Arts & Culture News

Susanne Mentzer (Marcellina, The Marriage of Figaro)

Joan Mitchell Foundation awards two New Mexico artists

Sculptors Rose B. Simpson and Luis Tapia will each receive unrestricted $60,000 fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Tapia, who lives in Santa Fe, is a Chicano folk artist who works in polychrome wood. Simpson, of Santa Clara Pueblo, works in multiple mediums, including ceramic sculpture, metal, fashion, and custom cars.

The local artists are among 15 selected from a diverse pool of 166 national applicants, who were vetted through a multiphase juried process. The fellowship is structured over five years, with an initial payment of $20,000 and four subsequent annual installments of $10,000. In addition to the financial award, the fellowship includes professional development opportunities.

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) was an abstract artist who was a member of the New York School of painting. Her will called for the creation of a foundation to aid and assist working artists. joanmitchellfoundation .org — Jennifer Levin

National Hispanic Cultural Center receives multiple grants

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded $50,000 to the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) to support the Albuquerque institution’s Community Film Program at the Bank of America Theatre.

The film program highlights Hispanic and Latino directors and actors and features a variety of classic and contemporary Spanish, Mexican, and Latin American films. (The series has been online during the pandemic and is slowly transitioning back to a bimonthly screening schedule, which will be posted on the NHCC website.)

NHCC also received a $30,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative, in support of the center’s Circo Latino summer circus arts program for children ages 7-18.

A third grant, $8,500 from The U.S. Bank Foundation, supports NHCC’s virtual visual arts education programs for schoolchildren. — J.L.

Santa Fe artists attend prestigious residency

Two Santa Fe artists were awarded residencies at Ucross, a non-profit artist residency in northeastern Wyoming.

Jewelry maker Keri Ataumbi (Kiowa) and painter Maurice Burns will complete four-week residencies in October and November.

They are among 65 Fall Fellows who received studio space, living accommodations, meals, and a $1,000 travel stipend. Ten artists at a time stay at Ucross, a historic 20,000-acre ranch in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains.

Past residents include Terry Tempest Williams, Colson Whitehead, and current United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. J.L.

Museum director retires

The executive director of New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Margaret M. Marino, retired on Oct. 22.

Marino was appointed to lead the Albuquerque museum in November 2015. She brought 30 years of experience to the position, having served for a decade as executive director of the North Museum of Nature and Science in Pennsylvania.

The museum’s deputy director, Gary Romero, serves as acting director while the board of trustees searches for Marino’s successor. — J.L.

Grant supports lecture series at School for Advanced Research

The National Endowment for the Humanities will award $167,825 to the School for Advanced Research (SAR) through its American Rescue Plan, which provides funding to help cultural and educational institutions recover from the pandemic’s economic impact.

SAR will use the funding to continue its regular lecture series, the Creative Thought Forum. In 2022, it’s titled Justified: Perspectives to Advance a More Equitable and Sustainable America, and includes six free online public lectures and guided discussions that offer multiple points of view on social justice. — J.L.

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival names award winners

The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival announced the winners of its 13th annual festival, which took place from Oct. 13-17. The awards fall into two categories: Juried Awards and Audience Choice Awards.

In the juried category, director Jake Wachtel’s Cambodian science fiction film Karmalink won Best Narrative Feature, and co-directors Leah Galant and Maya Cueva’s On the Divide won Best Documentary Feature. The Best New Mexico Narrative Feature went to director Ryan Lacen’s All the World is Sleeping, and director Erica Nguyen’s Shadow Weavers won Best New Mexico Documentary Feature. Director Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero took the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature, and director Marie Amiguet’s Velvet Queen won the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Additional awards were given for U.S., international, New Mexico, animated, and experimental shorts. santafeindependentfilmfestival .com — Michael Abatemarco

Wheelwright Museum receives Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian was approved for a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The funds will be used to bring in more staff to aid in expanding the museum’s collection, improving technical infrastructure, and developing a new website over the next three years.

The grant will enable the Wheelwright to begin digitizing its archival materials, which include research materials, field notes, and manuscripts, and photographing its collection of more than 11,500 objects. The grant will support the funding of curatorial staff positions required for these projects and also will be used for replacing obsolete equipment, upgrading operating systems, and developing a new website.

“We are anxious to complete this ambitious project to enhance our reach to the broader community,” said Wheelwright Museum Director Jean Higgins in a news release. — M.A.

Santa Fe Opera sets fundraising record

The Santa Fe Opera’s 2021 season was a week shorter and one production fewer than usual, but it still set a fundraising record with an annual operating haul of $11.8 million, company officials announced on Oct. 20.

The opera was unable to provide information about whether the company balanced its budget for 2021.

Coronavirus-related seating restrictions meant that the in-theater audience averaged 1,300 per night. All performances other than the apprentice scenes were livestreamed to viewing screens in the lower parking lot, and six recorded performances were offered free of charge at parks in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Several digital initiatives also were launched during the season, including a multi-episode series produced in collaboration with New Mexico PBS.

The company’s extensive coronavirus protocols and precautions were effective, with no events changed or canceled, and a new year-round staff position has been created to continue a focus on safety, wellness, and occupational health. — Mark Tiarks/For The New Mexican

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