Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised on the Navajo Reservation in the community of Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, Ira was immersed in his culture and introduced to Native American art and artists at a very young age. As a child his exposure to reservation life led him to begin to understand the connection of his people to the earth and how it was reflected in the very artwork produced by the Navajo people. This began his lifelong journey into the world of Native American art.
After graduating high school in Cortez, Colorado, Ira moved to Albuquerque to attend college at the University of New Mexico. His primary studies were in Civil Engineering and to support the costs of college Ira became employed with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in 1991. This began his 26-year career in retail sales and management, working closely with local indigenous artists and studying the finer facets of all Southwest Native American art. His immense respect for the art form deepened his dedication to promoting Native art and its mission to preserve history, culture and tradition. Every piece tells a story, every piece has a history and every artist has a story to tell.
Through his dedication and passion for Native American art, in 2018 Ira became the Executive Director of the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market. Here he hopes to guide the Market to it's 100th year and beyond, creating exciting events and partnerships for participating SWAIA artists, members, sponsors and attendees.