Museum of Contemporary Native Arts - Santa Fe, New Mexico

I love the visual dichotomy of this gem of a museum. Its adobe exterior compliments the history and architecture of its historic neighbors - the circa 1886 St. Francis Cathedral Basilica on one side and the charming La Fonda hotel on the other. But when you take in the robust, contemporary art that punctuates the exterior of this unique museum, you know that you will be experiencing the NOW of Native American Arts.

The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is a center of the Institute of American Indian Arts, established in 1962. IAIA is the founding institution for the creative expression of contemporary indigenous cultures with the goal to educate the next generation of artists, educators and art administrators.  The Museum's mission  is to organize exhibitions devoted exclusively to the display of  diverse contemporary works created by relevant and talented  Native artists of North America. 

"This Museum is unique," says Chief Curator Ryan Rice, a  Mohawk of Kahnawake, Quebec and a premier Native scholar. "Most museums focus on native ethnographic art, our focus is only contemporary. There is such misunderstanding of how Native people are seen; viewed mostly in the past tense. I feel that Native artists are the avant garde of our community; their pulse firmly on the environment and our society. As a curator I become a mediator between the artist and the public - changing the perception of Native people being present."

The current exhibition - ARTiculations in Print   showcases that presence through the diverse medium of printmaking. 


D A V I D   S L O A N


An installation of mono-prints  - silk screened images of endangered creatures with their Dine' names over lithograph reproductions of 1970' Navajo Times newspaper ads - takes center stage as you enter the Museum galleries.


K E N O J U A K   A S H E V A K

Then  you are privy to the vibrant  work of this legendary  Inuit artist.


J O H N   H I T C H C O C K


Hitchcock is an artist and Associate Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin. Traces of the Plains encompasses works on paper, multimedia installation of printed matter, and video referencing the trauma of war and fragility of life. 



And more wonderful work in the smaller galleries...


M U S E U M    OF   C O N T E M P O R A R Y    N A T I V E   A R T S

1008 Cathedral Place - Santa Fe, NM


And, a special thank you to MoCNA Museum Director, Patsy Phillips for her enthusiasm and support of "Chasing Santa Fe".

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