The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts' Andrea Hanley is one of our favorite curators in all of Santa Fe, and now that she's the newest member of the Santa Fe Arts Commission, we're excited to see what else she'll put together. Hanley says she might just be the first commissioner of Navajo descent and, as far as we know, she's right. She's also the best, so obviously it's time to ask some Q's.
What are the duties of a Santa Fe Art Commissioner?
Really what we do is support art policy, look at how we can support what happens in terms of what role the arts play. I think it's an important role that will enable me to build on my experience and successes in other museums and arts organizations.
Are there any particular things you're hoping to make happen during your tenure?
For me, in this role, I've always strived to expand the definition of American Indian arts. I've always had a deep fondness and respect for New Mexico and the city, so for me, I think that I'm really excited about the prospect of meeting and supporting more of the Santa Fe and New Mexico arts community in a broader capacity. I'd like to think I'm connected in a way that is supportive. I've always thought that playing a role in supporting local and regional Native and non-Native art through programming is important—and supporting the Santa Fe Arts Commission to advance their mission of sustaining the Santa Fe arts community.
What's your first order of business if you have one?
Y'know, I don't know. I'm interested in ways the commission can support arts workers, artists and organizations. Then, obviously, I've already said my expertise lies in Native arts, and I'd like to see if there's a way I can support the city in that respect. My mom was on the Arizona Commission for the Arts, the Heard Board. … Both of my parents have been connected in their service to community, and that's how I feel. I've always wanted to be supportive and tried to do so. It's really, for me, trying to give back to the community that gives so much to me.