Catch up on some of the top art news headlines in the southwest region over the last couple of months, including people on the move, grants, and more.
The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe received a $500,000 gift from local champions of Native American Art, JoAnn and Bob Balzer.
Champions of Native American art, the Balzer’s donation of $500,000 will be used for the construction of the new JoAnn and Bob Balzer Native Market and Contemporary Art Gallery, set to open in 2022.
“We literally moved to Santa Fe because of our love of Native American art and culture and Indian Market, all of which have immeasurably enriched our lives. We wanted to establish a gallery uniquely focused on displaying the incredibly diverse and innovative art of artists from that and other Indigenous markets. We are deeply honored to be able to give back and to promote and advance contemporary Native American art by sponsoring this new gallery at MIAC,” said JoAnn and Bob Balzer.
The JoAnn and Bob Balzer Native Market and Contemporary Art Gallery will focus on contemporary Native American art with the intent to create a greater appreciation and better understanding of contemporary Native American art and the artists. The gallery will provide a place for new and emerging Native artists to showcase their work, as well as exhibition space for various media, including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, glass, photography, video, and digital works.
Grants and Awards
The Fulcrum Fund gave 209 COVID-19 relief grants totaling $256,000 in 2020 to independent visual artists and art spaces in New Mexico.
There were a total of 912 submissions spanning forty-two cities and towns across New Mexico. 196 individual artists received $1,000 each to support essentials like groceries, rent, childcare, and medicine, and thirteen artist-run or alternative art spaces received $4,000-5,000 each to help them to survive and hopefully reopen when it is safe. The Fulcrum Fund is a grant program of 516 Arts and a partner in the Regional Regranting Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
D.Y. Begay received a 2020 Anonymous Was a Woman grant.
Anonymous Was A Woman is an unrestricted grant of $25,000 that enables women artists, over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers, to continue to grow and pursue their work. The Award is given in recognition of an artist’s accomplishments, artistic growth, originality and potential. It is not need-based. The Award is by nomination only.
D.Y. Begay (b 1953, Tselani, AZ ) is Navajo and a fifth-generation tapestry weaver. Begay’s unique weaving style combines using the traditional Navajo upright loom with her nontraditional interpretation of the landscape that surrounds her.
The Santa Fe Film Institute was awarded a grant from the Santa Fe Community Foundation‘s Native American Advised Fund
The Native American Advised Fund will support Indigenous filmmakers’ cinematic creativity and promote Native American stories and experiences through film.
SFFI and its main project, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (SFiFF), recognize Santa Fe’s pivotal role in Native American filmmaking and have awarded Indigenous filmmakers like Tantoo Cardinal, Wes Studi, Razelle Benally, and Chris Eyre. Each year, SFiFF presents a cutting-edge Indigenous Film Program presented by the Institute of American Indian Arts. This program includes feature films, short films, and IAIA student shorts, highlighting Indigenous tribes from around the world and reflecting issues affecting Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples.
The Native American Advised Fund was established in 1993 with a gift from the late sculptor and
humanitarian, Allan Houser (Chiricahua Fort Sill Apache).
Leadership Changes and Appointments
Irene Hofmann to leave SITE Santa Fe.
In December 2020, SITE Santa Fe announced that Hofmann, director and chief curator for the last ten years, would step down in January 2021. Clara Samayoa, SITE Santa Fe’s director of finance and administration, will serve as interim director. In a statement, Hofmann said, “As I step down after a decade of rewarding work, I do so knowing that SITE is positioned well for the future. Forward-looking institutions like SITE benefit greatly from the infusion of new ideas and new voices.”
Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) named Dr. Mario A. Caro as director of the new MFA in Studio Arts program.
In October 2020, the Higher Learning Commission, IAIA’s accrediting organization, approved the school’s application to launch an MFA Program in Studio Arts. A founding director for the program has recently been hired.
Dr. Mario A. Caro (Colombian Mestizo) is a researcher, curator, and critic of art who has published widely on the history, theory, and criticism of contemporary Indigenous arts. He has taught graduate courses at Indiana University, New York University, and, most recently, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Art, Culture, and Technology Program.
Dr. Caro commented: “I’m delighted and honored to join IAIA to contribute to the Institute’s tremendous legacy of nurturing Native arts and cultures. The development of this unique program is part of IAIA’s logical growth and fills a critical gap in graduate education—an MFA in Studio Arts, a terminal degree focusing on the Native art production.”