2019 Juried Competition Judges

Classification I - Jewelry and Lapidary Work

Connie Tsosie-Gaussoin (Picuris Pueblo and Diné)
Jewelry Artist and Educator. Gaussoin has won numerous major awards for her jewelry, including the 2008 Living Treasure Award from the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe.

As an educator, she has taught jewelry to adult students at the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council (ENIPC), the Pojoaque POEH Arts Center, and to children at the Wheelwright Museum. She also served as a guest instructor for the summer Indian Arts Program at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her works are in collections at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the School of American Research, the Millicent Rodgers Museum and the San Diego Museum of Man.

Ken Williams (Northern Arapaho/Seneca)
An accomplished Beadwork Artist and Manager of the Case Trading Post at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe. In 2018 he curated the exhibition, Peshlakai Vision: The Creations of Norbert Peshlakai. In 2014 he won the Best of Show award at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market for his beaded bag tribute to Hopi artist Charles Loloma titled, He Was Iconic.

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

Dwight Lanmon
Co-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 Director of the Winterthur Museum and the Director of the Corning Museum of Glass, where he also served as curator of European Glass. He served as a presenter at the Heard Museum "Prepare for the Fair" in 2016.

Janis Lyon
Heard Trustee and Guest Curator. Over the past 45 years, Janis and her husband, Dennis – a Life Trustee of the museum – established a significant collection of pottery and jewelry that includes important works by Maria Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo) and Charles Loloma (Hopi) as well as historical and contemporary pieces representing the Acoma, Alco Zia, Cochiti, Puname and San Ildefonso pueblos, and more. In 2017, she served as guest curator (with her friend and Heard Life Trustee Carol Ann Mackay) for Beauty Speaks for Us.

Christine Nofchissey McHorse (Diné)
Potter and Sculptor. McHorse has received numerous awards at the SWAIA Indian Market, Santa Fe, the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Her work, based on traditional Navajo designs and legends, is included in the collections at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, the Denver Museum of Natural History, and the Navajo Nation Museum.


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).

Jacob Meders (Mechoopda/Maidu)
Master Printmaker, Warbird Press, Phoenix; assistant professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance, Arizona State University. Meder’s work focuses on altered perceptions of place, culture, and identity built on the assimilation and homogenization of Indigenous peoples.

Karen Kramer
Curator, Peabody Essex Museum. Kramer has curated numerous exhibitions on Native American art and culture. Most recently she curated T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America, which will travel to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, New York City, March 16 - September 16, 2019. Kramer directs PEM's innovative Native American Fellowship program, which provides training for rising Native American leaders in the museum, cultural and academic sectors.

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

Kent McManis
Co-director of the Zuni Fetish Museum. 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-owner of Grey Dog Trading in Old Town Albuquerque, NM and has been in the Native American arts and crafts business for forty-five years.

Arthur Pelberg, MD, MPA
Chief advisor, Bayless Integrated Healthcare. He is a Life Trustee at the Heard Museum and avid collector of art. He earned his medical degree at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Greyshoes (Upton Ethelbah, Jr.) (Santa Clara Pueblo/White Mountain Apache)
Stone and Bronze Sculptor.
Upton Ethelbah, Jr., was named a Living Treasure by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe in 2009. Sculpture is his second career, started only after his retirement from working in education and social programs for Native Americans and other minorities. In addition to winning numerous awards for his art, he also has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) in 2002-2003 and as a Featured Artist in the Heard Museum shop during the 2018 Indian Fair and Market.


Classification VI - Weavings and Textiles

Ann Lane Hedlund
Curator of Ethnology and Professor of Anthropology at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, from 1997 to 2013. She is the author of many publications and has curated numerous exhibitions of Native American art. Her book, Navajo Weaving in the Late Twentieth Century: Kin, Community, and Collectors (2004) received the Arizona Highways/Arizona Library Association Award for Non-Fiction. A frequent consultant at the Heard, she presented at the Heard’s 2017 for “Prepare for the Fair” lecture series.

Melissa Cody (Navajo)
Award winning Textile Artist and Lecturer. Cody is a specialist in the Germantown Revival style of Navajo weaving who acquired her knowledge and technical skill from a long line of family members who are prominent Navajo weavers. A graduate from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, she is a Native Arts and Culture Foundations’ Artist Fellows and a recipient of the Heard Museum Guild’s Conrad House Award. She is highly regarded as a vanguard for contemporary compositions that carry the sensibility of her Navajo culture.

