Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Valjean Hessing

February 1 – June 23, 2008

Choctaw Artist Valjean McCarty Hessing Honored in IAIA Exhibition

A selection of works by Choctaw painter Valjean McCarty Hessing (1934-2006) drawn from collectors and institutions will be spotlighted in IAIA Museum’s North Gallery. Included are paintings from 1965-1997 of Choctaw people, events, motherhood, children and daily life. Hessing’s work illustrates the deep pride she had in her people and family. This exhibition is intended to celebrate Valjean’s art career alongside those of her Choctaw contemporaries in the concurrent “Voices from the Mound.”

Artists from the “Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma” and from the “Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians” are not unknown presences on the Santa Fe art scene. But their profile is destined for significant elevation in stature on February 1, 2008 when the entirety of IAIA Museum in downtown Santa Fe will feature work by artists from both sides of the Choctaw’s homelands.

Curator Tatiana Lomahaftewa-Singer of IAIA Museum states, “Hessing was first noticed for her artistic abilities at age 11, and during her college years she came to admire the flat-style painting that became her chosen method of depicting moments in Choctaw history.”