First American Art Magazine covers art by Indigenous peoples of the Americas. We do not cover art about Indigenous peoples of the Americas by non-Native artists. Please do not send us queries about profiles of individual artists.
We accept submissions from authors with years—typically decades—of experience within the field of Native American art. Students in postgraduate programs in Native American art, Native American studies, and Native American art history are welcome and encouraged to submit. Please send us queries about contributing content for future issues. We do accept Indigenous language submissions on a case-by-case basis. We also welcome queries for content for our blog on an ongoing basis. If you want to promote an event, please post it on our Facebook Page.
A committee of writers, advisors, and the editor meet and decide the content and list of artists to be profiled. First American Art Magazine is committed to presenting the Indigenous art of the Americas from an Indigenous perspective. We welcome submissions by Native and non-Native writers who are informed and inspired about their subject matter.
We do not accept manuscripts over 4,000 words.
We actively encourage Native American artists and other scholars to share their opinions in one- or two-page editorials on any subject relating to Indigenous arts. Previous editorials have included: why not to use Papyrus font, saving the black ash tree, and how not to write about Native artists.
Word count: 600 – 700 one page, 1,200 – 1,400 two pages.
These are open in subject matter and can focus on current issues or art history in Indigenous art, media, cultures, etc. We encourage writing about groups of historical artists as opposed to writing a single historical artist (i.e. Kiowa Six instead of Stephen Mopope). Introductions to specific genres of artwork welcome—particularly Indigenous art media, such as mopa mopa, moosehair tufting, shell etching, or birchbark biting—and stories that connect history to the present day.
Word count: 2,000 – 3,500.
Art Shows: We are actively looking for reviewers familiar with Indigenous art to review art shows, including Latin America. We include reviews of Indigenous American art exhibits from regions outside the Americas. Reviews of alternative art events such as performances or public art interventions as welcome. Curated art shows in museums or community non-profit spaces are preferred. Word count: 800 – 1,200.
Art Books: We review books about Indigenous American art, including catalogues, monographs, art criticism, history, and biographies. Occasionally we review books about Indigenous American culture or novels by Indigenous American authors.
We are also open to reviews of Indigenous video, film, theater, and architecture.
Word count: 800 – 1,200.
Since some art events, particularly biennial art fairs, do not lend themselves well to reviews, we created the Report section, which does not necessarily include critique but more descriptive accounts of the event. Writing by show organizers or participants also fall under the aegis of Reports.
Word count: 600 – 1,200.
Practical advice tips for collectors, artists, or other people engaged in the arts are very much welcome. Subjects covered so far include appraising, caring for feathers, photographing art, building free online art portfolios, and copyright law.
Word count: 1,000 – 1,400, two pages.
Four artists are profiled in each issue. Our editorial advisory committee selects mid-career to established artists to profile far in advance of publication, and profiles are assigned to specific writers. The artists are selected for their content and excellence in technique and for maintaining active ties to their tribal communities. Their work is challenging, complex, and culturally engaged. Chosen artists represent a wide range of media, artistic approaches, cultural backgrounds, and geographical regions.
We publish poetry or short fiction in every issue. Authors are selected by our literary editor. We do not accept unsolicited poetry or fiction. We do not publish poetry or fiction by non-Native authors.
We do not write about upcoming events in the magazine; however, we do sell ads to promote upcoming events. We also have an online calendar, where Native art events can be listed for free. Artists, curators, and others are welcome and encouraged to share their art and events on our Facebook Page.
Indigenous American identity is complex and politically charged. Our magazine is dedicated to covering art by Indigenous peoples of the Americas—meaning people whose ancestors originated in either North or South America prior to first known European contact in the 10th century and first known African contact in the 15th century. We define Indigenous peoples as both having Indigenous ancestry and engagement with and acknowledgment from the tribal communities to whom they belong.
We comply with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and reveal, to the best of our knowledge, if an individual is enrolled in a state or federally recognized tribe or if they are of unenrolled tribal descent. We recognize there are many political and historical reasons why tribes might not have recognition or an individual of Indigenous ancestry may not be eligible for enrollment or have been disenrolled. We will carefully navigate these issues guided by honesty and openness.
The magazine complies with the 2008 Cherokee Nation Cherokee Artists Act and will be explicit in revealing if individuals are enrolled in the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes or not.
FAAM defines Chicana and Chicano as being of American of Mexican descent, which may or may not include Indigenous heritage. We define Mestiza and Mestizo as being a Latin American person of detribalized Indigenous descent. We privilege individuals who maintain active relationships with their Indigenous communities.
Email us for further information.