Call to Artists: Artist Lab: Art Meets History in New Mexico

  • Deadline / Program Start: 2021-02-28
  • Organization: Kolaj Institute
  • Organization Type: Arts Services Organization
  • Career Type: Artist, Designer
  • Location: Albuquerque, NM
  • Primary Discipline: Visual Arts
  • Recurring: Array
  • URL: Link

A four-week, virtual/online lab in March & April 2021 with 516 ARTS, Kolaj Institute, and the Albuquerque Museum Photography Archives

Deadline to apply: 28 February 2021

Visual artists with an established practice are invited to apply for Artist Lab: Art Meets History in New Mexico, a four-week program designed to foster the integration of history into contemporary art practices. The Lab is presented as a collaboration between 516 ARTS, Kolaj Institute, and Albuquerque Museum’s photo archives.

The Lab looks at how our divergent histories of race, conflict, and colonialism inform how we imagine our futures. Participating artists are asked to work from their own people’s history, to confront that history, and to imagine a future that offers justice, fairness, and support for all people. A goal of the lab is a proposal for a body of artwork to be considered for a group exhibition at 516 ARTS in 2022.

Race, conflict, and colonialism are themes that run through the history of America and while these topics inform national mythologies they often go unexplored and unimagined in our civic discourse. People often operate with a different history than that of their neighbors. How we understand our divergent histories of race, conflict, and colonialism inform how we imagine our futures. For artists to speak to society, we must raise up all the histories of our community.

Using the photography archives of the Albuquerque Museum and other historical resources in the community, the focus of this project is the multiple histories of different peoples who have made what we now call New Mexico and the surrounding land their home.

The Artist Lab equips artists with tools and strategies for picking up the unfinished work of history and speaking to contemporary civic discourse around social, economic, and environmental issues. Through interactive online sessions, collections research, and visits with historians, archivists, and curators, artists explore their process and practice; present a slideshow of their work; receive supportive, critical, curatorial feedback about their ideas; and discuss strategies for making art that speaks to the contemporary moment.

Over the course of four weeks, artists will participate in online meetings, engage in one-on-one sessions with faculty, and complete independent assignments. Sessions are one hour to an hour-and-a-half long and include slideshows, artist presentations, and discussions. Guest artists share their practices and lead discussions. Specialists introduce participants to collections and archives and speak to the histories of New Mexico’s multiple peoples.

Artists complete the Lab with a project proposal for a group exhibition at 516 ARTS in 2022. The exhibition will give audiences an opportunity to consider how our contemporary discourse is a product of multiple histories in a constant state of negotiation with one another. Our understanding of history shapes how we live in the present. The exhibition is curated by L. Kasimu Harris, Alicia Inez Guzmán, and Ric Kasini Kadour. 516 ARTS has dedicated a fund to commission artworks for the exhibition, in part, to artists who successfully complete the Lab.

The Artist Lab is intended for self-motivated artists, at any stage in their career, who want to develop a practice of working with historic sites or history associations to create and present art that embeds itself in non-traditional spaces and speaks to a general community about contemporary issues. The Lab is open to artists anywhere in the world. Artists from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian communities are encouraged to apply.

The cost of the Lab is $750 per artist; however, no artist will be turned away for lack of funds and the organizers will work with artists to build a financial aid package.

516 ARTS is providing a limited number of scholarships to artists from New Mexico, artists from Mexico whose work focuses on the US/Mexico border, and artists who are Native American, Alaskan Native, or First Nations.

Submit your application here:

The submission process asks applicants for:
• Contact information
• Artist Bio (50-250 words)
• Statement of Artist Practice (50-300 words)
• 5-7 images of artwork
• Statement of expectations
• Asks questions about your work and needs

Deadline to apply: February 28, 2021
Notification to artists: March 13, 2021
Artist Lab dates: March 29-April 26, 2021

If you have questions, send an email to [email protected]