Fellow: Awarded 2017
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Internationally renowned performance and installation artist James Luna (Puyukitchum/Ipi/Mexican American) resides on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in North County San Diego, California. With 37 years of exhibition and performance experience Luna has given voice to Native American cultural issues, pursued innovative and versatile media within his disciplines and charted waters for other artists to follow. His powerful works transforms gallery spaces into battlefields, where the audience is confronted with the nature of cultural identity, the tensions generated by cultural isolation, and the dangers of cultural misinterpretations, all from a Native perspective.
Since 1975, he has had over 41 solo exhibitions, participated in 85 group exhibitions and has performed internationally at venues that include the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Los Angles of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe, NM.
In 2005 he was selected as the first sponsored artist of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution to the 2005 Venice Biennale, Venice Italy. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM.
Luna's work today remains vibrant, current and innovative in these times of turbulent racial strife on the global arena and his voice has become needed as no time before.