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James Luna

James Luna

Invited Artist

1950—2018

Fellowship: Diversity And Dialogue (2007)
Cultural Affiliation: Payómkawichum [Luiseño]

Luna grew up in Orange County, but since 1975, he has made the La Jolla reservation his permanent home. He graduated from the University of California—Irvine in 1976 with a Bachelor Fine Arts in Studio Arts. He is also an alumnus of San Diego State University, where he obtained his Master of Science in Counseling in 1983. Although he had concentrated his fine arts training in painting, Luna is renowned for his performance and installation art that addresses difficult issues that Native Americans face: challenging the definitions and limitations of being Indian, being frozen in the past, and identity. In 2002, he received the Creative Capital Grant; in 2005 he represented the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian at the Venice Biennale; and in 2011, he was a printmaking resident at Crow’s Shadow Institute.