Beatresea (“Tressy) Kien put pressing questions to IAIA alum and artist Tammy Rahr. Below are Kien’s questions and Rahr’s responses, based on the interview.
Dear Tammy, Institute of American Indian Arts Alumni,
How do you think IAIA helped you?
What is your degree in?
What does it take to graduate from IAIA?
How did IAIA change you?
Were there any challenges during your first semester?
What do you enjoy at IAIA?
What have you accomplished with earning your degree?
Who was your favorite instructor at IAIA?
How do you think IAIA has changed throughout the years?
What do you think IAIA needs?
How did the campus look when it was in the old location in Santa Fe?
1. IAIA helped me through gaining knowledge about New Mexico and its events, such as The Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, and Indian markets in the Southwest. I did internships at museums and was accepted into the NEA student program. I also worked at the Indian culture museum as an assisting artist, where I also had a solo exhibit and met museum officials.
2. I received an Associate of Fine Arts degree in Museum studies.
3. Graduating from IAIA takes determination, communication, and dedication. You need to stand on your own two feet and not be bogged by parties, gossip, and politics.
4, I became a superstar to the art world! I made friends that remain family and got an education, all through attending IAIA.
5. When I was a student, I had difficulties with money, transportation and child care. They were the biggest obstacles in the ’80s.
6. I enjoy meeting students from walks of life and learning about the different native nations in New Mexico, the Pueblos, Navajo, and Apache.
7. Along with receiving an education from IAIA, I earned respect from my peers and pride from my family
8. My favorite instructor was Chuck Dailey. He loved everyone and had pride in his work.
9. IAIA replaced traditional art instructions. Boo Boo IAIA shame on you! They should offer these courses because they are offered on the school catalog. Students do actually show up to these classes. The classes are fun. One time, we went to Cochiti to dig up clay with well-known artists. The change in academics is for the better, but I miss the old days too.
10. IAIA should offer a certificate in Traditional Art Ways.
11. Classes were held at the College of Santa Fe, in studios, and the museum. It was near the old Indian School. Everything was in WWII barracks from the surgical hospital or in portables. It was tiny, but we managed.