Conservation Seminar lll

IARC Seminar

November 13–14, 2014

Conservation Seminar III, Group PhotoConservation Seminar III, Group Photo

Conservation Seminar III participants (left to right): Stephanie Riley, Nancy Odegaard, Jae R. Anderson, Kelly McHugh, Laura Elliff, Jim Enote, Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Brian Vallo, Sylvanus Paul, Landis Smith, Melvin Sarracino, Martina Dawley, Jonna Paden. 

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Day, School for Advanced Research

Conservation Seminar III, Group Photo

Conservation Seminar III participants (left to right): Stephanie Riley, Nancy Odegaard, Jae R. Anderson, Kelly McHugh, Laura Elliff, Jim Enote, Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Brian Vallo, Sylvanus Paul, Landis Smith, Melvin Sarracino, Martina Dawley, Jonna Paden. 

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Day, School for Advanced Research

This workshop initiative is one of two major outcomes identified in the previous two seminars (please see Conservation Seminar I and Conservation Seminar II). The first outcome is to address the critical and growing need for a resource for conservators and other collections-based museum staff on conservation and collections stewardship methodologies that are collaborative with source communities. Currently, there is no such resource. As a result, 2013 and 2014 seminar participants developed the first draft of a set of ethical and practical guidelines for planning and implementing collaborative conservation and other museum-based activity. Work continues on editing and refining guidelines with the intent to produce a new website and publication.

The second outcome and the topic of Conservation Seminar III was the planning of a pilot workshop; the workshop is inextricably tied to the Guidelines project and also addresses the need for more education and sharing of methods for carrying out collaborative collections work. Specifically, seminar participants proposed holding regional workshops with partner institutions where conservators would conduct workshops focused on collaborative conservation methods. To that end, a pilot workshop is scheduled for this April at the Haakú Museum. Based on discussion during the November planning seminar, this workshop promises to be ground-breaking in a number of ways. Examples of innovative teaching and learning efforts were discussed and developed during the seminar. The workshop is designed for tribal museum staff, conservators from major museums across the United States, conservation interns, and other collections-based museum staff. It is intended that participants will apply what they learn in planning and implementing collaborative work in their own institutions. The workshop will also provide valuable input and feedback on the Guidelines draft.

This inaugural workshop will undergo a thorough evaluation to assess strengths and weaknesses that will be valuable to the planning of future workshops in the Southwest and other regions of the country.

Seminar Participants:

Jae R. Anderson is a materials science and engineering (MSE) graduate student pursuing a graduate certificate in heritage conservation at the University of Arizona (UA). He earned an Associates of Science Degree in computer science in 2001 from Pima Community College followed by a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics in 2006 from the University of Arizona. His research interest in cultural heritage conservation science, particularly non-destructive testing of cultural materials, has led to employment with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and United States Library of Congress (LOC), both located in Washington, D.C. Mr. Anderson desires to continue to make an impact in the field on heritage conservation science through awareness, collaboration, and pursuing an affiliated Ph.D. program.

Martina Dawley (Hualapai/Navajo) is the assistant curator for American Indian Relations at the Arizona State Museum (ASM) at the University of Arizona. She also holds a faculty position at ASM. Martina completed her PhD in American Indian studies, with a focus in museum studies at the University of Arizona. Her dissertation research specifically focuses on finding out how many American Indians are professional conservators and investigating the factors that determine this number. She was awarded scholarships from the Indigenous Material Institute and the Hualapai Department of Education She earned her MA in American Indian studies (2009) and her BA in anthropology with a minor in geology (2006) at the University of Arizona. She became interested in museums, especially the field of conservation, while working at ASM as a McNair Scholar (2006-2008). Martina is Hualapai (enrolled) and Navajo.

