IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Candidates for the 2014 Alumni Council Elections

Tacey Atsitty (Diné)

Class: 2009          Degrees: AFA, BFA

Cultural Presentor & Navajo Language Transcriber


Tacey M. Atsitty, Diné, is Tsénahabiłnii (Sleep Rock People) and born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle People) from Cove, AZ. She is a recipient of the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, the Corson-Browning Poetry Prize, and Morning Star Creative Writing Award. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Kenyon Review Online, and other publications. She lives in Utah.

Candidate Statement

“Of all the colleges and universities I’ve attended, the Institute of American Indian Arts has, by far, been the one closest to my heart. As a candidate for the Alumni Council, I offer my support in whatever way is deemed necessary to keep IAIA and its alumni connected. It’s important to many who have passed through the institution to keep those ties with the IAIA community, and I hope to help keep that connection strong.”


Jessica Bearskin (Sandia/Taos Pueblo)

Class: 2011          Degree: AFA

Self Employed/Manager of Contemporary Dance Company


Jessica Bearskin is a former Gaming Commissioner/Manager and has over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry. She worked for Ho-Chunk Casino in Wisconsin and Sandia Resort and Casino in New Mexico. Bearskin currently manages the newly formed Indigenous Contemporary Dance Company, “Red.” Bearskin is a skilled traditional craftswoman, proficient in beadwork, powwow regalia and modern contemporary dance wear.

Candidate Statement

“As a true renaissance woman, mother, grandmother and a business woman, I feel that I can contribute to this newly formed position. I am involved in the performing arts as well and would like to encourage native youth to become a part of expressing themselves through dance.”


Rose Marie Cutropia

Class: 2014          Degree: BA

Archivist; Curator


As a young woman Rose Marie Cutropia attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. After an interior design career, Ms. Cutropia enrolled at IAIA for a Bachelor of Arts in Museum Studies. Soon, Ms. Cutropia will begin an online program for a Masters in Archival Studies at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia.

Candidate Statement

“As a non-traditional, non-Native student I feel that I would represent two distinct groups on the IAIA Council. The Indigenous methodology of respect, reciprocity, and mentorship became the foundation for all my work. Whether I was engaged in the Archives or was developing an exhibition, this model formed a multi-faceted framework that I believe taught me different ways of seeing and knowing. It is this knowledge of how to work together no matter our particular viewpoint that I hope to bring with me to the Alumni Council.”

Karl Duncan (San Carlos Apache/Arikara/Hidatsa/Mandan)

Class: 2009          Degree: BA

Curator of Collections, Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino


Karl Duncan currently works at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino as the Curator of Collections. Before his move to Buffalo Thunder, Karl worked at the Roxanne Swentzell Tower Gallery in Pojoaque. He has collaborated with many organizations in community projects including; Brown University, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, National Congress of American Indians and the Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute.

Candidate Statement

“Our communities’ health and happiness depend on individuals who come forward and voice their beliefs on how to make things better. I proposed my candidacy to help push the envelope so that others continue to color with their own works of art. The IAIA Alumni Council can be a place to be creative in alumni involvement and problem solve issues important to our alumni. I believe that IAIA Alumni have many great talents and creative visions that should be heard.”

Anya Dozier Enos (Santa Clara Pueblo)

Class: 1979, 1984               Degree: AFA

Curriculum/Professional Development Director


Anya Dozier Enos, PhD, is an enrolled member of Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Terry. She serves as curriculum/professional development director at Santa Fe Indian School. Dr. Dozier Enos has authored multiple publications and has served on several community boards and task forces. Dr. Dozier Enos holds a BA from the College of Santa Fe; an MA from St. John’s College, Santa Fe; and a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Candidate Statement

“I think I would bring an important viewpoint to the Council – that is, the insight of alumni who enter non-art fields, and/or fields focusing on indigenous ways of knowing. Furthermore, being from Santa Clara Pueblo and working at Santa Fe Indian School mean I am geographically close to IAIA and am able to participate in events that will keep me up-to-date on current student issues.”

Selina Farmer (Cherokee Nation)

Class: 1998          Degree: AFA

Artist, Illustrator & Author at Mazzy Blue Studios


After receiving her AFA at IAIA, Selina Farmer went on to work for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. In 2001, Selina received a full scholarship to attend LaCoste School of The Arts in France where she studied art & poetry. Upon return Selina married and started her own studio. Selina works primarily in watercolor creating illustrations for children’s books and traditional bead work. Selina lives with her husband and two dogs working out of her studio in Northern Virginia.

Candidate Statement

“I have been consistently connected to the IAIA Alumni since graduation and hope to in my continued involvement. I believe it’s important to foster strong lifelong relationships between the current student body, our fellow Alumni, and the knowledgeable professors we are gifted to have teaching the next generation of IAIA Alumni demonstrating the deep roots of our native culture and the loyal IAIA community. Thank you so much for your consideration.”

Nancy Strickland Fields (Lumbee Tribe)

Class: 2006          Degree: BA

Education Coordinator at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum


Nancy Strickland Fields is the Education Coordinator at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City. While at IAIA, she worked in several key museum positions at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and served a two-year term as chairperson of the Santa Fe Public Schools Indian Education Parent Committee. In 2006, she began working for the National Museum of the American Indian as Teacher Services Coordinator.

