Diego Medina is an artist and educator from Las Cruces, New Mexico. His family is one of the original families from the historic Mesquite district, the old Pueblo for the Piro-Manso-Tiwa tribe. In Las Cruces, the tribe was formed from all of the Native communities that were living together in the missions of Paso del Norte—the area between Juarez, Mexico and Las Cruces—which included a distinctive and special fusion of various Indigenous cultures that were either living in the region already, or brought to the missions, often as slaves. Diego’s personal artwork focuses on the preservation of that cultural history against an ever-encroaching, burgeoning college town that has an inherent assimilation and erasure protocol and an increasing settler population unaware of the stories held within the land they inhabit.
Diego mixes mythology with elements of prayer to create visual narratives, often accompanied by poetry, that supplant the cultural history and imagery within the present landscape. As an educator, Diego has worked both as a public school teacher and as a museum educator for the past 6 years. Diego has lived in Santa Fe for 5 years and currently works at the Indian Arts Research Center as an educator as well as maintaining his personal art practice. Diego also does design and photography work for Shy Natives, a Native owned clothing company. Aside from being an artist and educator, Diego is very passionate about traditional practices of prayer and incorporates prayer into every aspect of his life. Diego loves turtles, cute creatures like fairies and gnomes, and believe it or not used to be a boxer, a practice he still keeps up with today.
2020 Story Maps Fellowship
Las Cruces, NM USA