Laura Elliff (Seminar Co-Facilitator) is the collections manager at the Denver Art Museum. Originally from Oklahoma and a member of the Choctaw Nation, Laura has worked in the museum field since 2004 with passions in both collections care and working with local tribal communities on collaborative projects. Previously, she was the collections manager at the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) from 2008 to 2014, assuming the position of acting director in 2014. She also worked at the Center of Southwest Studies (CSWS) at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, and has done collections consulting for smaller museums. She has a BA in anthropology; a graduate certificate in "Museum Collections Management and Care," and an MA in American studies.

Jim Enote
Zuni farmer and interrupted artist, Jim is a man of many interests, skills, endeavors and accomplishments.

Jim is the director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni, New Mexico and the director of the Colorado Plateau Foundation. He serves on the boards of the Grand Canyon Trust and Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and he is a senior advisor for Mountain Cultures at the Mountain Institute. He is a National Geographic Society Explorer; a New Mexico Community Luminaria; and an E.F. Shumacher Society Fellow.

In 2013 he received the Guardian of Culture and Lifeways Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, and in 2010, during the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting, was awarded the first Michael Ames Prize for Innovative Museum Anthropology.

Born in Zuni, New Mexico, he is still camped out there at his work-in-progress home.

Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo/Hopi/Tewa/Navajo) is currently assistant director for collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Prior to her appointment at NMAI, she served as director of the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) at The School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe starting in 2007 until 2014.

Cynthia began her career at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) where she served as an associate curator from 2000–2005. Her major accomplishment during her tenure was leading the development of the inaugural exhibition, Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities, which currently remains on exhibit at the NMAI. In 2006, she was recruited to become the museum director at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in Albuquerque where she revitalized the educational programming and exhibits.

Cynthia received her BA from Colorado College in studio art, and a MA in American Indian Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2001 she completed her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico with an interdisciplinary focus on Native art history, museum studies, and cultural anthropology. In 2008 she received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater Colorado College, and in 2009 she was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to the New Mexico Arts Commission. In 2010 she was nominated and appointed by President Barack Obama to the Institute of American Indian Arts Board of Trustees. She has been active in the museum profession for fourteen years, and much of her work focuses on fostering and facilitating collaborations between Native peoples, organizations, and institutions.

Kelly McHugh is an objects conservator at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). She began working for the museum in 1996 in New York, based at the museum's former storage facility in the Bronx. There she participated in a survey of the over 800,000 objects in NMAI's collection, prior to the collections move to the Cultural Resources Center (CRC) in Maryland. She currently cares for the collection and works to prepare objects for exhibits at NMAI-DC and NMAI-NY at the CRC. She specializes in evolving the Conservation Department's collaborative conservation methodology and in caring for the museum's contemporary art collection.

Nancy Odegaard
Conservator of material culture and advocate for lifelong learning.

Nancy is the head of the preservation division at the Arizona State Museum on the campus of the University of Arizona and is a professor with the Department of Material Science & Engineering, the School of Anthropology, and the Drachman Institute (historic preservation). She leads the effort to preserve the collections of the museum through loans, exhibits, excavations, research, storage, and repatriation; she teaches students; provides outreach services; conducts research related to conservation; and has had major projects involving pottery, human remains, basketry, textiles, and pesticide residues.

Born in Minnesota, she was raised in Arizona, and studied for a BA in California with a year abroad in Paris. After some work in museums she completed a MA at GWU and Smithsonian in Washington DC, and later a PhD in Australia. She gained early conservation experience at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museo Ixchel in Guatemala, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum at Harvard. She has been a Fulbright Scholar (1991, 2001), Winterthur Research Fellow (2000), and Getty GCI Scholar (2007). She is a Fellow of the AIC and IIC and received a US Department of Justice Commendation Award (2000), AIC Keck Award (2009) and the AIC Advocacy Award (2013).

