The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian declared Nora Naranjo-Morse the winner of its outdoor sculpture design competition in May 2006. Her sculpture Always Becoming was selected unanimously by a museum committee from entries submitted by Native artists throughout the Western Hemisphere. The work was dedicated on September 21, 2007, and is the first outdoor sculpture by an American Indian artist to be on display in Washington, D.C.
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"It really is about the way we look at ourselves and the way we look at our homes and the fact that these are going to melt down and they're going to transform; that is the idea of Always Becoming," Naranjo-Morse says. The five different sculptures that make up the Always Becoming piece will be on display indefinitely and, according to Naranjo-Morse, they will change and evolve with their environment because of the natural materials they are made of.
"In ten years, those pieces will be half the size they are now maybe, or they'll just be something else," she says. "That doesn't make them any less, that'll make them just different."
A Tewa Pueblo Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, Naranjo-Morse is an accomplished sculptor, writer and film producer whose work has been featured at the White House and can be found at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Minnesota Institute of Art in Minneapolis, among other museums. To begin a photo gallery of Naranjo-Morse's sculptures and her piece Always Becoming, click on the main image above.