Documenting Collections and Artists: Making the Artwork Come Alive

Jared Chavez, Keevin Lewis, and Nancy Marie Mithlo

IARC Speaker Series, SAR Boardroom

Thursday, May 3, 2012, 2:00–5:00 pm, Free


YouTube Playlist: Listen to the event “Documenting Collections and Artists” and watch one short video of Royce Manuel documenting his project as part of the NMAI Artist Leadership Program.

Explore projects that have been undertaken to document and preserve the lives of artists and their work. Keevin Lewis talks about artist documentation through the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Artist Leadership Program. Dr. Nancy Mithlo shares her research on Kiowa photographer Horace Poolaw. Jeweler Jared Chavez explores the process of documenting his father’s and his own work though their website.

Jared Chavez grew up at San Felipe Pueblo in New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley, where he was immersed in his father’s exquisite jewelry. In 1992, at the young age of ten, Jared learned the basic skills of jewelry making from his father, the renowned Richard Chavez. Jared’s artistic career led him to Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where he studied digital art and printmaking. After graduating, Jared returned his focus to metalsmithing and expanded his technical training through courses at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco.

Jared is known for incorporating polished exotic stones into beautiful geometric compositions that are thoroughly modern and clearly influenced by his varied background in digital art, printmaking, and jewelry. Recently, Chavez opened his website to the public, which features documentation videos and information about his father and himself.

Jared ChavezJared ChavezIARC Speaker Series, “Documenting Collections and Artists: Making the Artwork Come Alive,” with Jared Chavez, Keevin Lewis, and Nancy Marie Mithlo, May 3, 2012.
Jared Chavez
Keevin LewisKeevin LewisIARC Speaker Series, “Documenting Collections and Artists: Making the Artwork Come Alive,” with Jared Chavez, Keevin Lewis, and Nancy Marie Mithlo, May 3, 2012.
Keevin Lewis
Nancy Marie MithloNancy Marie MithloIARC Speaker Series, “Documenting Collections and Artists: Making the Artwork Come Alive,” with Jared Chavez, Keevin Lewis, and Nancy Marie Mithlo, May 3, 2012.
Nancy Marie Mithlo

Jared Chavez documents his and his father’s work through photography and video on their website, www.chavezstudio.com.

Keevin Lewis is the Museum Programs Coordinator for the Artist Leadership Program at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution. The program targets Indigenous mid-career artists who are mid-career professionals. It strives to connect NMAI with Indigenous artists of the Americas and Hawai’i through youth public art projects and community artist workshops. It also brings artists to the Washington, DC, region for collections research; staff consultations and presentations; and training in art marketing and business planning, resume and portfolio development, and strategies on how to obtain a profit margin. The Artist Leadership Program aims to support activities for cultural arts revitalization while encouraging sustainable programming in the community. Lewis grew up in southern California and graduated with a BA from UCLA. He has been at NMAI since 1995.

Nancy Marie Mithlo is Associate Professor of Art History and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Mithlo's research places the photographic legacy of Horace Poolaw within the larger context of American Indian visual representations, particularly in the transitional period (1920–1950) of Indian citizenship, urbanization, and engagement in emerging photographic technologies. Self-representations—including theatrical performances and parades; tribal, pan-tribal, and family occasions such as graduations, weddings, funerals, and vacations; and artistic portraits—serve as the focal point for Dr. Mithlo's analysis. Dr. Mithlo holds her MA and PhD from Stanford University.

Sponsored by Anne Ray Charitable Trust

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