Jonna Paden (Acoma/Laguna Pueblo) is currently an archives and library intern at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Library & Archives in Albuquerque where her current emphasis is on archival management. She is a recent graduate from San Jose State University (SJSU) with a Masters in library & information science with a concentration in management, digitization, and preservation of cultural heritage and records (archival studies and records management). A scholar in the SJSU Circle of Learning program to increase the number of American Indian and Alaska Native librarians and archivists, Jonna has attended various conferences including the Association of Tribal Archives, Library and Museum conference as a presenter and participant. An international scholar, she has traveled to Melbourne, Australia to meet with librarians and archivists that work in a range of information centers. Her goal is to become an independent consultant for archives and libraries, particularly those associated with museums.

Sylvanus Paul is the collections assistant at the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) of the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, NM. He is from Pine Hill, NM, of the Ramah Navajo Reservation. Sylvanus attended Diné College in Tsaile, AZ; his focus was on Diné studies. He is an alumni of Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, with a major in American Indian studies and a minor in Southwest history. Sylvanus has interned at Mesa Verde National Park, being trained on maintaining the longevity of their archaeological items. Sylvanus continued to work for the Park Service with collections care for Chaco Canyon Historical Park.

Stephanie Riley is from the Pueblo of Acoma and is the assistant curator at the Sky City Cultural Center & Haakú Museum at Acoma Pueblo. She graduated from New Mexico State University in December 2012 with a BA in anthropology, with concentrations in cultural anthropology and museum studies. In February of 2011, she was presented with the opportunity to work at the NMSU museum as a museum assistant. The following year, in January 2012, she was promoted to public programs coordinator. Since becoming assistant curator at the Sky City Cultural Center & Haakú Museum in March 2013, she has continued learning and growing as an emerging museum professional.

Melvin Sarracino, from the Pueblo of Laguna, attended the Institute of American Indian Arts beginning in the fall of 2006 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Museum Studies in May of 2009. Later that year, he was hired as the Museum Specialist at the Sky City Cultural Center & Haakú Museum at Acoma Pueblo. At the museum, he has carried out exhibit installations and de-installations, conducted community outreach with guided tours for the youth and adults, as and has utilized best-known methods for collections care.

Melvin is a member of the American Association for State and Local History and the Indian Advisory Panel at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology. As part of his professional development, he accepted a nine-month Anne Ray Internship with the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe.

Landis Smith (Seminar Co-Facilitator) is currently Project Conservator, Museums of New Mexico Conservation Unit, Santa Fe, NM and Research Associate, National Museum of the American Indian Conservation Department. She was previously Anchorage Project Conservator at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; Project Conservator at the Museums of New Mexico; and Conservator, Department of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, NY. Since 1989, much of her career has been focused on ways to carry out collaborative documentation and conservation work with American Indian artists, elders, tribal leaders, scientists and other experts. Her work includes the development and organization, in collaboration with NMAI, of a community-based educational program in New Mexico for NMAI conservation fellows, interns and staff. Areas of collaborative research include Pueblo pottery, Southwest Native silver jewelry and Alaska Native collections. Landis serves on several non-profit boards including the board of trustees for the Haakú Museum at Acoma Pueblo.

Brian D. Vallo

A member of the Pueblo of Acoma tribe, Brian has 25 years of experience working with tribal groups throughout the Southwest. A former lieutenant governor, director of historic preservation, and founding director of the Haakú Museum at Acoma, his recent work experience extends into the fields of architecture, planning, and the arts. A self-taught artist (painter and potter), Brian enjoys experimentation with natural materials he discovers on the New Mexico landscape to create mixed media works that celebrate aspects of Acoma and Pueblo culture and history.

Brian attended New Mexico State University where he studied business administration and marketing, and later studied anthropology at the University of New Mexico. His passion for historic and cultural preservation results from his involvement as a tribal leader during the early years of NAGPRA.

Laura Elliff, Facilitator
Landis Smith, Facilitator
Jae R. Anderson
Cynthia Chavez Lamar
Martina Dawley
Jim Enote
Kelly McHugh
Nancy Odegaard
Jonna Paden
Sylvanus Paul
Stephanie Riley
Melvin Sarracino
Brian D. Vallo

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