical uses and cultural importance of these plants.

Bean Sprout Bracelet

This sterling silver overlay bracelet by Hopi artist Anderson Koinva features a design celebrating fertility and growth. Anderson was born in 1956 in Shungopavi on Hopi's Second Mesa and belongs to the Sun Forehead Clan. Check out all the art, jewelry, and more at the Museum Gift Shop, where every purchase supports MNA and the artists.

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