About Us

Publishing Editor

America Meredith (Cherokee Nation) is an educator, author, artist, and independent curator, whose curatorial practice spans two decades. She is the director of Ahalenia Studios, an alternative art space in Santa Fe, and the associate publisher at Noksi Press, a Cherokee-language publishing house. She serves on the board of the Cherokee Arts and Humanities Council. Meredith taught early Native American art history at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Cherokee art history at the Cherokee Humanities class, and cultural art exhibitions at Santa Fe Community College. She earned her MFA degree from San Francisco Art Institute and her BFA from the University of Oklahoma.

Literary Editor

Matthew Ryan Smith, PhD, is a London, Ontario-based writer, curator, and sessional instructor of curatorial studies in the Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto, Mississauga. He is currently the curator at Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant and the Canadian section editor of the Art Market Dictionary to be published by De Gruyter in 2017. His writings have been featured in several Canadian and international publications including Canadian Art, ESSE, Blackflash, and Afterimage. He has also published in several academic journals including TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Journal of Native Studies, and Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly. He recently completed a chapter on unsanctioned graffiti interventions in Johannesburg for a forthcoming book on public art in South Africa, to be published by the University of Indiana Press.

Board of Advisors

heather ahtone (Chickasaw-Choctaw) is the James T. Bialac Assistant Curator of Native American and Non-Western Art for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2006. She has curated numerous traveling exhibits independently and worked with the SWAIA and Ralph Appelbaum Associates. She taught at OU for four years and has published in several scholarly journals including Wíčazo Ša Review.

James T. Bialac, JD, began seriously collecting in 1964 and amassed one of the largest private collections of Native American art in the world, all of which he donated to the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman, Oklahoma. Works from the Bialac Collection are also on permanent loan to the University of Arizona and Arizona State University law schools. The University of Oklahoma bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2015. He is an attorney living in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Emily Haozous, PhD, RN (Chiricahua Fort Sill Apache), is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing. She received her nursing training and doctoral degree at Yale University. Passionate about American Indian health, she links Indigenous methodologies to intervention research in an effort to improve cancer outcomes in Native people. Dr. Haozous is the granddaughter of Allan Houser, one of the most celebrated American Indian artists of the 20th century and daughter of Bob Haozous, a renowned sculptor.

Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi-Choctaw) is a painter and printmaker who has exhibited and traveled throughout the world, including recent exhibitions in New Zealand, China, Russia, and England. She teaches studio arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She earned her MFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute.Marianna Nicolson, PhD (Dzawada’enuxw Kwakwaka’wakw), is an artist, linguist, and activist living in Victoria, British Columbia.

Mary Jo Watson, PhD (Seminole Nation), is Director Emeritus and Regents’ Professor of Art History at the School of Art and Art History of the University of Oklahoma. She earned her BFA in Art History, MLS in Seminole Aesthetics, and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oklahoma. Watson’s curatorial practice spans decades. She serves on the Seminole Tribal Arts Council and several Native art committees including at the Oklahoma History Center and American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. Dr. Watson developed the current Native Art History Program at the University of Oklahoma.

Kenneth Williams Jr. (Northern Arapaho-Seneca) is a beadwork artist and collector of Indian art and manages the Case Trading Post at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His love for Indian art has earned him a positive reputation from serving on several different committees to judging Native American art shows.

India Young decided, somewhere between her Alaskan home, her New York college education, and peace riots in La Paz, art best expresses activism. She returned to school to learn the practice of sharing her passions. Today, she is a doctoral candidate in art history at the University of New Mexico and an independent curator. Young researches print media, contemporary Indigenous arts, and activist art. Her curatorial pursuits focus on the spaces of interconnection between Indigenous arts and the larger world.

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Contributing Writers

We are grateful to the talented writers, photographers, designers, and artists making First American Art possible.

  • Gloria Bell (Métis) | blog | LinkedIn
  • Roy Boney Jr. (Cherokee Nation) | website | blog
  • Mary V. Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota) | LinkedIn
  • Kelly Church (Odawa-Ojibwe) | website
  • RoseMary Diaz (Santa Clara Pueblo)
  • Nancy Fields (Lumbee) | website
  • Suzanne Newman Fricke, PhD | profile
  • Teri Greeves (Kiowa-Comanche) | LinkedIn
  • Staci Golarprofile
  • Scott W. Hale, ISA AM | LinkedIn | website
  • Suzan Shown Harjo, PhD (Cheyenne-Hodulgee Muscogee) | profile
  • Thollem McDonas | website
  • Melissa Melero-Moose (Fallon Paiute-Modoc) | website
  • Jean Merz-Edwards
  • Denise Neil-Binion (Delaware-Cherokee) | LinkedIn
  • Stephanie Pratt, PhD (Eastern Dakota)
  • Nadia Sethi, PhD (Alutiiq) | Twitter
  • Cathy Short (Citizen Potawatomi) | website
  • Kevin Simpson | website
  • Matthew Ryan Smith, PhD | LinkedIn
  • Neebinnaukzhik Southall (Rama First Nation Chippewa) | website
  • Yvonne N. Tiger (Seminole-Cherokee-Muscogee Creek) | LinkedIn

Social Media

  • Staci Golar (Cornish-Welsh-American)
  • Michelle Lanteri
  • America Meredith (Cherokee Nation)