Catch up on recent art news headlines in the southwest region, including people on the move, grants, and more.
Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report shows decline in overall sales, increase in all things digital.
The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market report, The Art Market 2021, shows an expected decline of overall sales in 2020, while online sales were up, accounting for 25% of the global market’s value. The sales of art and antiques globally reached an estimated $50.1 billion, down 22% from 2019. Online sales reached $12.4 billion, doubling in value from the previous year.
The share of online sales in the dealer sector, which includes online viewing rooms at art fairs, rose from 13% in 2019 to 39% in 2020. Dealers noted that the majority of their online sales were to previously established clients. Interestingly, the report notes that roughly one-third of collectors purchased art using Instagram in 2020. With an overall focus on digital art experiences, IT was the highest area of ancillary spending in 2020, versus art fairs in 2019.
Tucson Museum of Art expands permanent collection.
Tucson Museum of Art received fifty-nine pieces of southwest Indigenous pottery to be added to its permanent collection. The pottery is a gift from the Sublette Family Foundation. Ranging from 1400 to 1700, the pieces are primarily from the Rio Grande region. The acquisitions will be featured in the museum’s various galleries later this year.
Almine Rech opens space in Aspen, Colorado.
Almine Rech Gallery, with locations in Paris, Brussels, Shanghai, London, and New York has opened its most recent outpost in Aspen, Colorado. From June 4-September 12, Almine Rech, which presents various contemporary artists both established and emerging, will present shows from Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Genesis Tramaine, and Wes Lang. Additionally, they will present two group shows featuring Almine Rech artists.
The gallery will be located at 601 E Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO, and open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-6 pm.
Meow Wolf opens Omega Mart at Area15 in Las Vegas.
In February, Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf opened its second permanent installation, Omega Mart, in Las Vegas. Omega Mart is an interactive experience with a complex narrative. The installation comprises four themed areas and sixty additional unique environments, including installation-filled rooms and “portals to other worlds.” Over three hundred creatives contributed to the project.
Area15 is an experiential retail and entertainment complex located in Las Vegas. Additional experiences include virtual reality, other museum exhibitions, and a zipline, among others.
Grants and Awards
National Hispanic Cultural Center receives Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant.
The Art Museum and Visual Arts program at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Art Museum Futures Fund grant. The award of $200,000 will be used for hiring new positions in public engagement, bilingual arts education, and web development.
The web developer position will enable the NHCC to create virtual exhibitions, a timely and in-demand need. The bilingual arts education position will focus on developing programming, curricula, and other resources in Spanish. This position will address the history of “Americanization through Language” in New Mexico, in which New Mexicans have been encouraged to speak English rather than Spanish. The program aims to encourage the recovery of Spanish language and provide inclusive materials.
NEA grants given to organizations throughout the Southwest.
The National Endowment for the Arts announced $27 million in grants to 1,073 arts projects. A number of the grant recipients are based in the southwest:
- New Mexico received sixteen grants totaling $390,000.
- Texas received forty-four grants totaling $1,307,500.
- Arizona received seven grants totaling $195,000.
- Utah received two grants totaling $30,000.
- Colorado received sixteen grants totaling $300,000.
- Nevada received two grants totaling $30,000.
Leadership Changes and Appointments
Santa Fe Opera announces chief artistic officer.
David Lomelí was appointed chief artistic officer at Santa Fe Opera, a position responsible for artistic operations, including casting. Lomelí comes to Santa Fe Opera from Dallas Opera, where he recently served as director of artistic administration and will continue on as artistic consultant. Additionally, Lomelí is a casting consultant at the Bavarian State Opera. Lomelí replaces Brad Woolbright, the recently retired director of artistic administration, who worked at Santa Fe Opera for many decades, and Alexander Neef, who joined the company in 2018 as artistic director.
Santa Fe Opera is forging ahead with their recently announced 2021 season, which includes The Lord of Cries, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Marriage of Figaro, and Eugene Onegin.
SITE Santa Fe announces new executive director.
Louis Grachos has been appointed executive director of SITE Santa Fe, where he was previously the director from 1996 to 2003. Currently the chief executive officer and executive director of the Palm Springs Art Museum, Grachos will begin his position this summer. Grachos, who has an extensive thirty-year background in the arts, will work to revitalize SITE’s curatorial and public programming coming out of the pandemic, with a particular focus on developing new creative partnerships that embrace the Santa Fe community and amplify the work of a wide range of artists. He will also work collaboratively with the SITE team to finalize and begin implementing the organization’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion plan.