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Multiple Artists

FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona 

Jan 10 - Mar 30, 2022

FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona features work by artists who descend from the first Indigenous people of North America, with histories that stretch through the millennia. 


Indigenous people in North America have been here for thousands of years. The past is also the present. 

Native tribes in the Americas tell many different creation stories, and nature is often a central theme: animals, trees, water, land, and the great spirit—the vital nature of the people and the earth. There is material evidence of Indigenous peoples in North America dating back at least 3,600 years.  

Today, Native American artists living in Arizona create artwork that springs from their long history, their creation stories, and their lives today. Artists representing tribes from the south, north, east, and west are represented here.  

In this exhibition—curated in consultation with potter Ron Carlos, a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community—we are honored to share work from artists who descend from these first peoples, these Indigenous Americans with histories that stretch through the millennia. 

Scottsdale Public Art acknowledges that this exhibition takes place on unceded and unsurrendered Indigenous homelands. We acknowledge the ancestors of the First Nations peoples of modern-day Arizona. The makeup of our current state is entirely shaped by these ancestors. In fact, the name “Arizona” comes from the word for “little spring” in the O’odham language. We also invest in the future of contemporary tribal members. As an arts and culture organization, it is our duty to uplift the artists and activists doing the work. We were honored to have multiple artists, representing numerous tribes, taking part in this exhibition. 

Artists featured in the exhibition include Chelsea Bighorn, David Butler, Ron Carlos, David Haff, Damian Jim, Zachary Justin, Marie Koonooak, Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, Mario Martinez, David Chethlahe Paladin, Roger Perkins, Melanie Sainz, and Jesse Yazzie. 

FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona is on view through March 30, 2022, at the Civic Center Public Gallery inside the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale AZ 85251. Click here for library hours. 

Related Event

FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona Reception
Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, 10 a.m.

Join us for a reception with the artists featured in FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona.

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