Catch up on recent art news headlines in the Southwest region, including people on the move, grants, and more.
Colorado Bookstore Chain Declares Bankruptcy
In mid-October, Tattered Covered Book Store filed for bankruptcy protection and announced the closure of three of its seven locations in Colorado Springs, Denver’s McGregor Square, and Westminster. The decision, according to various news reports, was driven by a nearly $700,000 loss in the first nine months of 2023. Since then, the Colorado bookstore chain, founded in 1971, was said to have received a $1.3 million loan from a philanthropist. This story is developing.
Arizona’s Eddie Basha Collection Gallery Shutters
The Eddie Basha Collection, an assortment of more than 2,000 pieces of American Indian and Western American fine art housed at the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery in Chandler, will close. Two Phoenix-area art museums—the Heard Museum and Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West—will house and display the collection of Basha Jr., the grocery store magnate and philanthropist who passed away in 2013. The Chandler gallery is slated to permanently close on December 1, 2023.
New Businesses and Organizations
SeeSaw Art Gallery, Englewood, Colorado
SeeSaw, a contemporary art gallery and agency in the Denver suburb of Englewood, recently opened with the debut exhibition INTERDEPENDENCE, a show of six Colorado-based artists that includes Clarissa Fortier, Sophie Hill (Bay Mills Band of Ojibwe), Rochelle Johnson, Savanna LaBauve, Christine Nguyen, and Mila Rossi. The exhibition is scheduled to remain on view through January 8, 2024.
Grants and Awards
New Round of MacArthur Fellows Includes Southwest Recipients
Manuel Muñoz, a Tucson, Arizona–based writer whose fiction depicts Mexican American communities in California’s Central Valley, and Amber Wutich, a Tempe, Arizona–based anthropologist who documents the impacts of water insecurity on human well-being, have been named MacArthur Fellows, a program that grants creative individuals a no-strings-attached award of $800,000. Raven Chacon (Diné), now of Red Hook, New York, but a longtime Albuquerque-based visual artist, composer, and musician, was also named a MacArthur Fellow.
Southwest Metro Areas Win Bloomberg Awards
Phoenix and Salt Lake City are two of eight cities to win an award of up to $1 million from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Phoenix will commission nine artists to create shading and cooling installations in response to extreme urban heat while Salt Lake City will commission public art installations in each of the seven city council districts as well as installations on the border of the Great Salt Lake in response to the lake’s drought conditions. Houston also won the prize for the HueMan: Shelter project that will address homelessness.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith Receives Artists’ Legacy Foundation Award
New Mexico-based artist Quick-to-See Smith (Salish and Kootenai) has won the Artists’ Legacy Foundation Artist Award for 2023. The award, established in 2007, recognizes and honors the accomplishments of an outstanding visual artist whose primary medium is painting or sculpture and comes with a $25,000 prize.
Phoenix Art Museum Receives $2 Million Dollars to Support Exhibitions
The central Phoenix institution recently received $2 million from a variety of sources—the Opatrny Family Foundation, the Cohn Fund for Arts and Culture, and David and Dawn Lenhardt—to support exhibitions, education and engagement programs, and contemporary art acquisitions. In addition, the museum received a $475,000 grant from the Men’s Arts Council.
New Mexico Creative Industries Division Grant Awards Announced
Fifteen New Mexico statewide communities and three pueblos—including Diné College, New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series, and the Pueblo of Pojoaque—received the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s inaugural Creative Industries Grant Awards. The $1.8 million total was made possible by the passage of House Bill 8 during the 2023 New Mexico Legislature.
Leadership Changes and Appointments
Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Names Deputy Director
MIAC announced Elisabeth Stone as its new deputy director. Stone, who earned a PhD in anthropology from the University of New Mexico, previously served as MIAC’s manager for the Coronado and Jemez historic sites.
Arizona State University Art Museum Appoints Curator, Arts Writer, and Southwest Contemporary Contributor to Curatorial and Advisory Roles
Erin Joyce has been named curator at large and advisor on curatorial initiatives at the ASU Art Museum in Tempe. According to a press release, Joyce will advise on the expansion of the permanent collection and work with the museum’s staff to produce exhibitions and public programs.