Larry McNeil, Carbon Footprints, 2007

Larry McNeil Xhe Dhé is a member of the Tlingit and Nisgaá nations. As an artist and scholar his work is about the global climate crisis, intersection of cultures, American mythology, irony, satire, and generally making art with a distinctive sense of American identity. McNeil is a contributing author for a number of publications and recently won an Arts and Humanities Fellowship that will allow him to take a year-long leave of absence to dedicate to his photographic research about the global climate crisis.

McNeil’s art has been exhibited at numerous national museums and galleries for over twenty years, and he earned the prestigious Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Art, the National Geographic All Roads Photography Award, and the En Foco New Works award for photography. He has recently participated in numerous high profile arts projects, such as the American Arts in Embassies Project and the international Te Waka Toi/Creative New Zealand–Evergreen Longhouse Indigenous Residency.

McNeil is a Full Professor in the Art Department at Boise State University and he taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe prior to that. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico, and the esteemed Van Deren Coke Fellowship in Photography as a graduate student.


Join us for the
October 27 @ 6pm

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/Nisgaá) uses the tools of family ancestry and personal history to build his art. Born in Fairbanks, Alaska to a Tlingit/Nisgaá Mother and Hippy/American father his work stems from an examination of a multicultural heritage and social expectations and definitions. Mehner was raised in two environments - one as an urban Native in Anchorage and the other as a rural Hippy in Fairbanks living without electricity, running water or phones, and heating the house with a wood stove. In particular his work has focused on the constructs of Native American identity, and an attempt to define the Self outside of these constructs. He uses the materials and tools of his family to express himself. From the steel and concrete of his Labor Union father, to the crook knife and cedar of his Alaska Native ancestors, Mehner's artwork reflects his heritage. In an expanded view of "tradition," Mehner also includes the inherited tools and skills of photography that were passed down to him from his maternal Uncles.

Mehner received his A.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and his B.F.A. from the University of New Mexico. From 1994-2000, he served as the founder and Director of Site 21/21, a contemporary art gallery in Albuquerque, NM, and was a founding member/owner of the (Fort) 105 Art Studios in downtown Albuquerque in 1998. In 2000, he returned to Alaska and earned his M.F.A. in Native Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

His work in photography and sculpture has been exhibited from New York to California; Alaska to New Mexico. Collections include the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, University of Alaska Museum of the North (Fairbanks, AK), Institute of American Indian Arts Museum (Santa Fe, NM), Alaska State Museum (Juneau, AK), and the C.N. Gorman Museum. His work has been featured in the art magazines Sculpture and American Indian Art, and in numerous newspapers, art catalogs, and blogs. He is currently Assistant Professor of Native Arts at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Director of the UAF Native Arts Center.