Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture Receives $500K Gift, Announces The JoAnn and Bob Balzer Native Market and Contemporary Art Gallery

January 28, 2021


With much gratitude and appreciation, MIAC is excited to announce the generous donation of $500,000 from JoAnn and Bob Balzer. The funds from this donation will be used for the construction of a new contemporary art gallery, set to open in 2022.

“We literally moved to Santa Fe because of our love of Native American art and culture and Indian Market, all of which have immeasurably enriched our lives. We wanted to establish a gallery uniquely focused on displaying the incredibly diverse and innovative art of artists from that and other indigenous markets. We are deeply honored to be able to give back and to promote and advance contemporary Native American art by sponsoring this new gallery at MIAC,” said JoAnn and Bob Balzer.

“This unique gallery, planned for innovative and cutting-edge exhibits, will highlight Native market art and artists, and create a greater appreciation of contemporary Native American art, bringing it to a larger audience. It promises to be an exciting showcase, featuring the best and newest in Native market and contemporary art. We can’t wait to share this with the world.”

The JoAnn and Bob Balzer Native Market and Contemporary Art Gallery will focus on contemporary Native American art with the intent to create a greater appreciation and better understanding of contemporary Native American art and the artists. The gallery will provide a place for new and emerging Native artists to showcase their work, as well as exhibition space for various medium forms, including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, glass, photography, video, and digital works.

“JoAnn is a longtime trustee of the Foundation and, with Bob, has been generous to MIAC for many, many years,” said Jamie Clements, President/CEO of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. “With this gift, the Balzers are leaving a legacy of support for the museum and Native artists that are truly extraordinary. We are so grateful for their generosity.”

Exhibitions at the new art gallery will include highly accomplished works by a sole or multiple artists. Depending on the availability of resources, the intent of the gallery is to have at least two exhibits each year along with programming to highlight the stories of Indigenous peoples and their artistic contributions.

MIAC is very appreciative of this very generous gift,” said Della Warrior (Otoe-Missouria)Director of MIAC. “These funds will enable MIAC to showcase award-winning art created by native people as well as exhibit the most current forms of contemporary native art in the 21st century.”

The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) supports the artistic, cultural, and intellectual achievements of Indigenous peoples. From multiple groundbreaking exhibitions to the renovation of its facilities, many of the museum’s initiatives and goals would not be possible without its donors and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation (MNMF).

MIAC and the MNMF thank JoAnn and Bob Balzer for their donation and support of contemporary Native American art.


About the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and our donors. The mission of the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is to serve as a center of stewardship, knowledge, and understanding of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual achievements of the diverse peoples of the Native Southwest.   



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