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NMSU Art Museum set to re-open to the public Sept. 19

Release Date: 09 Sep 2020
NMSU Art Museum set to re-open to the public Sept. 19

The New Mexico State University Art Museum will re-open its doors for the first time in more than five months in compliance with all state guidance and policies. Starting Saturday, Sept. 19, visitors will be able to return to view all displays in the museum including all of its galleries and its current exhibition, “Labor: Motherhood & Art in 2020,” which has been extended until Dec. 6.

The museum will run on a timed entry system, allowing up to ten people to enter in 30-minute time blocks. This system will welcome visitors on a first come, first served basis. Guests can reserve a spot in advance from the art museum website. Museum staff will be following strict cleaning procedures to ensure the safety of all visitors.

“Engaging with art has become even more crucial since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are deeply excited to be able to invite our regional community back into the museum,” said Marisa Sage, director of the University Art Museum at NMSU.

“While we were forced to close only two weeks after our grand opening, we were able to transition the majority of the associated programming online to stay connected with our community.”

In addition to previously planned programming, the staff also created “ALONE/TOGETHER,” a series of online Saturday programs in collaboration with artists and programming partners from “Labor: Motherhood & Art in 2020.” The series was fully online, utilizing different social media platforms and online apps.

The inaugural exhibition, “Labor: Motherhood & Art in 2020,” was co-curated by Sage and artist Laurel Nakadate. The exhibition aims to expand and enrich the compelling conversations regarding motherhood in today’s socio-political climate.

“Labor” features the work of artists: Tracey Baran, María Berrío, Patty Chang, Lenka Clayton, Amy Cutler, Joey Fauerso, Tierney Gearon, Kate Gilmore, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Las Hermanas Iglesias, Mary Kelly, Justine Kurland, Marilyn Minter, Laurel Nakadate, Hương Ngô & Hồng- Ân Trương, Yoko Ono, Catherine Opie, Laurie Simmons, Wendy Red Star and Mickalene Thomas.

“Labor” builds off “MOTHER,” a fall 2018 exhibition of photography and video co-curated by Laurel Nakadate and Leslie Tonkonow, Artworks + Projects in New York.

“Many of the artists in ‘Labor’ openly address the choice of becoming mothers,” Sage said. “In particular pausing over the emphasis on childlessness in the arts, while looking back at their own mothers’ lives for insight into the mercurial experience of mothering.”

Many of the works reframe motherhood within the context of artistic practice, finding this recalibration necessary, urgent and inspirational.

“There has always been an abundance of artists making work about mothers and motherhood,” says Nakadate, “but until recently, many galleries and institutions have not created a space for that work. Our hope is that providing a platform for this work can create a forum for conversations to take place, and for artists ruminating within this realm to find one another.”

In addition to the main exhibition in the new Contemporary Gallery, the theme of motherhood is explored through the lens of the NMSU Permanent Art Collection. These curated exhibitions are displayed in the two new galleries – the Bunny Conlon Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery and the Margie and Bobby Rankin Retablo Gallery.

The exhibition is supported by: The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico–Devasthali Family Foundation Fund; The Southwest Border Cultures Institute (SBCI); The NMSU Department of Art’s Lilian Steinman Visiting Artists & Scholars Lecture Series; The Friends of the University Art Museum; Catharine Clark Gallery; the George & Lucy Gray Endowed Art Fund and several private donors.

To access the new timed entry system, please visit For additional questions, please contact Jasmine Herrera at 575-646-2545 or email

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