516 ARTS presented DECADE, a group exhibition and series of off-site projects that drew from the diverse local, national and international artists we had worked with since we opened. 516 ARTS is a hub for world-class contemporary art in Albuquerque and New Mexico as well as a beacon for the arts in the Downtown revitalization process. This exhibition explored a wide variety of themes and practices that 516 ARTS has explored since its inception including environmental/land-based art, street art, new media art that intersects with science and technology, public art and socially engaged projects.
The site-specific projects around the city were points of access to contemporary art that connect back to the exhibition at 516 ARTS and Downtown. By bringing 516 ARTS out to other parts of the city, this exhibition spread awareness about the urban core and its connectivity to the rest of the city.
In her catalog essay for the inaugural 2006 exhibition at 516 ARTS titled GREEN, writer Sharyn R. Udall wrote,“Even as 516 ARTS helps to raise the presence of the arts in Downtown Albuquerque, it will be judged ultimately not on where it lives, but what it does….as it comes of age, it promises to access and interpret New Mexico’s artistic riches in unprecedented ways, functioning as a portal, right in our midst, to the extraordinary. The old neighborhood will never be the same.”
Reflecting back on the decade involving over 1,000 artists presented in over 150 exhibitions and public programs, 516 ARTS has become synonymous with a fertile and inspiring source for cutting edge, contemporary art discourse that bridges the local, national and global spheres.
Artists: Jessica Angel (Colombia), David Leigh (New Mexico), Leticia Bajuyo (Indiana), Eliza Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo/Española, New Mexico) BioCultura (New Mexico), Aaron Noble (California), Michael Berman (New Mexico), Patrick Nagatani (New Mexico) , Erika Blumenfeld (Texas), Lisa Nevada (New Mexico) , Adrian Esparza (Texas), Chip Thomas (Navajo Nation), Tom Joyce (New Mexico), Floyd Tunson (Colorado), Catalog essay by Lucy Lippard, renowned author, curator, activist and critic.
In addition to the exhibition that featured the above artists in the gallery, 516 ARTS presented the following off-site projects spanning all quadrants of the city:
• jetsonorama Mural & Dance Tours Visual and performing arts come together with the environment and climate change issues in this collaboration between photographic
wheatpaste muralist by Chip Thomas (aka “jetsonorama”) and choreographer/dancer Lisa Nevada at the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, 7851 2nd St. SW (South Valley).
• The ‘T’ House by Biocultura Biocultura (Andrea Polli and collaborator John Donalds) created The ‘T’ House, an interactive, environmental art and technology installation inspired by a traditional teahouse on the grounds of Farm & Table Restaurant, 8917 4th St. NW (North Valley).
• Amplitude II by Leticia Bajuyo Guest artist Leticia Bajuyo built a monumental horn sculpture made from recycled CD’s in the glass atrium in the lobby of the Tony Hillerman Public Library, 8205 Apache Ave. NE (Northeast Heights).
• Mural by Aaron Noble Guest muralist Aaron Noble created a mural in his unique style blending comic, collage and abstraction on the prominent, glassed in wall of Tamarind Institute, 2500 Central Ave. SE (Southeast/UNM).
• The Fall of the Ten Suns by Jessica Angel 516 ARTS, in partnership with Downtown ABQ MainStreet Initiative, selected the artist and design for the mural on the new grocery store, Silver Street Market in Downtown Albuquerque. Artist Jessica Angel created The Fall of the Ten Suns in the late fall of 2016. The selection was made by a public art committee who chose this design from six proposals from finalists, who were selected from 49 eligible applications. 205 Silver Ave. SW (Downtown)
Maggie Grimason, “Catching Glimpses,” Weekly Alibi
Kathaleen Roberts, “Decade of Art,” Albuquerque Journal
Adrian Gomez, “Wainwright Like No Other,” Albuquerque Journal
Kathaleen Roberts, “ABQ Artist designs cover for Rufus Wainwright album,” Albuquerque Journal
Maggie Grimason, “Getting Free,” Weekly Alibi
“Burning Questions with Dahlak Brathwaite,” Pyragraph
Wesley Pulkka, “516 ARTS’ 10th Anniversary Exhibition a Fascinating Tribute,” Albuquerque Journal
“516 By the Numbers,” Albuquerque Journal Business Outlook
DECADE was made possible in part by the Albuquerque Community Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The City of Albuquerque (Mayor Richard J. Berry, City Council, Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, Public Art Program - special thanks to Councilors Isaac Benton and Diane Gibson), Farm & Table Restaurant, Friends of Valle de Oro, Geltmore, LLC., Kurz Foundation, McCune Charitable Foundation, New Mexico Arts, New Mexico Humanities Council, NPN/Visual Artists Network and Tamarind Institute.