Photo Credit: Duane Allen Humeyestewa

A Brief Biography

Art is how you feel, who you are, and comes from the soul. —Marla Allison

Marla Allison is a visual artist producing artwork inspired by traditions, cultural displacement and the human experience. Originally from Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, she is committed to participating in artist residencies that facilitate collaborations with artists from around the world. In her words, “Through the collaboration of artists, free thinkers and open-minded creative people, we can strengthen each other and build greater bridges…no matter where you come from or how you start, if you set a journey to learn, you will inspire and understand the essence of a strong human race.”

Allison maintains a lifestyle committed to travel and participation in cultural exchanges that have yielded lectures, murals, illustrations, and art exhibitions.  Allison has produced art in Chiapas, MX; Bristol, UK; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Manama, Bahrain; Budapest, Hungary; and more locally in the USA in cities such as New York, NY, Providence, RI, Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, parts of California, and all around New Mexico.

Artist Statement

I draw on several different abstract styles found in art history.  The work is based on my own cultures traditional Pueblo pottery designs as well as cubism and futurism. 

I was a very quiet child; my paintings are my voice.

My beginnings are raised with traditional beliefs and customs in my ancestral family village, which is in the western desert landscape of New Mexico.  My paintings often reflect the histories, landscapes, and culture of my people as well as life within and outside the reservation. Now living and working in the North Bay area, I am recording and responding to the differences I am seeing and feeling from living on the Laguna Pueblo reservation to the land of Sequoias and San Francisco city life.  I am in a new and unfamiliar place physically and culturally.  There are so many unknowns, but this place is perfect for me as an artist, on the edge of the unknown.  I have so much more to share.


Lovett’s Gallery, Tulsa, OK:

Rainmaker Gallery, Bristol UK:

Abu Dhabi Art Hub:

Awards and Exhibitions

2023-2024 – “Southwest Art: Contemporary Conversations”, co-curator with community outreach, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ, September 27, 2023-March 15, 2024

2023 – Marla Allison, solo exhibition at Rain Maker Gallery, Bristol, UK July 6-August 12, 2023

2023 – “Ancestral Shadows: Bringing Native America to Budapest”, Group Exhibition co-curator and presenter at the American Indian Workshop and Exhibition at Museum of Ethnography June 28-July 16, 2023

2023 – Indian Market Lecture Series, Art from the Soul: The work of Marla Allison (Laguna), New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, NM, April 8, 2023

2021-2023 – All Black and White Exhibition, Albuquerque Balloon Museum, Albuquerque, NM July 29, 2021- January 23, 2023

2020 – Mask Market, co-curator of Group Exhibition at La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel, Santa Fe, NM

2020 – Group Exhibition: Duets. Feb 8th, 2020, Lovetts Gallery, Tulsa, OK, Collaboration with Matt Philips from London, UK

2020 – Group Exhibition: Art is the Seed, Tucson Desert Art Museum, Tucson, AZ, USA, January 10 – May 31, 2020

2020 – La Fonda Artist Residency, January 3, 4, 5th 2020, La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, NM, USA

2020 – Group Exhibition: Pattern. 1 November -29 February 2020 Rainmaker Gallery, Bristol, UK

2019 – Editors Choice Award for the Native Art Magazine, for “Carrying the Flame”, 40” X 30”, Acrylic on Canvas,

2019 – Santa Fe Indian Market, August 17th and 18th, Santa Fe, NM

2019 – Dual Exhibition: Two World Views of Arabic Life: Greek and American Versions. Stavroula Michalopoulou and Marla Allison, Monday November 25th, 2019, Abu Dhabi Art Hub Gallery, Level 3, Galleria Al MarMaryah Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2019 – Artist Residency in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), 2019 King Abdulaziz Camel Club International Artist Residency, 43 artists and 31 countries represented, 1 Native American from Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. As part of the WORLD WIDE ART HUB Program and sponsored by CAMEL CLUB ARABIA, Feb 5 – March 23, 2019

2018 – T. C. Cannon Lecture Series: Contemporary From T.C. to Now, April 15th, 2018, Panel discussion with Joe Baker, Linda Lomahaftewa, and Marla Allison, curated by Erin Joyce at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ, USA

2018 – Solo Exhibition, Painter From the Desert, June 6 th -August 11 th Rainmaker Gallery, Bristol, UK

2018 – Bristol Artist Residency, May 10 th -June 6 th , Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol, UK

2018 – Keynote Speaker, Beyond the Spectacle: Indigenous Art in Britain, June 6 th , Bristol University, Bristol, UK

2018 – Lecture at Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ, April 15 th , 2018, From T.C. Cannon to Now

