Curatorial Committee

Jamison Chās Banks

Jamison Chās Banks is a multi-disciplinary artist and has served at the Institute of American Indian Arts as adjunct professor (studio arts) since 2012. Banks creates films, paintings, performances, and installations which often explore the history of war and territorial expansion, both literal and psychological. Banks appropriates and alters symbols employed in propaganda and popular culture and redeploys them in contexts that subvert their original meanings. He usually begins with an area of investigation that spawns a series of interrelated artworks in different media. Banks is a citizen of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, and is a descendant of Oklahoma Cherokee and Ioway Tribal members respectively.

Amber-Dawn Bear Robe

Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, from Siksika Nation. Alberta, Canada, achieved an MA in American Indian Studies and a second MA degree in Art History, both from the University of Arizona. Currently, she is Assistant Faculty of Art History in the Museum Studies department at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), Santa Fe, NM. Current projects include producing the annual Indigenous fashion show for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, and developing new curricula for the IAIA Art History department, such as the History of Indigenous Fashion. Previously, she was the Director/Curator of Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, the largest Aboriginal artist-run center in North America.

Joanne Lefrak

For the past 15 years and in her role as Director of Education and Curator of Public Practice at SITE Santa Fe, Joanne Lefrak curates all public programs and performance art for the institution and works with artists to co-create commissions enacted within the community. She is Director of SITE Center, the education component of the SITElines Biennial exhibitions. She organizes a small biennial conference for Directors of Education across the nation called the Advance which is recognized as best practice for small conferences in museum education.  She lectures extensively on museum education and is a current fellow as part of MCA Denver’s Animating Museums Creative Leadership program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Since 2011, Lefrak volunteers as the Chair for the City of Santa Fe Children and Youth Commission and has worked to improve the lives of children by supporting local non profit and school programs that work for youth.  She is one of the founding members of the Community Educators Network which is committed to the power of collaboration and collective impact to successfully address community needs by creating and sharing resources across the non-profit sector. She is the recipient of the City of Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2014.

Joanne Lefrak was born in Long Branch, NJ and received her BS from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY in 1999 and her MFA from Montclair State University in 2001. She lives and works in Santa Fe, NM.

Bess Murphy

Bess Murphy is currently a curator at the Coe Center for the Arts, a small art center in Santa Fe that is focused on global Indigenous arts from the past to today. At the Coe, she has worked on many community and artist-driven projects including the 2018-19 exhibition IMPRINT and the upcoming project Function with artist Cannupa Hanska Luger. Murphy received her doctorate in Art History, with a focus on Native and American 20th century art, from the University of Southern California. She was formerly a Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center fellow and has published in exhibition catalogs and El Palacio Magazine. Murphy was born and raised in Santa Fe and is happy to be able to call it home again.

Dr. Ariel Plotek

Dr. Ariel Plotek is Curator of Fine Arts at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to this, he served as Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the San Diego Museum of Art, where his projects included Gauguin to Warhol: 20th Century Icons from the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Ron Nagle: Peripheral Cognition, The Art of Music, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, Modern Masters from Latin America, and Nancy Lorenz: Moon Gold. He received his undergraduate degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art, in London, and his PhD from the New York University's Institute of Fine Arts where he studied under Linda Nochlin and Robert Rosenblum. In addition to his research work, he is also an artist and writer.