News for Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cynthia Chavez Lamar Appointed to New Mexico Arts Commission

Cynthia Chavez LamarCynthia Chavez LamarDirector, IARCCynthia Chavez LamarDirector, IARC

The School for Advanced Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Cynthia Chavez Lamar to the New Mexico Arts Commission. The 15 members on the commission are appointed by the Governor. Dr. Chavez Lamar will serve a two-year term.

The New Mexico Arts Commission serves as an advisory body to the Director of New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. New Mexico Arts provides financial support for arts services and programs to non-profit organizations statewide and administers the public art program for the state of New Mexico. Members of the commission serve as moderators of advisory panels during the annual funding cycle and as advocates for the arts in general.

Dr. Chavez Lamar is director of SAR’s Indian Arts Research Center, which houses over 12,000 items of historic and contemporary pieces of pottery, textiles, clothing, jewelry, silverwork, paintings, baskets, katsinam, and other ethnographic items. Prior to coming to Santa Fe, she was museum director of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in Albuquerque. Her tenure at IPCC was marked by extraordinary accomplishments in exhibitions, programming, and collections preservation. She contributed to the institutional recognition of IPCC by introducing new artists, shows, and events. She served for five years as Associate Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, where she curated the inaugural exhibition, Our Lives, which involved collaboration with eight Native communities across the Western Hemisphere.

Dr. Chavez grew up in San Felipe Pueblo and is also Hopi-Tewa and Navajo. She earned her BA at Colorado College, her MA in American Indian Studies at UCLA, and her Ph. D. in American Studies at UNM. In 2008 she was awarded a Doctor of Human Letters, Honoris Causa, from Colorado College in recognition of her leading role in promoting Native American arts, artists, and scholarship. Beyond her professional and academic work, Cynthia regularly participates in community outreach. She frequently serves as a consultant on topics ranging from Native perspectives on issues in museum studies to technologies that promote education and preserve tribal culture.

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