Portrait of Lara M. Evans, PhD., Cherokee Nation, First Peoples Fund's Vice President of Programs.


Lara M. Evans, PhD., is a scholar, curator, artist, and enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. Dr. Evans has been art history faculty since 2005, first at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, then at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM, since 2012. She guided the IAIA Artist-in-Residence Program from its inception in 2015 into its eventual growth into the IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts, which provides residencies, fellowships, research support, and access to the IAIA Archives and Museum of Contemporary Native Arts collection.  Dr. Evans's recent curatorial projects include Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Shared Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational 2023, the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art exhibition The Moving Land: 60+ Year of Art by Linda Lomahaftewa (2021), and co-curation of the traveling exhibition Action/Abstraction Redefined (2017-2024). Publications include “Indigeneity and the Posthumous Condition,” co-authored with Mique’l Dangeli in Posthumous Art, Law, and the Art Market: The Afterlife of Art, edited by Sharon Hecker and Peter J. Karol (2022); “Transforming Art History in the Classroom,” from Making History: IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, edited by Nancy Mithlo (2020); “Setting the Photographs Aside: Native North American Photography Since 1990,” from Native Art Now, edited by Veronica Passalacqua and Kate Morris (2017). She earned her Ph.D. in art history at the University of New Mexico in 2005, specializing in contemporary Native American art.

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