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2007 Fellows

Past Fellows: 2007

  • James Luna (b. 1950, Luiseño)

    Pink5-James Luna

    Luna grew up in Orange County, but since 1975, he has made the La Jolla reservation his permanent home.  He graduated from the University of California—Irvine in 1976 with a Bachelor Fine Arts in Studio Arts.  He is an also an alumni of San Diego State University, where he obtained his Master of Science in Counseling in 1983.  Although he had concentrated his fine arts training in painting, Luna is renowned for his performance and installation art that addresses difficult issues that Native Americans face: challenging the definitions and limitations of being Indian, being frozen in the past, and identity.  In 2002, he received the Creative Capital Grant; in 2005 he represented the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian at the Venice Biennale; and in 2011, he was a printmaking resident at Crow’s Shadow Institute.


  • Dana Claxton (b. 1959, Hunkpapa Lakota)

    Dana ClaxtonsmallerClaxton is a descendent of the band of Hunkpapa Lakota led by Sitting Bull, who sought safe passage into Canada after defeating General George A. Custer and his Seventh Calvary at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.  As an enrolled member of the Wood Mountain First Nation, she grew up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but now lives in Vancouver.  She received her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Simon Fraser University in 2007.  In 2003, Claxton taught journalism at the University of Regina as the Global Television chair, and from 2009 through 2010, she was the Ruth Wynn Woodward Women’s Studies Chair at Simon Fraser University.  She is currently an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory.  Her photographs, video installations, and performance pieces are critical commentaries that counter popular misconceptions of Native peoples and genders and inspire viewers to consider her perspective, her voice.

  • Gerald Clarke, Jr. (b. 1967, Cahuilla)

    Gerald ClarkeClarke was born in Hemet, California.  He is an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians who grew up in both Orange County and on his father’s reservation where he has lived since 2003.  Clarke received his Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Sculpture from the University of Arkansas in 1991 and both a Master of Arts (in 1992) and Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1994.  Presently, Clarke is the visual arts chair at Idyllwild Arts Academy, as well as an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of California—Riverside.  He sculpts, paints in acrylics, and works in whatever medium best suits his particular creation.  As inventive and inspired as his artistic approach, Clarke’s art emphasizes the Native American perspective of truth and beauty, and restoration of Native identity and expression.

  • Larry McNeil (b. 1955, Northern Tlingit, Killer Whale House and Nisga’a)

    Larry McNeilMcNeil received a Bachelor of Arts at the Brooks Institute School of Photographic Art and Science in Santa Barbara, California, in 1978.  He obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at the University of New Mexico in 1999.  He taught at the Institute of American Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and presently, he is an associate professor of photography at Boise State University’s art department.  In 2006, he won the “All Roads” Photography Award from National Geographic, and in 2007, his lithograph First Light, Winter Solstice, was selected by the Arts in U.S. Embassies program for exhibition in Abuja, Nigeria. Also in 2004 and 2007, McNeil was an artist in residence at Crow’s Shadow Institute.  He is very much a master photographer who also works in paint and prints to reinterpret, in a humorous and satirical way, lingering stereotypes of Native Americans.

  • Sonya Kelliher-Combs (b. 1969, Iñupiaq/Athabaskan)

    Sonya Kelliher-Combs by Sheryl Maree ReilySonya Kelliher-Combs grew up in Nome, Alaska, and currently lives in Anchorage.  She graduated cum laude from the University of Alaska—Fairbanks with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1992, and from Arizona State University with a Master of Fine Arts in 1998.  In 2005, she won the Anchorage, Alaska, Mayor’s Individual Artist Award.  Dedicated to the support of Native Alaska cultures and arts, she serves on the Alaska State Council on the Arts Visual Arts Advisory Board, Alaska Native Arts Foundation Exhibitions Committee, and Institute of American Indians and Alaska Native Arts Board.   Kelliher-Comb’s mixed media works typically include natural materials indicative of her Alaska Native heritage.




  • William Wilson (b. 1969, Diné)

    Will WilsonWilliam “Will” Wilson graduated from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Art History in 1993, and the University of New Mexico with a Master of Fine Arts in Photography in 2002.  Wilson taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1999 to 2000, Oberlin College from 2000 to 2001, and the University of Arizona from 2006 to 2008.  In 2010, he was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, and in 2013, he was the Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow at the School of Advanced Research.  He created the Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange in 2012, a photographic project that invites Native artists and professionals to participate in creating or posing in photo essays for Natives by Natives.  Wilson’s photography endeavors to represent Native Americans in a true light by removing the colonial spotlight or filter projected and cast by earlier historical photographers.



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