Joan Mitchell Center


Remembering James Luna

The Joan Mitchell Foundation is mourning the loss of artist James Luna, who passed away on Sunday in New Orleans.

James was a deeply respected member of our artist community, first supported by the Foundation in 2010 with a Painters & Sculptors Grant and recently awarded an artist residency at the Joan Mitchell Center, which he began on February 26. In his 40 year career, Luna gave voice to Native American cultural issues, pursued artmaking with innovative and versatile media, and charted waters for other artists to follow.

Luna (b. 1950) was an internationally renowned performance and installation artist of Puyukitchum/Luiseno and Mexican American descent who resided on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in North County San Diego, California. He has had more than 40 solo exhibitions, participated in 85 group exhibitions, and performed internationally. Photo and video documentation of his rich and varied work can be found on his website:

We extend our heartfelt condolences to James Luna’s family and friends.

Melissa Dean