New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary commemorates construction progress with topping off celebration

February 01, 2022

Daniel Zillmann

Santa Fe, NM – The New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary marked a major construction milestone on Monday, January 31, 2022, as the construction crew hoisted one of the final structural beams by crane into place. The topping off ceremony is a long-standing construction tradition commemorating the completion of a building’s steel structure. In keeping with COVID-19-safe protocols, a small group gathered to sign their names on the final steel beam then watched as it was lifted into place late Monday afternoon.  

“With this significant milestone in construction of the New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary, the building’s final structure has really taken shape,” said New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego. “It is exciting to see how far we have come in creating this important home for contemporary art and contemporary arts education in our state.” 

“This day also commemorates the wonderful generosity of thousands of supporters who contributed to the Museum of Art’s Centennial Campaign and provided funding for the Vladem Contemporary,” added Jamie Clements, President/CEO of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. 

“Ellen and I are so pleased that this moment has finally arrived,” said Bob Vladem. “It is an absolute joy to see this crowning accomplishment for New Mexico being realized, both the restoration of the Ilfeld Warehouse and the creation of a new space for contemporary art, education, and collections storage. We look forward to welcoming the community to the museum’s grand opening later this year.” 

Significant progress in construction has been made to date. With the major steel installed, work will progress to the bridge level decking, then onto the roof level. Workers will begin building out the walls by attaching studs, while also installing the exterior vapor barrier. The project team has been working closely with the contractor, Bradbury Stamm, to monitor the building’s progress. Despite staffing shortages, supply chain issues, and increased costs facing construction projects nationwide, the grand opening is still anticipated in fall 2022. 

When completed, the New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary will provide a new space for contemporary art to broaden the diversity and reach of the museum’s collection. It will create opportunities for the museum to engage living artists from New Mexico and artists from different cultural backgrounds, and to bring to Santa Fe world-class exhibitions that showcase diverse perspectives. 

Dedicated education spaces and artist studios will create the capacity for the museum to offer hands-on educational experiences for all ages. The new building will provide space for the museum to expand its contemporary collection and attract donations of important art works and collections, keeping cultural resources within the state. 

Projected to generate $194 million in new economic activity within its first 10 years, the museum will bring significant economic benefit to the city of Santa Fe and the state of New Mexico. New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary will enliven the Guadalupe Historic District and will become the northern anchor of the Railyard Arts District, complementing SITE Santa Fe to the south, numerous contemporary galleries within the district, and the New Mexico School for the Arts just one block away. 


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

New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary Topping Off Ceremony
New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary Topping Off Ceremony
New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary Topping Off Ceremony

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