2018 Juried Competition Judges

Classification I - Jewelry and Lapidary Work

Raymond Yazzie (Navajo)

Award winning jeweler. He is known for his gradation of colors and precise beveled stones. He and his brother, Lee Yazzie, have won every major award in the field. The Yazzie family and their art was the subject of Glittering World, an exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian (2014) and the accompanying catalogue.

Norman Sandfield

Co-curator of three Heard Museum exhibits including the current Awa Tsireh, Pueblo Painter and Metalsmith; Old Traditions in New Pots; Silver Seed Pots from the Norman L. Sandfield Collection and Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry. He also is the co-author of the accompanying catalogs.

Deborah Slaney

Curator of History at the Albuquerque Museum. Her recent exhibitions include The Leekya Family: Master Carvers of Zuni Pueblo and The Eason Eige Collection: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelry, 1870-Present.


Classification II - Pottery

Garth Johnson

Curator of ceramics at the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center in Tempe, Arizona. He is an artist, writer, curator and educator whose writing is featured in the new book “Repositioning Paolo Soleri” published by the Scottsdale Museum of Art in 2017.

Dwight Lanmon

Author of several books on pueblo pottery, including “The Pottery of Zuni Pueblo” (MNM Press, 2008), and “The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo” (MNM Press, 2013). Lanmon was CEO and Director of the Winterthur Museum and the Director and a curator of European Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass. He served as a presenter at “Prepare for the Fair” 2016.

Courtney M. Leonard (Shinnecock)

Is a contemporary ceramic artist and filmmaker whose work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at ASU’s Ceramic Research Center and the Lloyd Kiva New Gallery, Santa Fe. Her current work embodies the multiple definitions of “breach,” an exploration and documentation of historical ties to water, whale and material sustainability. In collaboration with national and international museums, U.S. embassies, cultural institutions, and Indigenous communities in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand, Leonard's practice investigates narratives of cultural viability as a reflection of environmental record.


Classification III - Paintings, Drawings, Graphics and Photography

Betsy Fahlman, PhD

Professor of Art History, ASU and adjunct curator of American Art, Phoenix Art Museum. Dr. Fahlman has written more than 30 books, catalogues, articles, and essays including the New Deal Art in Arizona (2009) and The Cowboy’s Dream: The Mythic Life and Art of Lon Megargee (2002).

 Fausto Fernandez

A mixed media collage artist. His public art works include the Scottsdale waterfront and the 10,000-square-foot terrazzo floor design at the Sky Train Station at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. His collages are in the permanent collections at Tucson Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, and the Heard Museum.

John P. Lukavic, PhD

Curator of Native Arts, Denver Art Museum. He has curated many exhibitions of American Indian arts, including Jeffrey Gibson: Like a HammerSuper Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967–1980, and Revolt 1680/2180: Virgil Ortiz. He also contributed an essay to the Heard’s recent T.C. Cannon catalogue.


Classifications IV and V - Pueblo Carvings (IV) and Sculpture (V)

Neil Berman, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Engineering at Arizona State University.  Neil and his wife Sarah collected contemporary Native American Art for 40 years.  Sarah died in 2010, but her legacy lives on with their donations of pottery, kachinas and paintings to the Heard Museum.

Doug Hyde (Nez Perce/Assiniboine/Chippewa)

Sculptor. He has been named both Master of the Southwest by The Phoenix Home & Garden magazine and a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society. Two of his sculptures are at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His bronze Tribute to Code Talkers is a Phoenix landmark. There are several of his works in the Heard collection, including Intertribal Greeting, which depicts five women in their distinctive tribal dress.

Kent McManis

Co-owner of Grey Dog Trading in Old Town Albuquerque, NM. He has authored five books on Native American arts and curated two exhibits on Zuni Fetishes for the Wheelwright Museum. Kent is also the co-director of the forthcoming Zuni Fetish Museum in Albuquerque.


Classification VI - Weavings and Textiles

Nancy Blomberg

Chief Curator, Native Arts, Denver Art Museum. Blomberg has organized dozens of exhibitions including a complete renovation of the American Indian galleries at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibit, called Artists Eye, Artists Hand, has garnered top national awards. She has published extensively in such publications as The Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, Kiva and American Indian Art Magazine. Her major publication, “Navajo Textiles: The William Randolph Hearst Collection,” is in its second edition.

