NHCC Exhibit Presents a Transformative Look at Pop Culture, Religion, Tradition, Identity and More

“Super Hombre (2015)”, Tony Ortega, lithograph. 15 × 20 inches. (Courtesy of Tony Ortega)

There are many ways humans imagine alternative possibilities.

Many examples will be on display when “Fronteras del Futuro: Art in New Mexico and Beyond” opens at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum on Friday, March 11.

An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition will continue until December.

“It’s an exhibition inspired by the genres of speculative fiction,” explains Jadira Gurulé, director of the visual arts program and the art museum of the OCNC. “He looks at folklore, futurism and everything else.”

Gurulé says the exhibition features artworks that explore the intersections of art, science, technologies (both ancient and modern), cosmic reflections, future-looking visions and more. .

It addresses themes relevant to New Mexico (and beyond) with contributions from artists in New Mexico, across the country, and around the world.

“Rainbow Flavor (2021)”, Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas. 16 × 20 inches. Collection of Chris and Kimberley Burchard. (Courtesy of Ryan Singer)

Gurulé says the expansive genre of speculative fiction that includes science fiction, fantasy, cosmology, futurism, horror, mythology, folklore and more are all points of inspiration. Artworks are created with a range of materials showcasing transformative ideas about pop culture, religion, tradition, environment, work, history, identity and how our pasts, our present and our futures are deeply intertwined, she says. “Each artist’s work contributes to ongoing discussions about the liberating potential of art and speculation in cultural critique, disrupting the status quo and imagining alternative ways of being, living, loving and thrive,” she says.

There are 63 works of art by 31 artists in the exhibition.

Gurulé also overcame many challenges in curating the exhibit. With the pandemic having a grip on the whole world, she pivoted by doing studio visits via Zoom.

“As I engaged with every artist I came in contact with, they were creating this whole new angle in their art,” she says. “It has been a rewarding and exploratory planning process.

“Corazon Santo X (2014)”, Marion Martinez, computer printed circuits, copper, resistors, CD. 11.25 x 8 x 0.5 inches. (Courtesy of Marion Martinez)

“In the planning, it was interesting because there had to be a lot of trust between me and the artist. I had to prove to them that I was trustworthy in the management of the exhibition. I also had to trust their work since I was not seeing it in person at the time.

Gurulé says that when visiting the museum to see the exhibit, take the time to sit with each piece for a few moments.

“A lot of artists have shared their thoughts in their item tags,” she says. “This is where the meat of the story comes out. It’s one thing to come and just watch. There’s a whole other thing to remember when taking the time to bond with the piece.

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