New Mexico Museum of Art

“Alcoves 20/20 #4” opens at New Mexico Museum of Art

February 17, 2021


“Alcoves 20/20 #4” – the last installment of the New Mexico Museum of Art (NMOA) Alcoves 20/20 series – will be open to the public starting Sunday, Feb. 20. The Alcove series features five small one-person exhibitions by contemporary artists working in New Mexico and highlights the wealth of artistic talent across the state. Working broadly across the fields of photography and painting, this installation features artwork by Karsten Creightney, JC Gonzo, Phillis Ideal, Cara Romero, and Donald Woodman.

"The New Mexico Museum of Art has a venerable tradition of showcasing contemporary art, and ’Alcoves 20/20’ continues that important legacy," said Dr. Mark White, Executive Director. "The fourth installment offers an engaging dialogue between five artists and demonstrates the breadth and vitality of contemporary art in New Mexico."

The Alcoves Series was relaunched in March of 2012 and has consisted of rotating exhibitions every few years focused on new work by contemporary New Mexican artists. Since 2012, 90 New Mexican artists have exhibited their work. Alcoves 20/20 will feature work by 20 new artists when completed. The series is curated by Merry Scully, the Museum of Art’s curator of contemporary art, and follows a format which derives from the founding of the New Mexico Museum of Art in 1917. 

Alcoves 20/20 #4 - About the Artists:

Karsten Creightney
Karsten Creightney is a professor of printmaking at UNM where he completed the Tamarind Institute Master Printers program and received a Master of Fine Arts in painting. After working for years as a Master Printer in New York, Creightney returned to New Mexico. His interest and skill in printmaking are apparent in the materials he selects to cover his painting surfaces. The painting field, comprised of fragments, creates associations in what the artist refers to as “fields of information.”

“My work is as much a product of discoveries made while making it, as it is deliberate,” said Creightney. New images and themes emerge from the past just as our future derives from our history. Creightney does not necessarily predict his final picture but rather depends upon trial and error to access alternate realities. His works are part of the permanent collections of institutions such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

JC Gonzo
JC Gonzo is a writer, videographer, and photographer. His texts, sounds, and images all focus on environmental and social themes. Gonzo’s work begins with research and investigation which result in artistic dispatches. His cut-up methodology and collage aesthetic generate juxtapositions and elicit previously unconsidered connections and dependencies. Described by Gonzo as “meta-ecologies,” his installation reflects on our connections to the land and to one another, in particular the land surrounding the border in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico.

Phillis Ideal
Phillis Ideal’s abstract collages balance shape, texture, and color to create geometries of curves, arcs, and lines. Her images are deliberately limited, yielding enlarged microscopic–like details of greater works. Close analytical views lead to explorations past the picture plane. There is much to experience through these curtailed circles and truncated trapezoids. Primary colors of reds and yellows alternate with pastels of violet and lilac. Color field smoothness contrasts with anxious brushstrokes. Her works are hybrids of collage and paint, creating expansive yet constrained spaces.

Born in southern New Mexico, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico and later a Master’s degree in Counseling from New York University. Ideal also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Berkeley where she studied with Elmer Bischoff. Her first one-woman show was at the renowned de Young Museum in San Francisco. Her works have been collected by the Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum, and Albuquerque Museum of Art.

Cara Romero
Cara Romero is a member of the Chemeheuevi Tribe of the Mojave Desert of California, and she acts as an emissary for traditional and contemporary values, preserving history while defining the future. Using her exceptional technical and commercial photography skills to tell stories that intersect Native identity with popular cultural references, Romero is representing her culture while subverting and critiquing stereotypes of Native Americans. She points an indigenous female lens at contemporary social and environmental issues. The photographs are staged with dramatic color and imply provocative narratives.

“My photographs explore our collective Native histories and the ways in which or indigeneity expresses itself in modern times,” says Romero. Her photographs are part of the permanent collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Autry Museum of the American West, Heard Museum, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, and Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

Donald Woodman
Donald Woodman’s The Selling of the West, a body of work produced from 2004- 2007, documents the landscape of the West as it is being sold, closed-off, or developed. Woodman takes a non-traditional approach to a traditional genre: landscape photography. Rather than an idealized landscape, these vistas incorporate social aspiration, ecological concerns, commerce, and other social and cultural concerns.

A student of the distinguished photographer Minor White, Woodman holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Fine Arts in photography from the University of Houston. His works are part of the collections of such institutions as the Albuquerque Museum of Art, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Corcoran Art Gallery. Woodman is a long-time resident of Belen, New Mexico where he lives with his wife, artist Judy Chicago.


About The New Mexico Museum of Art
The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Programs and exhibits are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its donors. The mission of the Museum of Art is to create authentic experiences that foster a deeper understanding and enjoyment of art throughout our state. With a collection of more than 20,000 pieces of work, the museum brings the art of the world to New Mexico and the art of New Mexico to the world.


Related Photos

Pink Power

Back to Press Release List »