Meet the Judges

Diane Dittemore

Associate Curator, Ethnological Collections, Arizona State Museum (ASM). Dittemore has published numerous articles on ASM’s collections in scholarly journals and popular Indian art magazines over the years.  She has curated dozens of exhibits on topics ranging from Mexican masks to Southwest pottery and jewelry. She  was the lead curator of the 2017  permanent exhibit, “Woven Through Time: American Treasures of Native Basketry and Fiber Art.”

“I have had the honor of judging for the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market quite a number of times through the years. I am always impressed by the quality of works submitted, the organization of the jury process, and the professionalism of the many volunteers. “

Doreen Duncan (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, North Dakota)

Matriarch, Educator, Entrepreneur and Ambassador of Native American culture. Within all these roles and throughout her diverse life’s experiences, she continues to achieve her passion to promote a positive and accurate image of Native American people. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and Arizona State University, she manages Yellow Bird Production, a Native family based performing arts group. She has worked in educational programs at the Heard and as the director of the Huhugam Ki Museum for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, most recently as an international cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department.

“I am honored to celebrate the resilience and perseverance of Native American cultural arts as a judge for the 2021 Heard Museum Best of Show.  As tribal nations, we have endured tremendous challenges. It is our many expressions of Art that will bring the healing powers and inspiration to continue the legacy of our ancestors.” 

Charles King

King, who began collecting Native pottery in high school, opened King Galleries in Santa Fe and Scottsdale in 1996. The Galleries feature classic and contemporary Native American art, specializing in clay art from 1920 to the present, along with paintings and bronzes. King is the author of four books about Native pottery. He has served as a judge at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market and Gallup Ceremonials. He has given numerous talks on Pueblo pottery, worked on pottery exhibitions and advised on the authentication of work by historic pueblo artists at various museums.

“It is always an honor to be a judge for the Heard Indian Market and Fair. This prestigious event presents an opportunity for Native Artists to showcase some of their best work of the year. Judging is always a difficult task, but it is a unique opportunity to recognize creative, technically exceptional, provocative, and thoughtful art by attending artists. Judging the artwork is not about winning and losing as much as it is about a snapshot of time. Awards reflect the artists intense creative process and profound cultural heritage and in turn establishing a historic record for future generations.” 

Christy Vezolles (French/German/British/Shawnee heritage)

Heard Museum Trustee, art enthusiast, appraiser, collector, writer and creator. Vezolles taught studio arts and graphic design at Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton. She currently serves on national advisory boards of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the Gilcrease Museum.

“Successful artists make the act of creation look effortless. But it takes courage and commitment for artists to continually plumb the depths of their soul through processes which can be alternately gut-wrenching and exhilarating, to create unique personal expressions for all to see and critique, regardless of whatever else is happening in the world and their personal lives – especially in this past year of turmoil and uncertainty. Juried Comp awards are a significant measure of success and are affirmations of artists’ accomplishment. They honor these extraordinary individuals for their artistic mastery, which inspires us, enriches our lives, provides respite for our spirits and feeds our souls. It gives me great pride to lend my expertise to acknowledge the excellence of these creative masters and their aesthetic contributions to our daily lives.”

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