NHCC exhibit showcases transformative perspectives on popular culture, religion, tradition, identity and more

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

There are many ways of how humans imagine alternative possibilities.

Numerous examples will be in focus as “Fronteras del Futuro: Art in New Mexico and Beyond” opens Friday, March 11 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Museum of Art.

The opening reception will be held from 5-7pm. The exhibition will run until December.

“This is an exhibition inspired by the speculative fiction genre,” said Jadira Gurulé, NHCC Museum of Art and Visual Arts program manager. “It looks at folklore, futurism and everything in between.”

The exhibition features artworks that explore the intersection of art, science, technology (ancient and modern), cosmic contemplation, visions for the future, and more, Gurulé said.

It covers topics relevant to New Mexico (and beyond), with contributions from New Mexico, national and international artists.

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

A wide range of speculative fiction genres, including science fiction, fantasy, cosmology, futurism, horror, mythology, folklore, and more, are points of inspiration, Gurulé said. The artworks, she said, were created using a range of materials that show transformations about popular culture, religion, tradition, the environment, labor, history, identity and the way our past, present and future are deeply intertwined sexual thoughts. “Each artist’s work contributes to an ongoing discussion of art’s liberating potential and speculation in cultural criticism, breaking the status quo and imagining alternative ways of being, living, loving and thriving,” she said.

There are a total of 63 artworks from 31 artists in the exhibition.

Gurulé also overcame many challenges when planning the exhibition. As the pandemic engulfed the world, she shifted course with studio visits via Zoom.

“When I engage with every artist I come in contact with, they create a whole new angle in their art,” she said. “It was a fulfilling and exploratory planning process.

“Corazon Santo X (2014)”, Marion Martinez, Computer Circuit Board, Copper, Resistors, CD. 11.25x8x.5 inches. (Courtesy of Marion Martinez)

“It was interesting in the planning because there had to be a lot of trust between me and the artist. I had to show them that I was trustworthy in the direction of the exhibition. I also had to trust their work because I didn’t see it myself at the time it.”

When visiting a museum to see an exhibit, Gurulé says, take extra time to sit with each piece.

“Many artists share their ideas in their item tags,” she said. “That’s the essence of the story. It’s one thing, just look. When you take the time to connect with the piece, there’s another gain.”

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