Heather Orr

Heather Orr
Professor of Art - Art History (www.western.edu/art) Administrative Director Master in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization (www.western.edu/mges) Colorado State Representative, Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (www.aamg-us.org)
B.A., M.A., University of Victoria; Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin.
(970) 943-3031
Office Location: 
Quigley Hall 231
Art Department
Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization
Graduate Programs at Western
Academic Program: 
Art History and Theory
Art Program
Latin American Studies
Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization - MGES


Heather Orr, Ph.D.: MGES Program Director, Western State Colorado University Professor of Art – Art History; Instructor of Record for MGES 600 Orientation and Practicum

Dr. Orr specialized in the Precolumbian art history of Mexico (Oaxaca) and Costa Rica. She has published extensively on her research, has taught the Art History program at Western State Colorado University since 1997, has served as Art Department Chair since 2012, and was the lead founder of the MGES program. 



  • Western State College
    • Professor of Art History, appointed 1997
  • University of Victoria, Canada
    • Adjunct and Sessional Professor
  • University of Texas at Austin
    • Teaching Assistant
  • University of Victoria, Canada
    • Teaching Assistant


  • Ph.D. in Art History (Specializing in Precolumbian Mesoamerica), University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A. in Art History, University of Victoria
  • B.A. (Honors First Class/Summa Cum Laude) in Art History, University of Victoria

Select Publications

2003 – Stone Balls and Masked Men: Ballgame as Combat Ritual, Dainzú,
Oaxaca. Ancient America, 5.

2001 – Recitales e Imagineria: La estructura y narrativa de los programas escultoricos del periodo Formativo Tardio del Valle de Oaxaca. In: Nelly Robles Garcia, ed., Procesos de cambio y conceptualización del tiempo, Memoria de la Primera Mesa Redonda de Monte Alban, 2001. Mexico: INAH.

2001 – Procession Rituals and Shrine Sites: The Politics of Sacred Space in the Late Formative Valley of Oaxaca. In: K. Reese-Taylor, R. Koontz, and A. Headrick, editors, Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica. Boulder, CO: Westview Press

Co-authored Publications

1997 – The Role of Zapotec Genealogical Records in Late Precolumbian
Valley of Oaxaca Political History. Second author with Marilyn
Masson. Mexicon XX (1): 10-16.

1997 – The Writing on the Wall: Political Representation and Sacred Geography at Monte Alban in Programs of Building Dedication, Nahual Transformation, and Captive Sacrifice. Second author with Marilyn Masson. In The Sowing and the Dawning: Termination and Dedication Processes in the Archaeological and Ethnological Record of Mesoamerica, edited by Shirley Boteler Mock. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Campus Contributions:

  • Serve as member of several standing committees
Person Type: