Art & Culture briefs

Renee Romero, After Naptime, (2021), pigment print


Khristaan Villela, the executive director of the Museum of International Folk Art, has been hired as an associate director at Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He begins his post as head of Dissemination and External Affairs this summer.

Art & Culture briefs

Khristaan Villela

“During his tenure, Dr. Villela has increased the visibility of the museum, while forging new partnerships within and beyond the department that have benefited New Mexicans across the state,” said Debra Garcia y Griego, cabinet secretary of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Villela is also chair of Arts and Science for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, a role in which he oversees multiple other state museums. He was the founding director of the Thaw Art History Center at the College of Santa Fe, where he organized an undergraduate art history department focused on the Art of the Americas. Villela also taught art history at the University of New Mexico and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He has served as consulting curator for exhibitions at the Miho Museum, the GRI, the New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

“The GRI is a leader in the preservation, creation, and dissemination of the knowledge about the world’s visual culture,” said Villela, who has led the Museum of International Folk Art since 2016. “I look forward to working together with the GRI team to unify the voices of the scholarship, exhibitions, library, publications, and public programs at the institute and to increase awareness of them among audiences in Los Angeles, elsewhere in the U.S., and globally.”

An interim executive director will be named while the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico undertakes an executive search.


The opening of New Mexico Museum of Art (NMMOA) Vladem Contemporary, which was last scheduled for fall, is now anticipated for late winter. Production slowdown, particularly in the steel and lumber industries, and cold weather, which impacted concrete work, contributed to the delay.

“General contractor Bradbury Stamm Construction has worked diligently to mitigate the effect of the global bottleneck to complete the building on time. Unfortunately, this has proven impossible,” said Mark White, NMMOA executive director. “However, this additional time will allow the collection to be relocated to the NMMOA Vladem Contemporary prior to the public opening, a mammoth task the original completion date did not allow.”

The museum collection will be prepared for the move to the new storage facilities, which boasts state-of-the-art climate control and considerable rolling storage.

A firm opening date for the museum will be released once the negotiations with Bradbury Stamm Construction are complete.


The Lannan Foundation has announced plans to close by 2032 and spend down all assets.

The foundation, which regularly presented conversations here between noted thinkers in a variety of fields, was established by J. Patrick Lannan Sr. in 1960. The organization aims to promote diversity and creativity by making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of contemporary visual art, literature, Indigenous communities, and cultural freedom.

“We see this accelerated spend out as an evolution, not a deviation. We never intended to operate in perpetuity, and we want to have the greatest impact we can right now,” said Patrick Lannan, who has led the foundation since 1986.

Also closing is the Lannan Residency Program in Marfa, Texas, which offered uninterrupted writing time for more than 360 fellows over two decades.

During the current research and planning phase of the spend out, the foundation will continue its policy to not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry, proposals, or nominations for awards or fellowships.


Foto Forum Santa Fe has released the names of the winners and honorable mentions in its annual international photography contest, judged by Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie.

Renee Romero, a Brockton, Massachusetts-based artist who won first place with the Moments in Motherhood series, will receive $2,500 and a two-month solo exhibition at the gallery (1714 Paseo de Peralta). Second place winner Karey Walter of Atlanta receives a $500 award, placement of three prints in the gallery art print racks, and a two-month online show. José Castrellón, Ana Espinal, Lingxue Hao, and Fiona Howarth earned honorable mentions.

The organization provides an artistic space to explore the relationship between photography, storytelling, science, and technology through artist exhibitions, workshops, visiting artist lectures, research, and community outreach.

Romero’s exhibition opens at 5 p.m. on June 3 (through July 27) and is preceded by an artist talk at 4 p.m.

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