Artist News



Exhibition Opens June 4 at
The Maloof Foundation

Curated by Tony Abeyta
Featuring Works by
Contemporary Indigenous Artists
Christi Belcourt, Gerald Clarke, Jr.,
Craig George, Steven Paul Judd,
Monty Little, Cannupa Hanska Luger,
Kent Monkman, Cara Romero,
Diego Romero and Preston Singletary
Made possible with support from
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
California Center for the Native Nations
Neo Native Symposium Nov. 2-4, 2017


RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA — More than forty works by eleven contemporary artists with North American tribal roots will be featured in an exhibition running June 4, 2017 through January 7, 2018 at The Maloof Foundation.
Titled Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies, the exhibition is curated by artist Tony Abeyta, who has gathered an unprecedented array of paintings, photography, ceramics, glass, video and mixed media installations to be on view in the Jacobs Education Center gallery.

The exhibition, made possible with support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and others, seeks to share the vision of artists whose work is informed by traditions within tribal cultures, but whose themes express a newfound contemporary narrative.

“We are exploring ways that traditional forms and practices, iconography and ancestral mythologies influence the expression of contemporary native artists’ urbanity, modernity, technology and social priorities,” said Abeyta.

Featured artists (and tribes) include: Christi Belcourt (Michif), Gerald Clarke, Jr. (Cahuilla), Craig George (Navajo), Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw), Monty Little (Navajo), Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara/Lakota), Kent Monkman (Cree), Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo) and Preston Singletary (Tlingit).

Many of the artists are well-known nationally and internationally, with works found in museums and private collections. The selections will represent a cross-section of indigenous cultures in America and Canada. Some works have been created especially for this exhibition.

“The artists’ tribal cultures and traditions are part of the story, but our focus is on the ways in which each individual’s unique experience, vision and evolving artistic practice leads to expression that defies traditions and stereotypes to break new ground,” explained Abeyta, whose own roots are Navajo.

“We see connections through legacy, and in the artists’ shared pursuit of new mythologies.”

Rooted in Relationships 

Neo Native would not have happened without 80 years of Maloof and Abeyta family relationships.

Woodworker Sam Maloof’s wife, Alfreda Ward Maloof, met curator Tony Abeyta’s father, Narciso, in the late 1930’s while she was teaching art at the Santa Fe Indian Boarding School in New Mexico.

In that era, teaching through art was innovative at the nation’s Indian schools, and Alfreda’s work led to many deep and lasting relationships with students, artists and their families. After Alfreda’s marriage to Sam, the Maloofs together embraced Indian culture, appreciating the art and artists they discovered in their travels throughout the Southwest.

The Maloofs also collected contemporary Native American works of art, now held in The Maloof Foundation’s collection, including works by both Narciso and Tony.

“Sam was an important figure in my life and art,” says Tony Abeyta. “He was a mentor and collector, and we talked at length about everything from line, form and function, to craftsmanship, work ethic and spirituality.

“In so many ways,” notes Abeyta,  “this exhibition grew organically from our dialog, carrying forward Sam’s progressive interest in indigenous art and artists.”

To arrange an interview with curator Tony Abeyta, above, or others of the featured artists, please contact

Support, Symposium & More

As plans for the exhibition developed, The Maloof received encouragement from a number of institutional supporters. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians became an important benefactor, enabling Abeyta and The Maloof to more fully realize their vision. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and The Autry Museum of the American West offered additional expertise and encouragement.

The Maloof is also collaborating to offer public programming related to the exhibition, including a Fall 2017 symposium organized by the California Center for the Native Nations at the University of California, Riverside. Scholars, artists, students and others will participate in three days of panels and workshops, November 2-4 at Culver Center of the Arts in downtown Riverside.

“We’re grateful for such broad institutional participation, which is essential to our being able to do such an extraordinary exhibition,” said Maloof Foundation president Connie Ransom.

About The Maloof: The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts offers tours, exhibitions, art and educational programs at Sam Maloof’s home and workshop which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The not-for-profit Maloof is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and member of the National Trust’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program. Located 37 miles east of Los Angeles in Rancho Cucamonga, California, The Maloof also houses one of the nation’s most extensive collections of Sam Maloof furniture works, and a unique collection of works by artists from California, the Southwest and Mexico. The Maloof is located at 5131 Carnelian Street, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701. Phone: 909-980-0412.

Thursdays and Saturdays, 12 noon to 4 pm
Gallery admission is free to all.
Reservations recommended for tours of
the midcentury Maloof Historic Home.
Tour tickets available online at

The mid-20th century Maloof Historic Home is located east of Claremont and north of I-210. Exit Carnelian. Parking available on site and on street on Carnelian and Hidden Farm Rd. Please respect our neighbors and don’t park on Bella Vista.

For information:

Copyright © 2017 Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts. 

Our mailing address is:
5131 Carnelian Street
P.O. Box 8397
Alta Loma  CA 91701

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