Jennifer McLerran
Associate Professor, Art History, Northern Arizona University. McLerran also served as a curator at the Museum of Northern Arizona for two years. Her many publications include A New Deal for Native Art: Indian Arts and Federal Policy, 1933-1943 (2009), The Spectacle of Navajo Weaving: Monumental Navajo Weavings (2014) and Tselani/Terrain: Tapestries of D. Y. Begay (2018), as well as an article titled, Navajo Weavings in John Ford Westerns: The Visual Rhetoric of Presenting Savagery and Civilization.


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

Twig Johnson
Retired Senior Curator, Native American Art, Montclair Art Museum. She served as curator at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey for more than twenty years. 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
Fred and Virginia Merrill Senior Curator of 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 was guest curator for Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection, the 2018 installation of Native American art in the American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

William Wiggins, PhD
Director & Curator of the J. W. Wiggins Contemporary Native American Art Collection on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. A collector of Native American Art for over 44 years, he donated about 3,000 pieces to UA Little Rock. The collection focuses primarily on artists from the central region of America from Northern Mexico to the Arctic Coast. A unique aspect of the collection is that he knows most of the artist personally whose works are included, unusual in a collection this size.


Classification VIII - Baskets

Terry DeWald
Owner of DeWald American Indian Art, Tucson. He specializes in historic Southwest, Great Basin and California basketry, as well as contemporary Tohono O’odham and Apache basketry. He presented at the Heard’s 2016 “Prepare for the Fair” lecture series.

Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy)
Frey specializes in ash fancy baskets, a traditional form of Wabanaki weaving. He has won numerous awards including the Best of Show award at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 2011 and the Best of Show award at the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market in 2011 and 2015. His work was featured in the Changing Hands exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. He has pieces in the Smithsonian as well as many other prominent museums around the country.

Diane Dittemore
Associate Curator, Ethnological Collections, Arizona State Museum (ASM).
Dittemore has published numerous articles on ASM’s collections in scholarly journals and popular Indian art magazines over the years, including the Journal of Arizona History. She was the lead curator of the exhibit, Woven Through Time: American Treasures of Native Basketry and Fiber Art.


Classification IX - Personal Attire

Susan Kennedy-Zeller, PhD
Former Curator of Native American art, Brooklyn Museum, 1998-2016. She has curated many exhibits including, Tipi of the Great Plains, and co-wrote the accompanying catalogue. She taught at Columbia University, Long Island University and the New School for Social Research.

Doreen Duncan (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara)
Beadwork Artist and Educator. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and Arizona State University, she manages Yellow Bird Production, a Native family based performing arts group. She has worked in educational programs at the Heard and as the director of the Huhugam Ki Museum for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

A.J. Dickey
A Life Trustee at the Heard, Dickey has collected American Indian art, jewelry, rugs and objects for many decades. She has a keen interest in fashion design and has welcomed the participation of Native designers into the world of major fashion design.


Classification XI - Open Standards

Jennifer Complo McNutt

Curator of contemporary art at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and founding curator of the Eiteljorg Museum’s Fellowship program.

McNutt has curated numerous Native American art exhibitions in her 29-year tenure at the Eiteljorg. Through her work with the Fellowship program, she has helped build the contemporary Native American art collection at the Eiteljorg into one of the leading collections in the museum world.

Christy Vezolles (French/German/British/Shawnee heritage)

Heard Museum Trustee. Art enthusiast, appraiser, collector, writer and creator. Vezolles taught studio arts and graphic design at Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton. She currently serves on national advisory boards of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the Gilcrease Museum.

Joe Baker (Delaware)

An artist, curator, educator, Baker currently is the CEO/Executive Director, Palos Verdes Art Center, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA and co-founder and Executive Director of Lenape Center, New York, NY.

Baker recently served as Executive Director, Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans, LA. At the Heard Museum Baker served for five years as the Lloyd Kiva New Curator of Fine Arts.  He is the winner of numerous national awards for his leadership and service work in support of Native arts. His recent work focuses on addressing issues of identity and global cultural equity.