First American Art Magazine covers art by Indigenous peoples of the Americas. We do not cover art by non-Native artists. Please do not query about profiling individual artists in the magazine. If you cannot accept your work being edited to fit our style guide, do not query or submit work to us.
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 editors determines the content and list of artists to be profiled. First American Art Magazine is committed to presenting the Indigenous art of the Americas privileging Indigenous perspectives. We welcome submissions by Native and non-Native writers who are informed and inspired about their subject matter.
We do not accept manuscripts with more than 4,000 words.
Once your proposal has been accepted or your story assigned, please only submit finished texts. Do not submit a piece in the process of being read by others. You can request to see the initial edits; however, FAAM reserves the right to edit all material submitted. If you do not want your writing to be edited, do not solicit us.
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, intertribal cultural misappropriation, and the paradox of attempting to decolonize museums.
Word count: 600 – 700 words on one page, 1,000 – 1,200 words on 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). General introductions to particular genres of artwork are welcome—especially Indigenous art media, such as mopa mopa, moosehair tufting, shell etching, or birchbark biting—and stories that connect history to the present day.
Note: If you are writing about Canadian artists, secure permission to reproduce their artworks PRIOR to pitching an article to FAAM. We will no longer accept proposals for articles about deceased Canadian artists without having image permissions in place first.
Word count: 2,000 – 3,500. We do not accept article drafts of more than 4,000 words.
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, which would present conflicts of interest for any critical review, also fall under the aegis of Reports.
Word count: 600 – 1,200.
This column is a deep dive into a single artwork, whether historic or contemporary. Typically, Spotlight is a two-page spread with a massive image of the work and one or two detail shots.
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 the first known European contact in the 10th century and first known African contact in the 15th century. We define Indigenous peoples as having Indigenous ancestry and engagement with and acknowledgment from the tribal communities to which 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 carefully navigate these issues guided by honesty and openness.
The magazine complies with the 2008 Cherokee Nation Truth in Advertising for Native Art Act (#07-160) and is explicit in revealing if individuals are enrolled in the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes or if they are unenrolled individuals of Cherokee descent.
The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes passed Resolution no. 16-11 in 2016, “A Resolution Requiring Proof of Tribal Enrollment for Artisans Who Claim Native Affiliation,” which “respectfully requests that museums and research institutions promoting the history, art, language, and culture of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole Nations require proof of tribal citizenships of individuals who hold themselves out as affiliated with one or more of the Five Tribes as a condition of acceptance to any professional alliance with said museums or research institutions and prior to any public listing of tribal affiliation with any one or more of the Five Tribes.” As a research journal, FAAM strives to comply with this resolution; however, we list unenrolled individuals with ancestry as being “of descent.”
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.
FAAM Artist & Scholar List (This is not a complete list and only exists for our internal reference.)
Email us for further information.