Center for Creativity and the Arts presents colloquium on Native California art, archeology

Mesoamerica Art and Archaeology Colloquium

Fresno State’s Center for Creativity and the Arts will present “Native California and Mesoamerica Art and Archaeology Colloquium” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, in the Conley Arts building (Room 101). This event is free and open to the public.

The colloquium explores the indigenous heritage of the Central Valley, from first Californians to its Mesoamerican diaspora.

“Native American peoples have made a lasting cultural imprint on the Central Valley from at least 13,000 years ago through (and despite) the Euro-American invasion of the 19th century up to the present,” said Cindy Urrutia, director of the Center for Creativity and the Arts. “The First Californians left behind a rich archaeological record of their presence and continue a long tradition of art, from rock paintings to spectacular baskets, reflecting their religious beliefs, cosmologies and aesthetics.”

The colloquium will be moderated by Fresno State art and design associate professor Dr. Keith Jordan, whose interests include the art of the Toltecs at early post-classic (c. 900-1150 CE) Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico; artistic interactions between the Maya and the peoples of central Mexico in pre-Columbian times; the Mixteca-Puebla art style of late post-classic (c.1150-1521) Mesoamerica; and the pre-Columbian art of north and west Mexico.

“Native California and Mesoamerica Art and Archaeology Colloquium” speakers include some of the field’s most renowned and highly regarded experts:

  • Fresno’s State’s Dr. John Pryor will discuss how archaeology can blend science with Native American perspectives and values.
  • Leading field expert Dr. John Pohl’s presentation is titled “Tolteca-Chichimeca: Economic, Political and Social Organization of Post-Classic Confederacies.”
  • Dr. Robert Bettinger will address socio-political developments in California.
  • Dr. David Whitley, who specializes in the prehistoric archaeology and ethnography of western North America, will discuss shamanic visions, labeled “dreams” by native Californians in the context of climate change.
  • Dr. Michael Mathiowetz will discuss social organization, complexity and long distance interaction in the pre-Columbian U.S Southwest.

For more information, contact Urrutia at or 559.278.8341.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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