Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Fri, June 05

IAIA celebrates a half-century of Native American Art
2012 is IAIA's 50th anniversary, but the countdown starts now

SANTA FE, N.M. - The most "happening scene" in Santa Fe this August is one fans of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) won't want to miss. IAIA's annual benefit dinner and art auction "The '60s: A Revolution Begins" will celebrate the organization's founding decade with a special live appearance by legendary musician and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie.

IAIA founder George A. Boyce and his wife (and former IAIA staff member) Mrs. Oleta Merry Boyce will be honored posthumously with IAIA's Lifetime Achievement Award. Hosted by actor Raoul Trujillo and Chief of Protocol for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Jill Momaday Gray, the evening's festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. at the historic La Fonda hotel on Weds, Aug. 20. All proceeds will go toward student scholarships and support services.

The event is being co-chaired by artist Connie Tsosie Gaussoin and community volunteer Jane Cooper Colman.

Tsosie-Gaussoin notes, "We are excited to lend our support to this important event. IAIA has touched the lives of so many Native students, helping them to become successful artists. It feels good to raise more money for much needed scholarships."

Many of these former students turned art world stars are giving back by donating pieces to the auction. Among them are Tony Abeyta, Denise Wallace, Christine McHorse, Doug Hyde and many, many more.

Event co-chair Jane Cooper Colman adds, "What could be more important than your education?  It is the one thing that can never be taken away from you. The ability to offer an excellent education to talented Native Americans across North America is a win-win for everyone. Everyone should rejoice in the opportunity to support the Institute of American Indian Arts, which in turn supports the arts and artists of tomorrow."

Special guest Buffy Sainte-Marie became famous for her anti-war songs in the 1960s. Her name even appeared on White House stationery among those whose music "deserved to be suppressed." Since that time, she has recorded 17 albums, three television specials and won an Academy Award for the song "Up Where We Belong." She has been an instructor at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and her digitally manipulated paintings have appeared at the IAIA Museum, other galleries and museums across the country, and in Canada.

Honoree George Boyce was instrumental in the formation of IAIA. Appointed its first superintendent by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1961, Boyce later hired Lloyd Kiva New as IAIA's first art department director. For many years Boyce shared his administrative talents and extensive experience to benefit IAIA. Boyce's family will accept his Lifetime Achievement award on his behalf.

Individual tickets start at $125, but special sponsorship opportunities are available as well.

For more information about purchasing tickets or the event, please call (800) 804-8263 or e-mail For more information about IAIA, visit their Web site at

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