Catch up on recent art news headlines in the Southwest region, including people on the move, grants, and more.
Detroit Institute of the Arts Acquires Work by New Mexico Indigenous Artist Kathleen Wall
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) announced earlier this month that the DIA had acquired four ceramic pieces by Kathleen Wall (Jemez Pueblo) for its permanent collection. The IAIA alumna created Create Our Future—Honor Our Past, which comprises of four of Wall’s painted ceramic sculptures, each representing the Navajo, Plains, Woodland, and Pueblo peoples.
Arizona State University and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Expand Fellowship Program
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts announced that the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has joined as a new partner in the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History. According to a joint news release, the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship was founded in 2018 with the aim of culturally diversifying the leadership of art museums in the country.
Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station Opens in Denver
Meow Wolf’s latest endeavor, Convergence Station, opened to the public on September 17, 2021. Deborah Ross of Southwest Contemporary was on the scene at a media-preview event that turned into a mixture of reflections on her youth and immersive art overload.
Grants and Awards
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Awards $123 Million in “Surprise Grants”
In mid-September, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust gave out a total of $123 million to seventy-one Arizona nonprofits, the largest single-day grant initiative in Arizona’s history, according to a news release. It apparently came out of the blue, too. “The grants were presented… as a complete surprise,” reads a news release. Twenty-two arts and culture organizations, including Black Theatre Troupe, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, and Heard Museum, were among the recipients.
Keshet Center for the Arts Recognized by the Southwest Region Economic Development Association
Keshet Center for the Arts in Albuquerque was one of five organizations to receive a 2021 Star of the Southwest award from the Southwest Region Economic Development Association for the creation and impact of the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Community, “a business resource center and residency-based makerspace for arts entrepreneurs.”
Leadership Changes and Appointments
Arizona Citizens for the Arts Leadership Shuffle
Joseph Benesh, former executive director at the Arizona Citizens for the Arts (AzCA), announced that he’s moving to a contract development role with AzCA, which is one of the state’s primary arts and arts education advocacy groups. The move, as reported by Broadway World Arizona, prepares the organization in “a focused effort to reauthorize the Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA) and secure additional public funding” for the arts.
Suzanne McFayden Becomes New Board Chair at the Blanton Museum
The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin announced Suzanne McFayden as the new chair of the Blanton National Leadership Board. McFayden, formerly the vice chair, has helped underwrite shows such as the 2018-2019 exhibition Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design.