Catch up on recent art news headlines in the Southwest region, including people on the move, grants, and more.
Nevada Arts Leader Dies in a Plane Crash
Valerie Serpa, director of the Oats Park Art Center and the Churchill Arts Council in Fallon, Nevada, died in an airplane accident in Medford, Oregon on December 5, 2021. Double Scoop reported the news and The Fallon Post published an obituary.
Arizona Museum Acquires Work as Part of Diversity Effort
The Phoenix Art Museum purchased Untitled Anxious Bruise Drawing, a painting by New York artist Rashid Johnson, as part of the Dawn and David Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative. The initiative focuses on collecting works by contemporary Black, Indigenous, Latinx, women artists, and other underrepresented populations. According to a news release, Johnson’s work, scheduled to be on view some time this year, is the fourth Lenhardt Initiative acquisition by the Phoenix Art Museum since 2017.
The Life of DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo (Diné, Taos Pueblo) Celebrated in Santa Fe
On December 1, 2021, the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe held a celebration of life for DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo, who was found passed away outside of her Taos Pueblo home on November 13, 2021. The artist—who graduated from IAIA in spring 2021 with a BFA in studio arts and who had been admitted into IAIA’s inaugural MFA in studio arts cohort in summer 2021—showed at regional artisan markets including the Santa Fe Indian Market. She was a SITE Santa Fe Scholar and a 2021 Taos Fine Arts Visionary Artist. An archived video of the remembrance is available online.
Grants and Awards
Southwest-based Writers Receive Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grants
Erina Duganne, author of Visual Solidarities: Art, Activism, and Central America, and Rebecca M. Schreiber, who wrote Visualizing Displacement in the Americas: The Aesthetics of Mobility and Immobilization, are two of twenty writers to have been granted by the Andy Warhol Foundation’s arts writers grant program, which awarded a total of $695,000 in the 2021 cycle. Duganne is an associate professor of art history at Texas State University in San Marcos. Schreiber is an associate professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Phoenix Art Museum Awards Arizona Artists
Sama Alshaibi is the 2021 recipient of the Arlene and Morton Scult Artist Award while Gloria Martinez-Granados, Chris Vena, Sam Frésquez, and Merryn Omotayo Alaka are part of the inaugural Sally and Richard Lehmann Emerging Artist Awards. According to Phoenix Art Museum, each artist will receive funding to support the creation of new work that will premiere in solo and group exhibitions at the museum in fall 2022.
New Mexico Media Company Wins Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards
Santa Fe-based Mountain Mover Media recently took home Rocky Mountain Emmys for two of its productions: Becoming: ORLANDO DUGI in the arts programming (short form) category, and Yo Prometo for best musical arrangement/composition. Becoming—an eight-minute biopic on Diné fashion designer and former IAIA artist in residence Orlando Dugi—was directed, shot, and edited by Mountain Mover Media owner Kaela Waldstein and produced by IAIA assistant professor Amber-Dawn Bear Robe (Blackfoot/Siksita), according to an Institute of American Indian Arts press release.
Santa Fe Film Institute Awarded Funding to Promote Native American Filmmakers
SFFI, which presents an Indigenous film program during the annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, received $10,000 from the Santa Fe Community Foundation’s Native American Advised Fund, established in 1993 via a gift by the late Allan Houser. “This grant will help SFIFF scour the earth for the best cinematic storytelling by Native American and Indigenous filmmakers from around the world,” says SFIFF advisory board chair Gary Farmer in a press release.
Leadership Changes and Appointments
Phoenix Center for the Arts CEO Resigns
Lauren Henschen, who has worked at the Phoenix Center for the Arts for nearly ten years, will step down from her CEO role, which she has held since July 2019. Her resignation from the arts education and programming nonprofit is effective February 2022.