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SAR Announces 2022-2023 Native Artist Fellows

May 5, 2022

Orlando Dugi (Diné), “Alice Dress”. Sewing, beading, tambour beading, embroidery. 60″ x 36″ x 30″, 2020. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The School for Advanced Research is pleased to announce the 2022–2023 cycle of Native artist fellows. Each year the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) at SAR offers three residential fellowships to support the work of both established and emerging Native artists. The program provides artists with time to explore new avenues of creativity and invites them to grapple with ideas that advance their work and strengthen their existing talents. While in residence, artists may access the IARC’s expansive collection of Native artwork for research and study. This year’s artists include a beadwork and soft sculpture doll artist, a fashion designer, and light artist: 

Hollis Chitto

2022 Ronald and Susan Dubin Native Artist Fellow 

Hollis Chitto (he/him/they/theirs) is a Mississippi Choctaw/Laguna and Isleta Pueblos beadwork and soft sculpture doll artist. Their unique style is the product of early exposure to art ecosystems like the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) and having been constantly surrounded by many talented artists, including his father who is a potter and SAR’s 2006 Ronald and Susan Dubin Native Artist Fellow.

When one looks at Hollis’ work, the influence of traditional Pueblo pottery becomes apparent and yet he challenges viewers with conceptual and abstract elements. For example, the health and well-being of Native communities is one theme that Chitto interrogates as HIV/Aids and queerness are directly inserted into his work.

While at SAR, Hollis will embark on a soft-sculpture doll project that depicts a two-spirit couple in beaded and quilled regalia.  

Hollis Chitto. “Bloodwork No.2″, flat bag with beadwork. 16″x7”, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist.


Hollis Chitto will be in residence from June 15, 2022, to August 15, 2022. 


Orlando Dugi

2022 Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow 

Through his clothing creations and wearable art, Orlando Dugi (he/him) realizes his Diné heritage and upbringing while simultaneously situating his creative expression in modernity. His pieces often express poetic interpretations of cultural teachings and songs without literally encroaching upon them. Any piece may be meticulously handstitched, embellished by tiny beads or even adorned with his own silverwork.  

While at SAR, Dugi will further study in-depth historic textile materials and techniques. He will complete a garment designed and inspired by weaving and materials found during research of Navajo and ancestral Southwestern tribes. The creative work will consider materials and techniques in utilitarian objects while combining his current disciplines. 


Orlando Dugi (Diné), “Look 12 SS19/20”. Sewing; beading; tambour beading. 60″ X 32″ X 30″, 2019. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Orlando Dugi will be in residence from September 1, 2022, to November 30, 2022.  


Janna Avner

2023 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Artist Fellow 

Koyukon Athabascan creative, Janna Avner (she/her), joins the SAR Native Artist Fellowship community as its first practicing light sculpture artist. Using light as her primary medium, Avner seeks to reclaim romanticizations of landscape imagery and incorporate expansive interpretations of Indigeneity, perception, and the environment. Her pieces serve as visual metaphors that, at times, contain projections of beadwork and hologram recreations of the Northern Lights. 

While at SAR, Janna will explore the integration of painting and light sources through the materiality of dichroic films, projection mapping – and, of course, light. She seeks to create the feeling of a displaced body of light as a metaphor for the displacement felt as a multi-heritage Alaska Native.  

Janna Avner. “Athabascan Ghost Wave Flower Test 5 Light Sculpture”, glass, mirror, projector, hologram. 2021. Photo courtesy of the artist.


Janna Avner will be in residence from March 8, 2023, to May 31, 2023.


Since 1984, the IARC’s Native artist fellowship programs have supported artists in diverse creative disciplines. With studio space provided, connections to a broad network of fellow artists, an access to a collection of nearly 12,000 Native American artworks ranging from 6th century to present-day, artist fellows often define their experience at SAR as career-changing. 

Learn more about the IARC Native American Artist Fellowships 

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