It takes months to curate a show for an art museum.
At the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum, it’s no different.
The curators spend months painstakingly weaving together a narrative that will make an impact.
With hundreds of pieces in its permanent collection, it would take years for the average New Mexican to view them all.
This is why the art museum team takes its time in putting together an exhibit.
The current exhibit, “Fronteras del Futuro: Art in New Mexico and Beyond” is on view through early 2023.
Jadira Gurulé, visual arts program manager and curator of the exhibition, says it features artworks that explore the intersections of art, science, technologies (both ancient and modern), cosmic-musings, future-oriented visions and more.
It engages with themes that are relevant in New Mexico (and beyond) with contributions from artists in New Mexico, across the nation, and internationally.
Gurulé and Art Museum Curator Rebecca Gomez collaboratively selected five pieces from the exhibit.
“There are so many important and fascinating details in the artworks featured in ‘Fronteras del Futuro,’ it’s hard to narrow it down to five,” Gurulé says. “But if you seek out these five artworks, you may catch details you might otherwise have missed and you will have toured the whole exhibition. Hopefully, in addition to the artworks mentioned here, each visitor encounters other artworks that speak to them personally as well.”
The museum is being highlighted as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through Oct. 15.
1. Ryan Singer, “Rainbow Flavor” (2021)
Singer’s piece is acrylic on canvas.
Gomez and Gurulé say whether you prefer “Star Wars” or “Star Trek,” one can’t help but enjoy the nuances of Ryan Singer’s paintings where the worlds of “Star Wars” and the landscape of his youth intertwine.
“The details are what makes the blending of worlds seamless as Jawas enjoy an earthly soda at a food stand,” the pair says.
2. Cynthia Cook, “La Lune” (2004)
The piece is comprised of tin, glass, glitter and photograph.
In an exhibition with quite a few large-scale artworks, pausing to appreciate the small ones is important, too.
“On the north wall of the first large room of the exhibition, are a few smaller works by Cynthia Cook,” the pair says. “Cook works with recycled can metal and assembly. ‘La Lune’ hangs on the wall with an image of a thin crescent moon framed behind scratchy glass. The metal displays a rusty patina that highlights the metal repoussé.”
3. Marion Martinez, “Heart of the Spirit” (2015)
The piece is made up of computer circuit boards (copper, white, green, and gold), memory chips, ribbon cable, CD and laser lens.
Martinez’s work is located on the wall straddling the entryway to the exhibit and the first large room.
“From a distance, her work feels familiar as it references iconography deeply rooted in New Mexican culture,” the pair says. “Upon closer inspection, the unique materials composing her sculptures are revealed. Martinez creates with discarded technology by transforming circuit boards, wires, cds, and even blood testing strips into works of art.”
4. Patrick McGrath Muñiz, “Divinus Informer” (2012)
Muñiz’s piece is oil on wood and gold leaf.
“Divinus Informer” by Patrick McGrath Muñiz is a subtle artwork in the second room of the exhibition.
“A retablo of intricate woodwork and paint, this piece requires an up-close inspection,” Gomez and Gurulé say. “The religious iconography one might be accustomed to seeing in a retablo is present, but so are many other details that inform Muñiz’s exploration of the archetype of the ‘messenger.’ “
5. Maye Torres, “Losing Marbles II” (2001)
Torres’ piece is a graphite drawing on four-ply rag board.
“Máye Torres’ work captivates with large-scale drawings and assemblage with an other-worldly quality,” Gomez and Gurulé say. “In addition to pondering her subject matter, which includes humans hatching from outer space eggs and visual representations of what it might be like to lose your marbles, take a moment to appreciate the way she uses texture and line in her drawings.”
Editor’s note: The fourth Sunday of each month, Journal Arts Editor Adrian Gomez tells the stories behind some of the hidden gems you can see across the state in “Gimme Five.”