MOIFA | MAY 2023

Photo credit: Detail of carved walrus tusk, Iñupiaq artist, late 19th century. Courtesy of Suzi Jones. Photo by Addison Doty.

Ghhúunayúkata / To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka

The Museum will open the exhibition, Ghhúunayúkata / To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka, on Sunday, May 21 with a private reception on Saturday, May 20.

The exhibition explores the art of the parka, a garment made for survival in the harsh environments where Alaska Native peoples live and thrive.

These unique garments embody the remarkable creativity, craftsmanship and innovation of their makers, both past and present. As complex cultural expressions, parkas are at once innovative and traditional, harmoniously marrying artistry, function, cultural meaning and Indigenous ingenuity.

At the heart of the exhibition are 20 parkas representing 6 Alaska Native communities: Yup’ik, Iñupiaq, Unangan, Dena’ina, Koyukon and St. Lawrence Island Yupik. To illustrate the continuing vitality of this art form, the selection of works includes parkas from the mid-19th century to contemporary reinterpretations of this iconic garment.

A rich selection of Indigenous drawings, photographic portraits and traditional dolls will provide context for how parkas are worn in ceremony, hunting, and daily use. These works underscore Native self-representation and the parka’s importance as a cultural signifier. Sewing tools—themselves beautiful works of craftsmanship in walrus ivory, wood, or animal hide—round out the exhibition content.

Outreach programs for La Cartonería Mexicana: The Mexican Art of Paper and Paste

In conjunction with the exhibition, La Cartonería Mexicana: The Mexican Art of Paper and Paste, the Museum is partnering with the Denver Mexican Cultural Center on an installation of Xólotl: Dios Perro, a 15-foot monumental alebrije (fantastical imaginary creature from Mexican folklore) created by papier mâché artist Óscar Becerra-Mora at the Southside Public Library in Santa Fe. Becerra-Mora is one of Mexico’s great contemporary artists that has been working in the medium of cartonería for more than 10 years. Xólotl: Dios Perro will be recognized as the first monumental alebrije to be displayed in the United States and can be viewed at the Library from April 17 through December 4.

Photo credit: Artist Óscar Beccera introducing the alebrije to families at the Southside Library.

Thanks to support from Sheila and Kirk Ellis, along with donors to the museum’s exhibition development fund, the presentation of La Cartonería Mexicana by Axle Contemporary mobile artspace will include an installation of Rick Phelps’ Post Fiesta Wares from April 7 through May 28. The mobile arts pace will visit area sites including Mandela International School, El Camino Real Academy, Moving Arts Española, Embudo Valley Library, and the La Farge and Southside branches of Santa Fe Public Libraries.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Axle Contemporary mobile artspace exhibition.

Find Folk Art Treasures at the Folk Art Flea

The much-anticipated annual Folk Art Flea presented by the Friends of Folk Art (FOFA) will take place at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds (next to the Genoveva Chavez Community Center) on Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Early Bird shopping for FOFA members from 9 to 10 a.m.

Sales and sponsorships from the Flea benefit the museum’s world-class exhibitions and educational programs.

FOFA has raised more than $750,000 over the past 12 years, positively impacting the lives of more than over 6,000 schoolchildren and 100,000 museum visitors each year.

Outreach programs extend beyond the museum walls to reach underserved audiences throughout the region of Santa Fe and northern New Mexico.

Thousands of volunteer hours go into the planning and production of this popular event, allowing it to remain FREE to the general public.

If you are not a FOFA member and would like Early Bird admission on May 6 from 9 to 10 a.m., please call Laura Sullivan at 505.216.0829 to join.

To support MOIFA’s Exhibition Development Fund and/or Education Fund please contact Laura Sullivan at, or by phone at 505.216.0829.

Photo credit: Ann Murdy, Bolivian poncho with lettering.