Estella Loretto's massive bronze sculpture 'Peaceful Warrior' has been part of the Allan Houser tribute at the MIAC.

A Farewell Party for Allan Houser's Footprints, and a Toast to Native Treasures

Alex Jacobs

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) presents an interesting afternoon and evening on May 30 as the exhibit Footprints: The Inspiration and Influence of Allan Houser closes on May 31. This landmark exhibition at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture marked the 100th anniversary of Houser’s birth; the Houser estate curated several shows honoring Allan Houser around the country last year. Heading the events will be: Steve LaRance (Hopi/Assiniboine); Bob Haozous (Chiricahua Apache) and Phillip Mangas Haozous (Chiricahua Apache); Oreland C. Joe, Sr. (Southern Ute/Navajo), Cliff Fragua (Jemez Pueblo), Rollie Grandbois (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), and Tony Lee (Navajo); and Cirque du Soleil performer and six-time world champion Hoop dancer Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Assiniboine/Tewa) will perform. MIAC Director Della Warrior (Otoe/Missouria) opens the event and David Rettig, curator for Allan Houser, Inc., will finish the discussions.

There will be a special Dance of the Mountain Spirits by the Gooday Family, Ft. Sill Apache Traditional Dance Group and the evening will end with a Round Dance with everyone invited to join in. Also presented in the theatre will be the films: “Geronimo, An American Legend” with panel discussion by Wes Studi, Michael Darrow (Ft. Sill Apache Tribe) film consultant and tribal historian, and Chairman Jeff Haozous (Ft. Sill Apache Tribe), and,  “Unconquered: Allan Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family”, about Allan Houser and the legacy of one Apache family, narrated by Val Kilmer. Events inside MIAC are the cost of admission and all events outside on Milner Plaza are free to the public. For more info in this event, contact: [email protected] .

'Shadows,' by Navajo sculptor Tony Lee on display at the MIAC's Allan Houser tribute.

The Houser event comes on the heels of the 11th Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival, which was held downtown at the Santa Fe Convention Center over Memorial Day Weekend. Over 200 Native American artists took part in the invitation-only show, with many of the artists at Native Treasures represented in the MIAC’s permanent collection. Relationships have been established over the years between museums, artists and collectors, with several Pueblos and tribes represented as well. As in previous years, the art varied from traditional to contemporary, and there was also an Emerging Artist section to showcase new talent. There was no booth fee but each artist generously donated a portion of sales to support the Museum's educational programs. The event is always MIAC’s biggest fundraiser.

A bracelet by Keri Ataumbi

The MIAC chose sisters and Kiowa artists Teri Greeves and Keri Ataumbi to be its Living Treasures for 2015. Both women are accomplished, and their work is widely collected. The award acknowledges both the body of work by an artist and the participation of the artist in the community at large. Keri Ataumbi describes her work as wearable art, an exploration of the relationship between jewelry’s capacities as adornment and sculpture. Keri started as a painter, then went into sculpture and jewelry, and is known for her different series focused on insects, ocean creatures and bows and arrows.

'Deer Woman as Lady Luck' by Teri Greeves

Greeves is known internationally for her beadwork, like the beaded sneakers that set off a sensation around Indian country when they appeared. Her mother showed Teri a pair of sneakers beaded by a Lakota artist in 1993 and Teri thought it was the greatest thing she had ever seen; the next year she was off doing her own take on beaded tennis shoes and high-top sneakers. Greeves has won first-place awards at Indian Market in four different categories, including a Best of Show in 1999.

“Keri and Teri’s museum-quality work, although different in medium and form, represents some of the essential values of the Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival, including the story-telling that is an intrinsic quality of their work,” said Della Warrior, director of MIAC.  “As artists whose work is different and distinctive, we celebrate their Kiowa heritage and their individual voices through the narratives they are creating.”

RELATED: Kiowa-Comanche Fashion Icon Jeri Ah-be-hill Walks On

The theme has been “family” since the communities that make up Santa Fe were collectively and emotionally moved by the passing of Jeri Ah-be-hill, Teri and Keri’s mother. On April 26, friends and family gathered at the Institute of American Indian Arts to celebrate Jeri’s life and establish The Jeri Ah-be-hill Scholarship Fund (contact: Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation) to be awarded to an IAIA student from the Kiowa tribe. MIAC will also honor Jeri and Margarete Bagshaw with exhibits sometime next year. Ms. Bagshaw (daughter of Helen Hardin, grand-daughter of Pablita Velarde) also passed away suddenly a couple weeks after Jeri.

Alex Jacobs
Santa Fe, NM

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