ARTSPeak                                                                                     July 2012

 Intro to Flamenco class 2012, Institute for Spanish Arts, photo credit: Marisela Angulo. 

Executive Director's Notes
I'm not sure why we have to keep fighting the same fight about why public funding of the arts is important and a worthwhile investment, but that does seem to be the era we live in. And maybe it's healthy that we continually have to make our case.
Congratulations to the arts advocates in South Carolina, especially Betty Plumb who heads the South Carolina Arts Alliance advocacy group, for once again successfully beating the drum to encourage their state legislators to override vetoes by the South Carolina governor that had eliminated state funding for the arts and shut the doors of the South Carolina Arts Commission earlier this month. Thanks to the arts supporters, the South Carolina Arts Commission is back in business and will even have an additional $500,000 to distribute in arts grants. As Betty always reminds the troops, "effective advocacy happens every day," and she never forgets to tell supporters to "be sure to take time to thank your Representatives who voted in support of the arts and let's continue to educate and build relationships with those who did not."
Fortunately, in New Mexico we have never faced anything as dire as total elimination of state funding for the arts - and I would hope we never do in our Land of Enchantment where the arts are so deeply embedded in our culture and our being.
But we do need to continue to make our case of why arts funding matters and how it makes a difference in our state by improving the lives of our people, especially our children, as well as promoting economic development and cultural tourism.
Arts and culture are big business in our state, pumping $3.3 billion into our state economy each year and supporting 60,000 jobs, according to our Department of Cultural Affairs economist Paulius Narbutas. Arts and culture generate $246 million in tax revenues and contribute $1.35 billion to our tourism industry annually. The arts and arts education help prepare our children to compete in the 21st century and global economy. Arts and culture are what make our state so unique.
And yet we still have some naysayers who oppose public funding for the arts on philosophical grounds or who contend that arts funding is a luxury the state cannot afford. The fight we seem to most often have to fight at New Mexico Arts is in support of our state public art program under which 1 percent of qualifying state capital outlay appropriations is dedicated to public art. New Mexico is among 27 states to have a public art program and ours was created in 1986 by our Legislature with strong bipartisan support. We have placed about 3,000 artworks across New Mexico in all 33 of our counties since our public art program began.
In addition to creating beauty for our state and a legacy for our children, our state public art program promotes economic development by supporting our artists as entrepreneurs, as well as our galleries and other small arts businesses. Public art helps draw tourists to our communities.
I believe public art is the most democratic of the arts because it belongs to all of us. It truly is public. And contrary to the contentions of some folks who oppose spending public money on art, the decisions on what public art to buy are not made by "bureaucrats" in Santa Fe -- but rather by a juried process with local selection committees that include members of the public. We would never presume to dictate to a New Mexico community what public art they should select. And as our temporary Navajo TIME public art project done in partnership this summer with the Navajo Nation Museum demonstrates, public art can help facilitate and promote community building by creating new relationships and changing perceptions. Art can bring us together.
We have an exciting new temporary public art exhibition, The Royal Road Project, that opened July 20 at our Centennial Project Space off the Santa Fe Plaza. The exhibit invites viewers to explore the ever-changing landscape of El Camino Real, one of the most influential roads in North America. The New Mexico artists involved are a team from the Institute of American Indian Arts: Ethan Bach with Charles Veasey, J. Craig Tompkins, and guest artist Sinte' Jackson Torrez. The exhibit runs through August 31 so stop by and let us know what you think.
And please do remember to thank our governor and our legislators for supporting public funding of the arts. We should never take their support for granted - so please do keep beating the drum on behalf of the arts in New Mexico. It does make a difference.


Loie Fecteau
Executive Director


The Royal Road Project Opens at Centennial Project Space


New Mexico Arts announces the opening of The Royal Road Project, an interactive multimedia installation featuring the world premiere of new work by artists Charles Veasey, J. Craig Tompkins, and 

Ethan Bach with guest artist SinteŽJackson Torrez opened at Centennial Project Space on July 20, 2012.


The Royal Road Project is an installation that travels the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail. The work creates visual shifts as one experiences El Camino Real though landscapes comprised of panoramic images, video, and audio. A layer of text and images intersects photos presenting a contemplation of historical colonial encounters, ideas of territory, and experiences of Native Americans. Artists Veasey, Tompkins, and Bach have worked over the past year conducting research and traveling parts of the trail to inform project.


The Camino Real connected Mexico City to Santa Fe. Built largely over pre-Columbian trade routes, it was the primary passage between New Mexico and the outside world from 1598 until the opening of the Santa Fe Trail in 1821.


The Royal Road Project shows at the Centennial Project Space until August 31, 2012. The Centennial Project Space is located at 54 1/2 East San Francisco Street, Suite 2.

Crew member from MLS Studios working on installation of Salida del Sol at NMSU.
Crew member from MLS Studios working on installation of Salida del Sol at NMSU Center for the Arts Performance Hall. This portion of the mural complements desert flora lighting elements.
In this Issue
Executive Director's Notes
The Royal Road Project Opens at Centennial Project Space
New Work IS BEING installed at NMSU CENTER FOR THE ARTS Performance HALL

Meg Saligman's site-specific work Salida del Sol is being installed at the NMSU Center for the Arts Performance Hall in Las Cruces.  The site-integrated acrylic mural was inspired by the landscape and history of Las Cruces, the transformative nature of the performing arts, and the relationship between audience will be illuminated by eight custom silk pendant lights.


Detail of a custom lighting element, Meg Saligman, Salida del Sol, NMSU Center for the Arts Performance Hall.
Detail of a custom lighting element at the fabrication studio, Meg Saligman, Salida del Sol, NMSU Center for the Arts Performance Hall.
Poetry Out Loud 2013

The new school year starts soon and that means the beginning of the 2013 Poetry Out Loud program. Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest for high school students. Students begin reciting poetry in the fall at the classroom level, with winners proceeding to the school level, state level, and, ultimately, to the national level in April each year during National Poetry Month. Over the past seven years more than 6,000 students in the communities of Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Bloomfield, Clayton, Clovis, Deming, Jemez Pueblo, Las Cruces, Raton, Roswell, Santa Fe, Santa Teresa, and Taos have participated. Is your community represented?


If not, we encourage you to find out more by visiting the Poetry Out Loud website or visit the New Mexico Arts website and watch videos about the program. You can also follow us on Facebook year-round for news on Poetry Out Loud and more. Encourage your high school, literary, or theater community to become involved.


For more information, contact Jenice Gharib at (505) 827-6490 or


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Centennial Project Space seeks to expand the reach of the state's public art program through collaboration with a diverse range of New Mexico artists.  


Centennial Project Space presents a rigorous exhibition schedule in an accessible downtown creative space committed to the presentation and promotion of space-specific installations. 



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New Mexico Arts Mission:

To preserve, enhance, and develop the arts in New Mexico through partnerships, public awareness, and education, and to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations.

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