Postcards from IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 5:54PM
Adam Bad Wound

Until this trip, I used to joke that “I’ve only set a foot in New Mexico—literally, one foot!”

My only presence in the state was years ago when I visited the Four Corners attraction and I sprawled a single foot into New Mexico on a road trip between the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde national parks, just after a night in Monument Valley.

“Navajo Nation.”

“Santa Fe.”


“White Sands National Monument.”

People have been telling me to visit New Mexico for as long as I can remember. This week, I was finally able to take some time to explore the state, but I didn’t get far. After arriving in Santa Fe, I thought I would spend most of my time hopping from galleries to museums to shops and restaurants all across town. In the end, I basically spent all of my time at the Institute for American Indian Arts, Museum of Contemporary Arts. This museum transformed my life (I know you’re thinking: “Adam, you say that about every museum!”).

Below are images of several of the pieces that shaped my experience. Please note that these images are only meant to illuminate my perspective; for full effect, please visit the museum to see them for yourself.

Dead Indian Stories (2012-2014) by Edgar Heap of Birds (Southern Cheyenne). Ink rag on paper.

Dead Indian Stories (2012-2014) by Edgar Heap of Birds (Southern Cheyenne). Ink rag on paper.

Gaaw Kooteeya 2 (2014) by Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tingit/N’ishga). Wood, rawhide, and acrylic paint.

I’m Not Living, Just Killing Time (2017) by LaShawn Medicine Horn (Yankton Sioux). Acrylic, charcoal, and wax pastels on canvas.

Niicugni (2012) by Emily Johnson (Yup’ik). Fish skin lanterns.

Untitled (2015) by Greg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute). Mixed media on panel.

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