Candidate Statement

“I would like to be a part of the IAIA Alumni Council and join other members to share my talents, connections and experience as a way to help fulfill the mission and goals of the council. I would enjoy the opportunity to serve my alma mater in a capacity in which I can give back and help enhance the IAIA culture and nurturing environment in which I flourished as a student.”

Wayne Gaussoin (Navajo/Picuris Pueblo)

Class: 2009          Degree: BFA

MFA Candidate, University of New Mexico


Wayne Gaussoin is a jeweler whose style combines traditional Native American applications and contemporary flair. He has conducted lectures on Native art topics at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe. Recently he contributed his art and design expertise for an IAIA fundraiser fashion show at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. He is currently pursuing an MFA in sculpture at the University of New Mexico.

Candidate Statement

“As a potential Alumni Council candidate I would strive to bring attention to the needs of the students of IAIA to enable a rich and cultivated learning environment where they connect their own traditions with the modern world. I feel this would be a small reflection of what I was able to gain during my experience as an IAIA BFA Alumnus.”

George Greendeer (Ho-Chunk Nation)

Class: 1984, 1986               Degree: AFA

Ho-Chunk Nation District 5 Legislative Aide


After graduating from IAIA with his AFA in 1986, George Greendeer worked in art sales as a clerk for Blue Gem Gallery in Santa Fe, then at First Peoples Gallery in Minneapolis. Since 1988 Greendeer has worked for the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin first as Enrollment Clerk, then as Tribal Genealogist, and since 2014 as a Legislative Aide.

Candidate Statement

“Visits with fellow classmates/friends are always good times, good medicine from our hugs, handshakes and laughter. I encourage young native artist to pursue their degrees in the arts, dance and creative writing. If elected, I will do my best to represent my fellow IAIA Alumni as their IAIA Alumni Council member. Pi Na Gi Gi (thank you)!”

Ryan Rice (Mohawk)

Class: 1987          Degree: AFA

Chair, Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC)


Ryan Rice, a Mohawk of Kahnawake, Quebec received a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies from Bard College, graduated from Concordia University with a BFA and received an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. He has worked for the past 18 years at various museums and galleries. From 2009-2014, he was the Chief Curator the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. Rice was recently appointed Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

Candidate Statement

“I always consider myself fortunate to have been able to attend and receive the foundations for my arts practice that IAIA provided and I feel IAIA has the capacity to continue to be critical to the evolution of our nation-wide inter-cultural creative endeavors. I feel that my experience in the arts (practical and professional) is alternative, yet runs parallel, to the overriding arts economy embedded in the environment IAIA students and alumni are susceptible to. In doing so, I have attained a wealth of experience to share and will continue to contribute unequivocally to advance the field that embraces IAIA’s past, present and future.”

Alicia Da Silva (Muisca, Colombia, South America)

Class: 2011          Degree: BFA

Teaching Artist and Facilitator


Alicia Da Silva has lived in New Mexico almost all her adult life. Her family is from two different places in South-America, Guiana and Colombia. She came to IAIA to learn, share and imagine things she had not before. She spent 5 years gaining two BFAs in Creative Writing and Studio Arts. She is a teaching artist, and a social practice artist-facilitator. She and her husband are artists that work with communities, and respond to their respective visions and gifts.

Candidate Statement

“The vibrancy and aliveness of the students, faculty, the vision of the IAIA institution as an incubator of innovation, indigenous art-making, and resurfaced critical ideas is potent. How do we shape these gifts so that the IAIA thrives? How does a structured relationship between alumni continue with the IAIA community so that benefits ripple in dynamic ways? I will work to help answer these questions.”

Terry Snowball (Wisconsin Ho-Chunk/Prairie Band Potawatomi)

Class: 1996          Degree: AA

Repatriation Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian


After graduating from IAIA in 1996, Terry turned an internship into an opportunity to start his 17-year career at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. He was an Assistant Project Manager on three National Powwows, and the Co-Project Manager for the Native Nations Procession in 2004 which kicked off the inaugural opening of the NMAI. He supports the reconciliation process which affords tribes and communities the latitude to repatriate their ancestors, their funerary objects, their sacred objects and their objects of cultural patrimony.

Candidate Statement

“I hope that I will be able to account for all of the many aspects that one needs to consider in upholding the mission of the IAIA while representing the concerns and interests of the present student body, former Alum and students who continue to pursue their passions which initially brought them to Santa Fe, NM, in the first place.”

Brent Toadlena (Diné)

Class: 1993          Degree: AFA

School Counselor


After graduating from IAIA in 1993, Brent Toadlena continued his studies at Northern Arizona University where he earned a BS in Art Education in 2001. He earned his M.S. Degree in School Counseling from San Diego State University in 2005. Brent has been employed as a School Counselor at Chinle Junior High School in Chinle, AZ since 2005. He loves working with students and families from his community. He’s a strong proponent of Indigenous cultural preservation.

Candidate Statement

“I believe that art, as interpreted through an indigenous lens, is not viewed as a fragment of human existence or as a “compartmentalized” piece of an individual’s being. I believe that every human being has the ability and capacity to express their creativity in any medium. As an Alumni Council Member, I hope to be part of something important that will help promote the greatness of IAIA and its role in celebrating Indigenous culture.”

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