In 2023, Southwest Contemporary published 300 original articles by seventy-five contributors across eight states about contemporary art in the Southwest. These are readers’ ten favorite stories of the year.
In 2023, Southwest Contemporary published 300 original articles online and in print by seventy-five contributors across eight states about the contemporary art of the Southwest region. Our contributors reviewed fifty-nine exhibitions and visited twenty-six artists’ studios. We reported on regional issues with national importance, including issues of censorship at art centers and the mechanics of public art funding. We shared practical information, too, such as financial literacy for creators and roundups of residency opportunities. Our top-read posts from the year include profiles of artists and news from across the arts sector, but also include some of our arts travel content and guides to creative sights that should be on your bucket list going into 2024.
Below, find our top ten posts of 2023, worthy of reading and re-reading!:
by Natalie Hegert, March 28, 2023
Luis Jiménez’s monumental sculptures are found all over the country, including Denver’s Mesteño/Mustang and the Smithsonian’s Vaquero. On the occasion of the exhibition Life and Death: Luis Jiménez at The Gallery at UTA in Arlington, Texas, earlier this year, SWC arts editor Natalie Hegert asked, why is the artist not more well-known?
by Steve Jansen, February 6, May 23, and October 6, 2023
Each season, we find upcoming residency opportunities for artists and writers across the region. From urban areas to remote rural retreats, from long-term stays to short stints, our regular residency roundups are organized by deadline—and together are always some of our most popular articles!
by Steve Jansen, April 28, 2023
Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, which announced its permanent closure after forty-four years in April of 2023, later reversed course with plans to partially reopen in the city’s shaky arts nonprofit landscape. SWC news editor Steve Jansen reported on what went wrong and the questions that were raised about CCA’s future viability.
by Bethany Tabor, May 26, 2023
While a soak in the healing waters is essential, the magic of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, really comes alive when visiting the town’s art galleries and shops downtown. Published in our annual New Mexico Field Guide, a guidebook to arts and culture across the state, Bethany Tabor’s “Field Report” from T or C gives you the rundown on the must-see spots and places to stay and eat.
by Lynn Trimble, August 14, 2023
The City of Mesa brusquely postponed every exhibition in the city-run Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum’s fall 2023 calendar in response to the planned display of a Shepard Fairey artwork critical of police brutality. Local artists, community members, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona alleged censorship.
by Southwest Contemporary, May 26, 2023
A perennial reader-favorite celebrating its fifth year in 2023, Southwest Contemporary‘s 12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now of 2023 featured Kirsten Angerbauer, Kaitlin Bryson, Apolo Gomez, Hernan Gomez Chavez, Lynnette Haozous (Chiricahua Apache, Diné, Taos Pueblo), Karma Henry (Paiute, Italian, Portuguese), Ahní Rocheleau, Zuyva Sevilla, Jennifer Thoreson, Kate Turner, Cougar Vigil (Jicarilla Apache), and Benjamin Winans.
by P. Antonio Márquez, May 26, 2023
More and more, a certain type of bar is disappearing from New Mexico. But P. Antonio Márquez’s guide to the good old dives of Nuevo México includes Albuquerque Press Club, the Matador in Santa Fe, Saints and Sinners in Española, and more great spots for a dose of old-timey vibes and your classic drink of choice. Visit them while you still can!
by Emily Arntsen, October 31, 2023
Grand County commissioners in Moab, Utah, took issue with a quote by a historic Black cowboy about racial and class equality in a mural proposed by artist Chip Thomas. The mural was ultimately approved on the grounds that the proposed quote was swapped for something less “depressing” and void of any mention of race.
2. Utah’s New State Flag, To the Disappointment of Some, Won’t Depict the State Fish Wielding the State Firearm
by Scotti Hill, February 3, 2023
During the Utah state and Salt Lake City flag competitions, residents fell in love with Grant Miller’s dark-horse design that clowned state symbols and imagery. The ascension of the satirical, intentionally absurdist, trolling design injected some silliness into what would normally be a bland, bureaucratic process.
by Angie Rizzo, May 26, 2023
“Unique New Mexico” is a feature article in 2023’s New Mexico Field Guide featuring curious and striking sights and landmarks across this curious and striking state, including Roswell’s The Henge and Las Vegas’s Dwan Light Sanctuary. But there was one landmark to win them all: the Monastery of Christ in the Desert near Abiquiú, New Mexico. The monastery is host to a community of Benedictine monks who live and worship against the magnificent backdrop of the Chama Canyon, and was designed by famous designer and woodworker George Nakashima.