Playing With Fire: in Conversation with Virgil Ortiz

Art Unbound
Art Unbound
Playing With Fire: in Conversation with Virgil Ortiz

On this episode, Kathleen Ash-Milby and John P. Lukavic are joined by multi-hyphenate Native artist, Virgil Ortiz. With his work in subversive clay sculptures, futuristic fashion design, and a years-long science-fiction film & museum exhibition project about the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, Virgil Ortiz is breaking boundaries and using his platform to educate and inspire awe.

This episode is part of a series brought to you by FRAME, the French American Museum Exchange, of which both the Portland and Denver Art Museums are proud members. FRAME has a rich history of connecting museums in its network through exhibitions and education programs for over 20 years. FRAME provided grant funding for a series of podcast episodes and we are thrilled to be able to tell these stories with FRAME’s assistance.

Featured in this episode:

Kathleen Ash-Milby – Curator of Native American Art, Portland Art Museum
John P. Lukavic – Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts, Denver Art Museum

Mentioned in this episode:

Denver Art Museum
Virgil Ortiz
Oscar Howe
Cochiti Pueblo
Clay figure, from Tourniquet Series
Virgil Ortiz: La Renaissance Indigène
Dakota Access pipeline protests
Be Best
Donald Trump-inspired sculpture
New Mexico statue removal
Black Lives Matter
1680 Pueblo Revolt
Revolt 1680/2180 exhibition
Star Wars
Star Trek
Black Panther
The Avengers
Wonder Woman
Native clay
Indigenous Futurism
Nona Hendryx
Nona Hendryx – Trend Magazine
King Galleries, Santa Fe
Kennedy Center REACH opening
Virgil & Nona MET collaboration
MET Diker Collection
Montclair Art Museum
Mike Marino
Ben Jackel
Kent Logan
Ceramic Cones
Arizona State University
Reitz Ranch
Augusta Smith
Sammy Chung
Don Reitz
Chris Casey
Peter Held
Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger
Virgil Ortiz on Instagram


Want to submit an idea for a future episode of the podcast? Fill out the form at – if your idea fits within the scope of the Museum’s mission, we can work together to bring it to life.

A transcript of this episode can be found at

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