First American Art Magazine No. 13, Winter 2016/17 - Page 23

the whole process is that sometimes the most simple-looking art has complex origins. What is 1Spot Gallery and how did it come about? 1Spot Gallery was an all-Indigenous contemporary gallery in downtown Phoenix. The gallery was part of a longtime collaboration with my Puerto Rican friend Michelle Ivette Ponce. We met back in 2010 and quickly became good friends. She introduced me to this little anarchist gallery, Conspire, where there was plenty of lowbrow, surrealist, street, and graffiti art. Murals were everywhere, and there was this chill vibe to the whole place and to the whole Roosevelt Row area. Eventually, with other artists, we created a new space, Indie Arthouse, which lasted about a year. After that we started looking at promoting Native arts in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. Our temporary solution was to create a ’zine called Ziindi to invigorate the scene and promote some of these talented artists in Phoenix. By this time I was working a good job, so I was able to finance the whole venture. We created a pop-up gallery for the first issue’s release, as well as a market and performances. The Navajo Nation heard about the venture and worked with us to create the amazing, first all-women’s show at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona. I was looking through Craigslist for a new place to live and saw a small space available on Roosevelt Row. And after consulting Michelle, I asked if the space was still available. That space was taken; however, the adjoining space was available. We opened 1Spot in December 2012 and quickly became known for innovative art and artists. What influences you and your work? In my 20s, I became disillusioned by all the negativity toward Native Americans in the cities and struggled with the hatred and discriminatio