2018 – Lecture with Pat Pruitt and Chris Pruitt at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ

2017-2018 – La Fonda Artist Residency, December 7th-9 th from 4-7pm, 2017 continued in 2018, February 8th-10th, 4-7pm at the La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, NM

2017 – Abu Dhabi Art Hub Artist Residency, April-May 2017, Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Artist Residency at the Abu Dhabi Art Hub with four other Native American Artists

2017 – “7th Generation: Contemporary Native American Artists of the 21st Century” Group Exhibition from
October 12th- ongoing date 2018, at Art for the Soul Gallery, Springfield, MA

2017 – We Are Native Women – Group Show, March 23 – May 31st, 2017 Rainmaker Gallery, Bristol UK, Artist
Talk with Exhibition at Rainmaker Gallery

2017 – Consumed by Design: Solo Exhibition, February – June 2017 Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM.

2016 – Marla Allison: Influences of the Past, Solo Exhibition in Rio Rancho, NM – October 20th–November 29th

2014 – “Regarding Curtis” Group Exhibition– October 17th, 2014-March 6th, 2015, Arizona State Museum, Tucson, AZ

2013 – “What’s New in New, Recent Acquisitions” – February 17th -Dec 30th 2013, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe, NM

2012 – “Shapeshifting, Transformations in Native American Art” Exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Massachusetts, January 14-April 29 2012

2010 – “Intrigue & Novelty” The Schingoethe Gallery, Aurora, IL April 6-June 30, 2010

2010 – “Native Modern” Frank Buffalo Hyde, America Meredith, Sarah Sense, Rhett Lynch, and Marla Allison, May 7-June 1, 2010,
Legends Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2009 – “People’s Choice” Award at the SWAIA Winter Showcase, November 27-29, 2009 Santa Fe, NM

2009 – “3:” (Three) Rose Simpson, Eilzah Naranjo Morse, and Marla Allison, October 1-29, 2009,
Berlin Gallery, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ – Group Exhibition

2009 – “Enigmatic Possessions” June 18th-Aug. 24th 2009, Primitive Edge Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2009 – “Beyond Face Value” April 16th-October 4th 2009, Heard Museum North, Scottsdale, AZ

2008 – Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM – Eric and Barbara Dobkin, “Inaugural Innovation Award” for “Mother” Acrylic on Masonite with multi-media

2008 – 50th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market
1st Place in Mixed Media Category for, “Entertainment of a Storyteller”
2nd Place in Painting Category for, “One Face Among the Others”

2007 – Winter Exhibition, Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, SD – Group Exhibition

2000 – “Seventh Heartbeat”, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, NM – Group Exhibition

2000 – “Journey to a Hatefree Millenium”, Greer Garson Theater, College of Santa Fe, NM – Group Exhibition

1999 – “Art in the Raw II”, Alumni Hall, College of Santa Fe, NM – Group Exhibition


2021 – NATIVE Magazine, Issue Feb/March 2021, 2-Dimensional Art, Who to Know Right Now, Pages 82-83

2020 – Broken Mesas, cover art “Blue Girl”, Book Publication 2020 written by, Joseph Delgado, Mohave Valley, AZ

2018 – The Bristol Magazine, Issue 168, June 2018, State of the Art Exhibitions

2017 – Of God and Mortal Men, T.C. Cannon, Book Publication 2013, Edited by, Ann E. Marshall and Diana F.
Pardue, released by the Heard Museum, AZ and Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, NM

2015 – Fixing The Books: Secrecy, Literacy, and Perfectibility in Indigenous New Mexico, cover art “Path of Life”, Book Publication 2015 written by, Erin Debenport, A school for Advanced Research Resident Scholar Boo, Santa Fe, NM

2014 – Camas Magazine, The Nature of the West, cover art “Firing Pottery”, University of Montana publication, Winter 2014

2014 – Ears of Corn: Listen, cover art “Summer Ends Too Soon”, Book publication 2014 written by, Max Early, Paguate, NM

2013 – Ditch Water Poems, cover art “9-11-01”, Book publication 2013 written by, Joseph Delgado, Mohave Valley, AZ

2013 – Creative Intelligence, book publication 2013 written by, Bruce Nussbaum, instructor of Innovation at Parsons New School of Design, New York, NY

2013 – Denver Quarterly, cover art “Two Hopi Girls”, book publication 2013, University of Denver publication, Volume 48, Number 1, 2013

2012 – In Every Room a Story of the Art, The artwork of the LaFonda Hotel in Santa Fe, by, John O’Hern, two paintings included, “Rio Grande Pueblo Girl” (2009) and “Cottonwood and Deer” (2010)

