Native Arts Artist-in-Residence

The Native Arts Artist-in-Residence program is an 8-month residency that explores contemporary Indigenous perspectives through the creative process. The studio, which is situated within the Indigenous Arts of North America Galleries, provides artists with an opportunity to develop their work alongside DAM visitors through a series of public engagement experiences.

2021-2022 Artist-in-Residence

Studio Hours: The third Friday of every month (April through August) form 10 am to 1 pm. Steven will be working out the studio with the door open for the public to pop in and get to know him and his work.

Dates: April 15, May 20, June 17, July 15, and August 19.

The 2021-2022 Native Arts Artist-in-Residence is Steven J. Yazzie (Navajo and Laguna Pueblo), a multidisciplinary artist working in video, painting, and installation who lives and works in Denver. For his residency, Yazzie is developing a data-driven, community-designed film project that explores Denver’s diverse cultural landscape. He says, "I see this project as a form of cross-cultural connection. I’m hopeful that people who participate in the project feel like they are invested, or part of something that reflects who we are as a community."

For the first phase of the project, Yazzie has developed six prompts for DAM visitors to consider and respond to in the galleries. For example: What is the best time of day to experience Denver? Describe a memorable experience you’ve had in Denver. Imagine Denver as a Color. What would it be? What is the most critical issue facing Denver today?

In the second phase, which will take part between January and May 2022, Yazzie will develop a series of public programs and hold intimate focus groups to dig deeper into the stories and experiences of the Denver community. All of these contributions will inform the film he will create and share at the end of his residency. For more information on his process and to watch a completed film, visit Knowing You, Santa Fe.

Artist Steven Yazzie working at his desk

Photo by Gabe Fermin.

About the Artist

Steven J. Yazzie is a member of the Navajo Nation and a veteran of the Gulf War, having served honorably with the United States Marine Corps. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Intermedia at Arizona State University and studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

He is the co-founder of Digital Preserve LLC, a video production company collaborating with artists, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary creatives to produce meaningful stories and content that highlights Indigenous issues.

Learn more about Steven Yazzie at his website,

Our Commitment to Indigenous Communities

The Denver Art Museum is located on the homeland of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute people, along with many people from other Indigenous nations that call this place home. Museums have benefited from the displacement of Indigenous people and the removal and historical misrepresentation of their arts, often resulting in deep harm to originating communities.

While we cannot change the past, we can change how we move forward. Indigenous people have made substantial impacts to our institution, and our identity is innately tied to the Native histories and contributions of Indigenous people past and present. This inspires and grounds us as we move forward in a better way

We commit to building authentic and sustained relationships with Indigenous people at multiple touch points across the museum; centering, elevating, and supporting Indigenous people in our programs and practices and providing meaningful access to our resources including collections, programs, tools, and spaces; and actively listening to and integrating Indigenous voices to grow as an inclusive and accessible space.

Previous Residencies

Previous Artist-in-Residents: