Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Outside the Lines 2007 Student Exhibition

March 16 – April 15, 2007


Since the time of the Santa Fe School of Art – also referred as the Dorothy Dunn School – Native artists have been told what is, and what is not, Native American art. The mindset behind this was that “this is the way your ancestors produced art and this is the way that you should produce art.”

This definition was the norm until the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) was founded in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1962. This new school gave Native artists the choice and the chance to create what they, as Native artists, felt was “Native American art.” Some artists chose to remain within the framework of the Dorothy Dunn School while others chose to break the molds set for them by the dominant society.

Those who chose new avenues have become the role models for today’s up-and-coming Native artists. These artists of today have stepped outside the box, to become trail blazers themselves. IAIA remains an avenue for today’s Indian artists who society refers to as “Contemporary Native American Artist.” IAIA has given young artists the chance to be who they are without forcing them to fit a “cookie cutter” mold. They are able to not only step outside the box, but to paint outside the lines and in doing so create their own legacy.

The artists in this exhibit express their individual visions by working outside the lines.