New Mexico Museum of Art

Art on the Edge 2013

December 17, 2012


(Santa Fe, NM)—Eight contemporary artists from the Southwest will be featured in the Friends of Contemporary Art + Photography’s biennial juried show, Art on the Edge, hosted by the New Mexico Museum of Art. The artists, who were selected by Toby Kamps of the Menil Collection, Houston, are Rosemary Meza-DesPlas (Dallas, TX), Heidi Pollard (Albuquerque, NM), Rebekah Potter (Albuquerque, NM), Donna Ruff (Santa Fe, NM), Joel Santaquilani (Amarillo, TX), Martina Shenal (Tucson, AZ), Derrick Velasquez (Denver, CO), and Greta Young (Santa Fe, NM). Art on the Edge 2013 will open to the public on January 18, 2013. The exhibition runs through April 14, 2013.

The Artists

The Art on the Edge 2013 call for entries was open to artists based in New Mexico or surrounding states—Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Juror Toby Kamps narrowed the 268 artist submissions to 37 artworks by the eight artists.

The sculptures of Derrick Velasquez use industrial materials such as marine vinyl that is draped and layered over wood to create a tension between the accumulated mass of material and the tenuous pivot upon which that accumulation rests. Also using industrial, found or everyday materials to sculpt equally unexpected forms is Heidi Pollard, whose endearing papier mache Bunny Dummy rests on an orange wood chair, while nearby the scrap wood, oil, and ink wall sculpture Bitter Lake Homage evokes the sharp teeth of a saw.

Photographer Martina Shenal’s chosen subjects rely on the same quality of the mundane as the materials used by Velasquez and Pollard, and like those artists, Shenal metamorphoses those anticlimactic sites and objects into images of beautiful if subdued color and form. Shenal focuses on what she describes as “the peripheral, the insignificant and sometimes monumental spaces” where there exist “intersections of public and private, natural vs. the built environment, literal and metaphorical boundaries that offer protection as well as isolation.”

Rebekah Potter explores the “cartographies” of the body and the landscape through textiles, which she uses to create pieced “canvases” that are inviting in their tactility at the same time that they encourage an examination of abstract compositions more typically associated with painting. These works trick the eye with the promise of paint but the surface of fiber and pattern. Surface design is also an important element of Donna Ruff’s cut newspaper works on paper. The seductive repetition of the Islamic-inspired designs that are hand-cut into pages of the New York Times, whose front-page stories relate to conflict in the Middle East. Ruff draws us to the surface and how it serves as a metaphor for the lack of in-depth understanding of the political and cultural narratives that circumscribe those conflicts.

The figure appears in Art on the Edge 2013 through the work of three of the eight artists. Joel Santaquilani explores the voyeurism of photography through his series Parking Spaces, in which passers-by are photographed walking to or from their cars. The unusual angles and partial framing of the subject both suggest the accidental nature of the snapshot or the surreptitious quality of a surveillance photo. Rosemary Meza-DesPlas’ figuration takes the form of fragments and seriality. Breasts or buttocks, elegantly rendered in watercolor, are isolated from the whole body and organized in a loose grid that reveals both sameness and difference. Greta Young’s figures are likewise captured in fragments but they occupy the periphery of the composition, emerging from behind large areas of black and red. They are rendered with an expressionistic hand and denseness of paint and gesso that reinforces an overall rawness—not only of Young’s vision but of the Art on the Edge exhibition in general.

About the Juror

Toby Kamps is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas. Prior to this appointment, Kamps held posts at other notable arts and educational organizations and institutions, including senior curator of the Contemporary Art Museum Houston (CAMH); senior curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati; director of the Institute of Contemporary Art and assistant professor at Maine College of Art; and curator and department head at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Earlier in his career Kamps served as curator of exhibitions with Madison Art Center in Madison, and as curatorial assistant at the Walker Art Center, where he co-edited the catalogue raisonné of Bruce Nauman.

Over the years, in his writings, teaching, lecturing and exhibition programs, Kamps has spotlighted artists working in multiple media – painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and sound. He has organized solo exhibitions by artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Ellsworth Kelly, Vanessa Beecroft, Martin Kersels, Adi Nes, Michael Queenland, Danny Lyon, and Torolab, a design collaborative in Tijuana, Mexico. He has also developed thematic survey and catalogue projects such as Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art; The Old, Weird America, a study of folk themes in contemporary art, which won a “Best Thematic Show Nationally” award from the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Art Critics; and, most recently, for the Menil Collection, Silence, an exploration of the spiritual, existential, and political aspects of the absence of noise or speech in art.

Media Contacts

Laura Addison

Curator of Contemporary Art, New Mexico Museum of Art



Romi Sloboda

Co-chair, Friends of Contemporary Art + Photography

505-670-3458 (cell)


Steve Cantrell

PR Manager, Museum of New Mexico


505-310-3539 (cell)    

  About FOCA+P

Friends of Contemporary Art + Photography (FOCA+P), a support group of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, works actively as an advocate for contemporary art and photography by supporting exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art, helping the Museum acquire art for its collection, and organizing programs for its membership and the community. FOCA+P, formerly FOCA, has recently expanded its emphasis to highlight contemporary photography as a reflection of the significance of this medium in contemporary art and the New Mexico community.

About the New Mexico Museum of Art

The New Mexico Museum of Art was founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico. Housed in a spectacular Pueblo Revival building designed by I. H. and William M. Rapp, it was based on their New Mexico building at the Panama-California Exposition (1915). The museum's architecture inaugurated what has come to be known as "Santa Fe Style." For nearly 100 years, the Museum has celebrated the diversity of the visual arts and the legacy of New Mexico as a cultural crossroads by collecting and exhibiting work by leading artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide array of exhibitions with work from the world’s leading artists. The New Mexico Museum of Art brings the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico.

The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.


Information for the Public 

Location: Santa Fe’s Plaza at 107 West Palace Avenue.

Information:  505-476-5072 or visit

Days/Times: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  Open Free on Fridays, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Admission: Adult single-museum admission is $6 for New Mexico residents, $9 for nonresidents; OR $15 for one-day pass to two museums of your choice (Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, and Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum) OR $20 four-day pass to the four museums listed above. Youth 16 and under, Foundation Members, and New Mexico Veterans with 50% or more disability always free

Sundays: New Mexico residents with ID are admitted FREE, Students with ID receive a $1 discount. Wednesdays: New Mexico resident seniors (60+) with ID are free. Field Trips There is no charge for educational groups attending the museum with their instructor and/or adult chaperones. Contact the Tours office by phone at (505) 476-1140 or (505) 476-1211 to arrange class/group visits to the Museum.

Related Photos

Untitled (florence
Little Pond (Burblossom)
spearheading the universal

Back to Press Release List »