 Ann Hedlund, PhD

Curator of ethnology, Arizona State Museum from 1997 to 2013. She is the author of many publications and has curated numerous exhibits. Her 2004 book, Navajo Weaving in the Late Twentieth Century: Kin, Community, and Collectors (University of Arizona Press), received the Arizona Highways/Arizona Library Association Award for Non-Fiction. She was a presenter for “Prepare for the Fair” at the Heard in 2017.

 Dr. Arthur Pelberg

Heard Museum Trustee and collector.


Classification VII and Classification X - Diverse Arts and Beadwork & Quillwork

Twig Johnson

Retired Senior Curator, Native American Art, Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, a position she held for over twenty years. In addition to her curatorial duties, she also taught Native American art history and Museum curation methods at Montclair State University, and served on the New Jersey Council on the Humanities Horizon Speakers Bureau.

Gaylord Torrence

Senior Curator, American Indian Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Professor Emeritus, Drake University. His major exhibitions/publications include: The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky; The American Indian Parfleche; and Art of the Red Earth People: The Mesquakie of Iowa. He is guest curator for the 2018 installation of Native American art in the American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke)

Beadwork artist, curator, writer, artist, and museum professional.  She has worked for the School for Advanced Research, The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. She recently curated an exhibition of Contemporary Native American art at the Coe Foundation for the Arts in Santa Fe, NM. She has written articles for the Smithsonian, First American Art Magazine, and Earth Song magazine.


Classification VIII - Baskets

Norma Jean Coulter

Heard Life Trustee and a Guild member for over 50 years. She has vast knowledge of Native American history and culture, which makes her an invaluable volunteer in the Heard Bookstore. Having held virtually every job in the Guild, including Fair Chair and President, she also worked many years in the Heard Gift shop, giving her deep appreciation for the artists and their work.

Terry DeWald

Owner of DeWald American Indian Art, Tucson. He specializes in historic southwest and California basketry, as well as contemporary Tohono O’odham and Apache basketry. He was a presenter at “Prepare for the Fair” at the Heard in 2016.

Bryn Barabas Potter

Museum curatorial consultant, specializing in basketry. Working with many institutions and tribes, Potter has curated dozens of exhibitions. She has written about basketry for American Indian Art, First American Art, and other magazines.


Classification IX - Personal Attire

Doreen Duncan (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara)

Beadwork Artist and educator. Graduate of IAIA and ASU. Co Owner/Founder of Yellow Bird Productions, a Native Performing Arts Group. She worked in Public Programs at the Heard and was Director of the Huhugam Ki Museum for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC).

Susan Kennedy-Zeller, PhD

Curator of Native American Art, Brooklyn Museum (1998-2016). She has curated many exhibits including, Tipi of the Great Plains, with the accompanying catalogue. Prior to becoming a curator, she had a career in retail management.

Dennita Sewell

Curator of Fashion Design, Phoenix Art Museum and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University.


Classification XI - Cutting-Edge

Mark Bahti

Gallery Owner, Bahti Indian Arts, Tucson and Santa Fe. He is the author of numerous books including: “A Consumer’s Guide to Southwestern Indian Arts & Crafts,” “Collecting Southwestern Native American Jewelry,” and “Silver and Stone: Profiles of American Indian Jewelers.” He serves on the board of the Tucson Indian Center, the American Indian Arts’ Foundation, the Amerind Foundation and SWAIA.

Jacob Meders (Mechoopda Indian Tribe, Chico Rancheria, California)

Master Printmaker at his fine art printmaking studio, WarBird Press in Phoenix and Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts & Performance at Arizona State University, Glendale, AZ. He has exhibited work at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Heard Museum and Mesa Contemporary Arts. Jacob’s work focuses on altered perceptions of place, culture, and identity built on the assimilation and homogenization of indigenous peoples.

 Ellen Taubman

Curator, Changing Hands, Art without Reservation, a three-part exhibition series that focused on the cutting edge in contemporary Native American and Inuit Art. She is currently organizing an exhibit called Redefine, scheduled for spring 2019 at the Heard. She also is a former Vice President at Sotheby’s in charge of American Indian, Inuit and Oceanic Art.