New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico Museum of Art launches neighborhood exhibition at Santa Fe Southside Library

August 03, 2017

Ryan Stark


As part of its ongoing effort to include the whole of its home city in its activities, the New Mexico Museum of Art has installed a small display of historical items relating to youth art from its archives at the Santa Fe Public Library Southside Branch, located at 6599 Jaguar Drive. The items will be on display at the library through Oct. 31, and the accompanying signage is in both Spanish and English.


The seven items in the display are focused on youth art and events featured over the years, including an article on a 1919 exhibition at the museum by students from the Santa Fe Indian School, a catalog from a 1931 exhibition of art by boys at a New York reform school, a 1952 clipping from the Santa Fe New Mexican about an exchange of art between Santa Fe students and students in Hiroshima, Japan and an accompanying exhibition, as well as a catalog from a 1961 exhibition featuring art by students from New Mexico’s native pueblos.


The museum was established in Santa Fe in 1917 and is the city’s oldest museum. Mary Kershaw, director of the museum, said that its status as one of the city’s cultural cornerstones translates to a responsibility to not just limit activities to the downtown area.


“Being on the Santa Fe Plaza for the last hundred years has helped to demonstrate our reach to visitors who come there for the quintessential Santa Fe experience, but those of us who call this city home know that there is far more to Santa Fe than just the plaza,” Kershaw said. “If we at the museum are putting the best foot forward in terms of including all of Santa Fe in what we do, that means we must also expand the map.”


The library display comes just weeks after the announcement by the museum of a team of architects being selected for the creation of a contemporary art annex in the booming Santa Fe Railyard district. The conversion of the former Halpin State Records Center into a contemporary art space is expected to be completed and open to the public by 2020.


“Like our project at the Railyard, something even as relatively small as this display at the Southside Library signifies, I hope, this museum’s commitment to not be ‘your grandmother’s art museum,’ but rather, that this 100- year-old institution is a living, breathing community resource available to everyone,” Kershaw added, also saying that the museum’s upcoming centennial commemorations will provide many more opportunities for all of Santa Fe to connect with the museum and its history.

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