Join us for a daylong celebration of the exhibition Clearly Indigenous: Native Visions Reimagined in Glass, on view now at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts! Special guests include curator Dr. Letitia Chambers as well as glass artists Dan Friday and Carol Lujan, whose works are included in the exhibition.

The morning session will take place at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and will include a keynote address and gallery walkthrough with Dr. Chambers, artists’ talks by Friday and Lujan, and a panel discussion led by Rehema Barber, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

After lunch, we will reconvene at Glass Art Kalamazoo for a live demonstration by Dan Friday and Carol Lujan, as well as a hands-on fused glass project led by GAK staff. Guests ages 8 and up are welcome to participate in the fused glass project. Seating for the afternoon session will be limited, so be sure to register early!

Attendance Fees

Morning session at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts:

  • $20 for KIA members
  • $25 for nonmembers

Afternoon session at Glass Art Kalamazoo:

  • $20 for all

Tickets for the afternoon session must be purchased in advance, either online or at the KIA.

Please note that this fee covers material and labor costs for Glass Art Kalamazoo, as well as a small donation in thanks for their generous support of this program.

Attend both and save! When you register for both the morning and afternoon sessions, enjoy a discounted rate:

  • $30 for KIA members
  • $40 for nonmembers

Member Discount Code: GLASS-M
Nonmember Discount Code: GLASS-NM

Schedule of Events

9:00-9:15 am: Introduction

9:15-10:45 am: Keynote address and gallery walkthrough with Dr. Letitia Chambers

10:50-11:20 am: Artist’s Talk by Dan Friday

11:20-11:50 am: Artist’s Talk by Carol Lujan

12:00-12:40 pm: Panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Rehema Barber

12:40-3:30 pm: BREAK

3:30-6:00 pm: Live artists’ demonstration and hands-on activity at Glass Art Kalamazoo

Dr. Letitia Chambers

Dr. Letitia Chambers began her career as an educator in state and local education agencies. She then worked for the staff of the United States Senate, rising in 1979 to become the first woman to be staff director of a major standing committee of the US Senate. She moved to the private sector where she was CEO of a Washington, DC, based public policy consulting firm for over twenty years. She returned to public service on two occasions, taking a leave of absence when President Clinton appointed her to serve as the US Representative to the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, and again in 2004 when she became head of the higher education agency for the State of New Mexico.

Chambers has been involved in issues affecting Native Americans throughout her career, serving on a number of boards of organizations serving American Indians, including as a trustee of the Institute of American Indian Arts, and as a founding director and board chair of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums. Chambers was also a founding member and vice chair of the board of the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Combining her interests in art collecting and her career as a business executive, in 2009 Chambers was named CEO of the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, from which she retired in 2012. Chambers now lives in Santa Fe where she has curated several art exhibits for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden.

Dan Friday

Daniel Joseph Friday is a Native of the Lummi Nation and a lifelong resident of Washington State’s Puget Sound region. Drawing from cultural themes and using modern processes, Friday’s work is contemporary in format while maintaining basic Native American qualities. He typically works with simple themes and forms, often employing subtle silhouettes in his totems. His more narrative work is usually a personal expression or a means of processing a life event, often with an underlying statement.

Friday has spent the past two decades working with artists such as Dale Chihuly, Paul Marioni, and Preston Singletary. He lives in Seattle, where he maintains an independent glass studio. His work can be found in collections around the world.

Carol Lujan

Carol Lujan, a clay and glass artist, is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and lives and works in both Arizona and New Mexico. She is of the Totsohnii (Big Water) clan, and her original clan is Hashtl’shnii (Mud Clan). Carol’s contemporary clay and glass art is inspired by her family, her Native culture and heritage, and the beautiful landscape of the Southwest.

Her colorful clay masks are influenced by the Navajo deities, and her clay sculptures reflect the strength, humor and spirit of Indigenous women of the Southwest. Additionally, her glass art transforms traditional Native art into a contemporary nontraditional art form. The designs on her glass rugs are inspired by her grandmother’s rugs as well as by historical Navajo rug designs from the mid-1800s. Various traditional Indigenous designs and symbols, combined with the contemporary medium of glass, complement and strengthen one another and provide a unique piece of art.

Notes on Safety

The afternoon events at Glass Art Kalamazoo will take place in a functioning Hot Shop with furnaces and plenty of ambient heat, and it is typically very warm in the studios in August. We will provide bottled water, but we also recommend bringing your own water and dressing comfortably for the afternoon session.

Please wear closed-toe shoes to the afternoon session at Glass Art Kalamazoo.

Guests ages 8+ may participate in the hands-on fused glassmaking project at Glass Art Kalamazoo.

Parking Information

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is located at 314 S. Park St. in downtown Kalamazoo. Parking lots for the KIA are located both in front of our building and behind it, across South and Lovell Streets respectively.

Glass Art Kalamazoo is located in the Park Trades Center at 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave. Limited street parking is available due to road construction. Parking garages are located at the intersection of Eleanor and Rose Streets, and adjacent to the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Water and Rose Streets. Please do NOT park in the parking lot for Park Street Market or behind the Park Trades Center in the lot reserved for resident artists; cars parked in these lots are subject to towing.

The Park Trades Center is located within walking distance from the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and guests are welcome to park at the KIA and walk over for the afternoon events.

About Glass Art Kalamazoo

Founded in 2002 by a group of local glass artists, Glass Art Kalamazoo (GAK) is a nonprofit, community-access glass arts and education center located at the Park Trades Center in downtown Kalamazoo. Glass Art Kalamazoo’s mission is to enrich the community by providing exceptional experiences in glass art both from its studio and by working with schools, nonprofit groups and businesses in the Kalamazoo community. Discover your creative side by taking a class, exploring the art gallery/gift shop, or watching a live hot glass or Journey Bead demonstration during Art Hop. For more information, visit

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts extends special thanks to GAK staff:

  • Carrie Vanderbush (Executive Director)
  • Dan McAllister (Operations Manager)
  • Ekin Deniz Aytac (Studio Manager)
  • Joshua Davids (Studio Manager)

Visit the KIA for a special ArtBreak on July 23 with GAK’s Ekin Deniz Aytac and Joshua Davids! Their lecture on glass art will take place from noon to 1:00 pm and is free to attend. Visit to learn more and to register.