Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Yazzie Collaborating with Visitors in New Studio

This summer, the Denver Art Museum welcomed Melanie Yazzie, the native arts department's first artist-in-residence. The artist-in-residence program brings renowned American artists to the Denver Art Museum and utilizes a new studio space in the American Indian art galleries on level three of the North Building. The revitalized studio and Yazzie’s residency are made possible by a grant from the Americana Foundation. 

Melanie Yazzie stands in the new studio space in the American Indian art galleries on level three of the North Building.

Longtime members of the Denver Art Museum family, the Americana Foundation has bolstered the museum’s education program through support for new, in-gallery interpretive materials and the reinstallation of the American Indian art galleries. The foundation’s contributions helped launch the residency program that has resulted in a rich output of content including artworks, hundreds of visitor interactions with Yazzie, and also audio and video content for use with school and teacher programs.

Yazzie’s residency continues the artist-centered theme of the American Indian art galleries, which reopened January of 2011. In addition to highlighting the talents of American artists, this annual program supports the museum’s mission to be a place for families and creativity year-round. The program lets visitors connect directly with working artists.

Melanie Yazzie is a talented printmaker, painter, and sculptor. She is currently a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has exhibited around the world. She brings personal history into her work while her aesthetic depicts a purity of form that is universally accessible. Yazzie often collaborates with international artists, and this summer Denver Art Museum visitors have been able to collaborate with her in their own creative endeavors through three weekend workshops. Yazzie has been working on creating 18 new works of art over the course of her three-month residency, which began in early June. The studio space has already come alive with works in progress. Stop by and meet the artist and spark your own creativity! Her final days on site will be July 25-29, ending with her last hands-on weekend workshop.

We appreciate the Americana Foundation’s support of wholly American art forms and helping the Denver Art Museum celebrate the work of Native American artists.

Image: Artist Melanie Yazzie works on a monotype print.

Lindsay Smith Gustave is an Associate in the Development department at the Denver Art Museum. Lindsay has been at the DAM since 2011 and has learned something new every day. She loves the fact that the DAM not only offers an extensive permanent collection but that it also brings once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions to the community. Lindsay has a background in fine arts and art history and is happy to support others’ efforts in these disciplines through her job in Development.