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2015 Fellows

Past Fellows: 2015

  • Mario Martinez (b. 1953, Pasqua Yaqui)

    Mario MartinezMartinez was born in Penjamo, Arizona.  Since 2002, Brooklyn, New York, has been his home.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University in 1979, and a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985.  In 1998, he was the recipient of the Native Arts Research Fellowship awarded by ATLATL and the National Museum of the American Indian, and in 2007, he was selected by the U.S. State Department and the National Museum of the American Indian for the Art in Embassies program.  Martinez has also completed two mural projects, one in 1999 for the Penjamo Yaqui Community Center in Scottsdale, and the other in 2003 for the Heard Museum in Phoenix.  More recently, he was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation “Creating a Living Legacy” Artist Award in 2013/2014, and an eight-week Robert Rauschenberg Residency in 2015.  Well-known for his abstract paintings of biomorphic shapes reminiscent of flowers or dream states, Martinez is influenced by his culture, the Sonoran desert environment of his youth, and his love of abstract expressionism.

  • Luzene Hill (b. 1946, Eastern Band of Cherokee)

    Luzene Hill cropped versionBorn, raised, and living in Atlanta, Georgia, Hill also spent time as a youth with her Cherokee family during summer vacations in North Carolina.  A Western Carolina University alumna, she received both her Bachelor of Fine Arts, summa cum laude, in 2007, and a Master of Fine Arts in 2012 from that university.  From 2006 to 2007, Hill was a National Artist Advisory Board member for ATLATL; in 2009, she received an Individual Artist Grant from the National Native Creative Development; in 2015, a First Peoples Fund Fellowship; and in 2016, a Native Arts and Culture Foundation National Artist Fellowship.  She also taught at Callanwolde Arts Center from 2014 to 2017, and in 2012, her drawings were exhibited in the travelling expedition Octopus Dreams: 200 Works on Paper by Contemporary Native American Artists.  Illustrator, painter, and performance and installation artist, Hill focuses on the difficult but important topic of violence against women, thereby, providing a voice for the silence that prevails in these experiences.

  • Brenda Mallory (b. 1955, Cherokee)

    Brenda MallorysmallerMallory grew up in Oklahoma, but currently works and resides in Portland, Oregon.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and English from the University of California—Los Angeles in 1982, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in General Fine Arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2002.  In 2007, Mallory was the recipient of the Emergency Funds Grant by the Foundation for Contemporary Art; in 2013, the Residency in Sculpture at Anderson Ranch Arts Center; and in 2016, the Golden Spot Residency at Crow’s Shadow Institute and Visual Arts Fellowship from the Native Arts and Culture Foundation.  Mallory is a multi-media multi-tasker, working in discarded materials, as well as cloth, beeswax, resin, and bolts, to construct sculptural installations resembling abstract organic forms.  Patterned together or in random lines, her works express her ideas on repetition, disruption, and fragmentation.

  • Da-ka-xeen Mehner (b. 1970, Tlingit/Nisga’a)

    Da-ka-xeen MehnerMehner was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he currently resides.  He graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an Associate in Arts in 1992, the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2003, and the University of Alaska—Fairbanks with a Master for Fine Arts in Native Arts in 2007.  In 2013, he was the recipient of a Career Opportunity Grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts; in 2014, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship; and in 2015, a U.S.A. Rasmuson Fellowship in Traditional Arts.  Currently, he is the department chair and associate professor at the University of Alaska—Fairbanks’ Native Art Center.  Via photographic images, video, performance pieces, and sculpture, Mehner depicts his personal experiences and history as an urban Indian.  Expressing his ideas mainly through self-portraits, Mehner seeks to convey his own perspective on identity.

  • Holly Wilson (b. 1968, Cherokee/Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma)

    Holly WilsonsmallerWilson was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and currently resides in Mustang, Oklahoma.  She graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics in 1992, and from Stephan F. Austin State University with a Master of Arts in Ceramics in 1994, and Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture in 2001.  In 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015, Wilson was awarded Creative Project Grants from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.  Also, in 2013, she was the recipient of Oklahoma City’s Artist INC Live Fellowship.  Cast in bronze by means of the lost wax technique, each sculpture she creates is individual or one of a kind.  Wilson also does photography and video to convey her personal and relatable stories about innocence, nature, and family.



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