Innovation Gallery

Housed on the ASU Tempe campus in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change building, the Innovation Gallery is a public space to enjoy free, informative exhibits and programming related to our research. Faculty and graduate students frequently use the gallery as a laboratory to interpret, design and develop unique and interactive exhibitions. We also draw from the vast archaeological, ethnographic and scientific collections maintained by the university or provided by community partners.

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., excluding university holidays

  Map and directions 

Current exhibit

3,000 Years of Mexican and Central American Culture: The Deep Roots of Domestic Life in Mesoamerica
February - May 2022 

Indigenous cultures in Mexico and Central America have experienced many transformations over time. However, long-lasting cultural continuities can still be seen in native societies in this region called Mesoamerica. These continuities, including maize foods, pottery making, textile weaving, and rituals for healing and community cohesion, remain because of their connections to domestic life. Some of these traditions are even found today in societies in New Mexico and Arizona. This exhibit introduces Mesoamerican cultural features that have continued in some form over 3,000 years or more –the deep cultural roots of household traditions. The clothing, domestic pottery, household utensils, foods, ritual items, and art in this exhibit speak to these continuities. Through the objects and themes on display, we engage with local communities on interesting and important topics that unite us: households, everyday living, human creativity and cultural identity. 

The exhibit will be in the Innovation Gallery in the second-floor lobby of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC) building at ASU from February to May of 2022. We will also present the exhibit virtually. Later, the banners and posters will travel to ASU West Fletcher Library during the Fall 2022 semester and to the ASU Downtown Library in the Spring 2023 semester. We anticipate that the exhibit will subsequently travel to community spaces by developing collaborations with local partners. 

Past exhibits

Revealing Artifacts: New Research with the Roosevelt Archaeological Collections at ASU
February-June 2020

Artifacts and records from massive excavation projects around Theodore Roosevelt Lake in central Arizona’s Tonto Basin make up some of the largest archaeological collections at Arizona State University. This material is an invaluable resource for new research. This exhibition features artifacts and images from the Roosevelt collections, specifically highlighting new research with Roosevelt Red Ware pottery as an example of the research potential of the collection.

Metzilocan Extension
March-September 2019

Contemplate the "Monolith of Tlaloc" in the gallery. This display is an extension of the new "Metzilocan" exhibit at the nearby ASU Art Museum, which chronicles artist Claudia Peña Salinas’ research on the Aztec deities of water, relating ancestral symbolism and knowledge to modernist and contemporary structures. The gallery will also feaure items from the school's Latin American collection that were hand-selected by Salinas to accompany her artwork.

Revisiting the Latin American Folk-Art Collection
September 2018-February 2019

This exhibit is curated by students of the museum studies program at SHESC. It features 104 items from the school’s Latin American folk-art collection of over 400 pieces. Arranged around the themes of daily life, spiritual beliefs, animals and nature, the exhibition speaks to the diversity of Latin American culture. The collection came to the school in 2008 and, a decade later, provides a new opportunity to appreciate these works in the recently renovated Innovation Gallery.