2010 – The Florida Review, Native Issue, Summer 2010-35.1, Cover art, Painting titled “Enchanted” 2005

2010 – Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine, Winter 2010, Camouflage by, Amanda Wapass-Griffin,
Artwork for article images “Self Portrait” and “In Love With Home”

2010 – Journal Santa Fe, March 29, 2010 Edition, Emerging Painter Keeping it Real by, Kathaleen Roberts

2010 – Native Peoples Magazine, Jan/Feb 2010 issue, Groundbreakers Moving On by, Gussie Fauntleroy

2009 – Voices Heard, Journal of the Heard Museum, New & Notable by, Janet Cantley

2009 – JAVA Magazine, October 2009 issue, 3: (Three) by Scott Anderson

2009 – The Santa Fe New Mexican, SWAIA Official Guide – August 2009, Telling Life’s Stories, A Puzzling Piece by, Gregory Pleshaw

2009 – THE Magazine, Santa Fe’s Monthly – August 2009, National Spotlight

2009 – Santa Fean Magazine – August/September 2009, Gala Collaboration by, Lesley King, I-Market by, Dianna Delling

2009 – IAIA Newswinds – Summer 2009, Fresh Ideas by, Staci Golar

2009 – Western Art Collector – May 2009 Event Preview, Beyond Face Value

2009 – National Museum of the American Indian Magazine – Summer 2009 Issue by, Maureen Littlejohn

2009 – New Mexico Magazine – Artscapes, by Wolf Schneider,May 2009

2009 – Scottsdale Living Magazine- April issue, Native American art helps to unveil our stereotypes by, Kellie Kwang

2008 – Marla Allison – Selected Works 2008 – Self Published 2008

2007 – Marla Allison – Recent Works – Self Published 2007

2004 – Illustrated, Estudios Monograficos, Nuevos Municipios en Chiapas, Volumen I
by, Neil Harvey, Political Science Professor of New Mexico State University

Permanent Collections

“Stars of the Desert” 2019 – “Place of Peace” 2019 Acrylic on canvas, Permanent Collection of the King Abdulaziz Camel Club, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (KSA)

“Bluebird for the Queen” 2018 – Acrylic on Canvas, Permanent Collection of Kent University, Kent, England (United Kingdom)

“Father” 2009 – “Mother” 2008 Acrylic on Masonite with installed DVD Player
Permanent Collection of the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ

“Basket of Blue Corn” 2008 – Acrylic on Canvas
Permanent Collection of M.I.A.C. of Santa Fe, NM

“Child Games III” 2010 – “Peacock” 2008 – “The Two A.M.” 2009 – “Indian Red”, “Pueblo Brown”,”8 Jumbo Colors” set, 2008 – “Hand Painted” 2008 – “Enchanted” 2007, Permanent Collection of The Heritage Center, Pine Ridge, SD

Juried and Group Shows

2011–2020 – SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM

2011–2021 – Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, Phoenix, AZ

2010 – SWAIA Winter Market at the Santa Fe Convention Center, Santa Fe, NM

2010 – Quick Draw, live group painting show and auction by, The Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM

2010 – 6th Annual Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival, Santa Fe, NM

2010 – 52nd Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, Phoenix, AZ

2009 – SWAIA Winter Market at the Santa Fe Convention Center, Santa Fe, NM

2009 – “Fueled By Color” three woman art show with America Meredith, Melissa Melero, and Marla Allison, Third Street ARTS, Albuquerque, NM

2009 – 87th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM

2009 – 42nd Annual Red Cloud Indian Art Show, Pine Ridge, SD

2009 – 5th Annual Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival, Santa Fe, NM

2009 – 51st Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, Phoenix, AZ

2008 – SWAIA Winter Market at the Santa Fe Convention Center, Santa Fe, NM

2008 – Intertribal Arts Marketplace at the Gene Autry Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2008 – 86th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM

2008 – 41st Annual Red Cloud Indian Art Show, Pine Ridge, SD

2008 – 50th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, Phoenix, AZ

2007 – Holiday Art Market at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY

2007 – Intertribal Arts Marketplace at the Gene Autry Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2007 – SMOCA Nights at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts, Phoenix, AZ

2007 – 4th Annual Native American Fine Art Show, Fort McDowell, AZ

2007 – 49th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, Phoenix, AZ

2004 – One Woman Art Show at “The Mission”, Grants, NM

2001 – Albuquerque Federated Republican Women’s Spring Art Show, Albuquerque, NM

2001 – Albuquerque Indian Market 2001 & Southwest Art Expo, Albuquerque, NM