Exhibits | Center of Southwest Studies

Current Gallery Exhibits
The Return of the Force

The Return of the Force

September 27, 2023 through August 2024

The Return of the Force explores the significant influence the Star Wars movies have had on contemporary Native artists through an innovative collection of work that addresses themes such as resistance, place, belonging, and Indigenous knowledge. The exhibition will open on Wednesday, September 27 at 5:30 PM in the Center of Southwest Studies exhibit galleries, with an artist panel from 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM in the Lyceum. The Return of the Force will run through August 2024 and include a suite of programming throughout the year.

Monumental Textiles & Miniature Masterpieces

Monumental Textiles & Miniature Masterpieces

May 3, 2023 through March 2024

Monumental Textiles & Miniature Masterpieces showcases pieces from the Center of Southwest Studies’ permanent collections, which exemplify the skill, attention to detail, and artistry of their makers. The exhibit features Diné, Pueblo, and Hispanic weavings alongside miniature paintings, textiles, pottery, and more from The Durango Collection® and the Southwest Textile and Art Collections.

Other Current Exhibits
Indigenous Futurity

Indigenous Futurity

Location: CSWS Stairwell

In May 2023, curatorial fellow Elise Boulanger (Osage Nation) co-taught a Maymester EXCEL course with internationally renowned artist Nanibah Chacon (Diné, Chicana) at the Center of Southwest Studies. Students participating in this Maymester course designed and painted a mural informed by research conducted in the Center’s museum collections and conversations about cultural celebration and belonging, thoughtful representations of non-dominant cultural values and worldviews, and connection to land. The mural, which embraces Traditional Cultural Knowledge, references a Navajo sampler-style textile and incorporates historical and contemporary weavings from the Center of Southwest Studies’ Durango Collection® of Southwest textiles, sash belts from the collaborating artists’ communities, and other Center collections items.

Durango Reframed

Durango Reframed

Past and Present Perspectives of Durango, CO. & Fort Lewis College

Location: Delaney Library

Explores photography in Durango, CO. throughout history in an exhibit of images and photographic equipment. Featuring a collection of Polaroid photographs taken by Fort Lewis College students, staff, and alumni in the Fall of 2022; inspired by Polaroid cameras and photographs found in the Center of Southwest Studies.

Curated by Anthropology & Studio Art student, AJ Lopez.


Also on display in Delaney Library is a portion of the Center’s 2011 exhibit Frontier Blues: The Legacy of Fort Lewis College.

The Stories We Wear

The Stories We Wear

Location: Delaney Library

Students, faculty, staff, and family gathered on November 30th to see The Stories We Wear exhibit in McPherson Chapel, alongside the Durango Sexual Assault Services Organization (SASO)'s Sing Our Rivers Red exhibit, and three guest speakers from the community. The Stories We Wear, created by curatorial fellow Elise Boulanger in partnership with FLC student group Rising Matriarchs and the Native American Center, was created to honor and remember Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives. It consists of three pieces of clothing - a ribbon skirt, an atikluk, and a blanket decorated by over 30 students and alumni. The installation will be moving around campus until September 2023 so keep an eye on this page and Center’s social media for its latest location.


Delaney Library: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 p.m. or by appointment
Museum Gallery: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 p.m. or by appointment

Make an Appointment Now

The Center's main gallery will be closed through September 27 for maintenance and installation. We apologize for any inconvenience.  Please visit our exhibits in Delaney Library!


Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301

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Parking: During the Fall and Spring terms, you can purchase parking passes online. Parking is free after 3:30 p.m. and during the summer, May to August.


Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
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