New Mexico artist Lynnette Haozous (Chiricahua Apache, Diné, Taos Pueblo) combines art and activism with murals that bring representation of Native peoples and cultures into public spaces.
Albuquerque | lynnettehaozous.com | @lhaozous
It’s been three decades since Lynnette Haozous (Chiricahua Apache, Diné, Taos Pueblo) first encountered a sculpture of an Apache family, an artwork she credits with having a monumental impact on her life.
“That’s your relative who made that,” she recalls her father telling her as a young girl. “Be proud of it.”
Growing up, Haozous lived on all three of her tribal nations. Today, she’s based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where her art practice centers intersectionality between several Indigenous traditions, perspectives, and experiences.
For Haozous, murals are a way to expand the representation of Native peoples and cultures in public spaces. “Proclaiming that Indigenous people are still here is important to me,” she says.
Haozous considers herself both an artist and an activist. After earning a degree in social work in 2016 from New Mexico Highlands University, Haozous participated in the Save Oak Flat movement protesting copper mining in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. Later, she was part of the Standing Rock pipeline protests in North Dakota.
“I like to make accessible work that decolonizes and rematriates public spaces,” she explains. For Into the Sun, a mural painted in 2021 for the group exhibition Mesh at the Portland Museum of Art in Oregon, Haozous set a woman against a golden sun and surrounded her with stars. Several of her murals, including Taos Matriarch (2022) in New Mexico and Walking With Dinetah (2022) in Arizona, center on a mother carrying her baby.
Her creative practice also includes drawing, painting, installation, digital illustration, community murals, and community workshops.
This year, Haozous was selected as the Harwood Museum of Art’s Centennial Call to Artists winner and was commissioned to create an installation honoring Taos Pueblo culture as part of the museum’s centennial exhibition.
“Little did I know when I walked by that sculpture as a child that I would end up being an artist, or that I would ever know the feeling of creating that public representation of Native resiliency.”