A series of Native American fine art and film programs are in development to promote Native arts and cultures internationally.
A television series, a student internship program and a film festival are three of the new programs being developed by three Santa Fe-based Native American arts institutions: Center for Indigenous Arts and Cultures, Institute of American Indian Arts and the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts.
“Our common purpose is to unite our strengths and to foster our unique programs, while developing new projects together that maximize the potential of our resources. With continued strong support, we hope to achieve our goals through united efforts,” explained Dr. Gregory Schaaf, CIAC director and member of the State Task Force on Authenticity in Native American Arts organized by Gov. Bill Richardson.
American Indian Art Series
During the past decade, CIAC has worked with IAIA and SWAIA, as well as the State of New Mexico, Museum of New Mexico and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, on the first seven volumes the “American Indian Art Series,” a planned 20-volume encyclopedia of Native American arts.
In cooperation with SWAIA and with participation from IAIA, Vol. 8 – “Artists of Indian Market,” is profiling 2,200 artists from 1922 to the present. Vol. 9 – “History of Indian Market” is being written by Dr. Bruce Bernstein, SWAIA director and member of the state task force, who said: “The project will have continuing relevance and use for generations to come.” Indian Market attracts more than 100,000 people and $100 million in annual state revenue.
Allan Houser (1914-1994), the late Apache sculptor, inspired the development of “The American Indian Art Series.” A founding faculty member of IAIA, he won many awards including a SWAIA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Go Native Arts! – Television Series
Three generations of late, acclaimed sculptor Allan Houser’s family are being profiled in the pilot episode of CIAC’s new documentary television series, “Go Native Arts!” In May, filming began at the Allan Houser Compound, a sculpture garden south of Santa Fe, designed by Houser’s son, Phillip Hoazous, who is co-directing the first episode. Broadcast offers from local, as well as global networks, are currently being considered. The series will be translated into foreign languages to maximize potential viewers worldwide.
“Go Native Arts!” will explore and celebrate Native arts and artists from throughout the Western Hemisphere. The initial episodes focus on three major Southwest tribal cultures: Apache, Navajo, and Pueblo. Navajo painter Tony Abeyta and his family will be profiled in an upcoming episode. Dancing Earth choreographer/director, Rulan Tangen (Metis), will be performing with her dance group.
Southwest Pueblo pottery families also will be among the first to be honored in the series. The program is unique because each episode tells the “family stories” of tribal artists. A general call for auditions is being issued to all interested Native American artists – singers, dancers, musicians and performing artists, as well as painters, sculptors, potters, basketmakers, beadworkers, weavers, jewelers, photographers and graphic artists. Native artists throughout the Western Hemisphere will be profiled.
Native American Film Internship Program
Dr. Robert Martin, IAIA president, and Dr. Ann Filemyr, academic dean, recently visited CIAC and connected with IAIA Media Arts Department Chair Carlos Peinado (Mandan-Hidatsa), as well as faculty members Shawna Begay (Navajo) and Jennifer Coots (Navajo). This led to the development of a new Native American Film Students Internship Program.
“This opportunity for our students to create educational films serves our mission to empower Native arts and cultures,” Filemyr said. “The films will also be used in our classes at the College of Contemporary Native Arts at IAIA.”
The first student to receive a NAFS internship, Carey Tully, Navajo, a senior IAIA film student, said, “My internship has been an amazing opportunity to gain professional experience and to work with top professionals, such as Jilann Spitzmiller and Hank Rogerson, two veteran participants in Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival.” They are senior members of the production team for “Go Native Arts!”
Carey is completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in New Media Arts – Moving Images. Her internship is under the supervision of Schaaf and CIAC Assistant Director Angie Yan Schaaf. She is specializing in high-definition filming with a Sony XDCAM, Sennheiser sound recording and Final Cut Studio digital editing.
Native American Film Festival
CIAC hopes to premiere “Go Native Arts!” at the 9th Annual Native Cinema Showcase, produced by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Arts in partnership with SWAIA. Other program partners include the IAIA, the Institute for Indigenous Language, the New Mexico Film Office, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and WGBH-TV. The film festival will be the third weekend in August during the Santa Fe Indian Market.
The Potential for Worldwide Broadcast
“Go Native Arts!” seeks distribution on cable TV, as well as international broadcast via satellite TV. Stanley Hubbard, chairman and CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. – one of the major developers of satellite TV and co-owner of Ovation TV with 35 million viewers worldwide – recently visited CIAC. “We are pondering our impact if that many people are introduced to the wonders of Native American art and artists.”
W. Richard West, former director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, expressed his support: “I am confident that these major projects will be completed with integrity. Please join me in offering your full cooperation and strong support.”
Native Arts Alliance: New Communications Director
Santee Lewis, Navajo, has joined CIAC to help coordinate the development of the Native Arts Alliance. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, Lewis serves as a liaison with Native American Nations, organizations, schools and community members. The purpose of the Native Arts Alliance is to forge a united effort to promote Native arts and artists is new and innovative ways.
For general information on these initiatives or to join the “Go Native Arts!” team, contact CIAC, PO Box 8627, Santa Fe, NM 87504-8627, (505) 473-5375; Indians@nets.com; www.indianartbooks.com; soon available www.gonativearts.org. CIAC is a division of Southwest Learning Centers, Inc., a nonprofit, educational organization, established in 1972.