Launched in 1995 to organize the only international biennial of contemporary art in the United States, SITE soon expanded its programming to include exhibitions year round, often accompanied by highly acclaimed catalogues. SITE has since presented nine international biennial exhibitions. Each has drawn global attention and brought important contemporary art to the Santa Fe community and beyond. Conceived to bring the global contemporary art dialogue to the art-rich Southwest, and as a major event on par with such renowned exhibitions as the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale, it has become an integral event for contemporary art aficionados, attracting many visitors from around the world. Past biennial curators have gone on to hold significant roles in the contemporary art world, a testament to SITE’s forward-thinking vision. Following their SITE Santa Fe Biennial guest curatorships, Francesco Bonami (1997), Rosa Martínez (1999) and Robert Storr (2004) were chosen to organize the Venice Biennales in 2003, 2005, and 2007, respectively. Dave Hickey received the coveted MacArthur “Genius Award” after organizing SITE’s Biennial in 2001. Klaus Ottmann (2006), Lance Fung (2008) and Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco (2010) have all garnered significant praise for their respective biennials, and have gone on to exciting posts and projects worldwide.
SITElines is a six-year commitment to a series of linked exhibitions with a focus on contemporary art and cultural production of the Americas. The exhibition series debuted in 2014, with the first edition Unsettled Landscapes, and continues in 2016, with the exhibition, much wider than a line and 2018, and is organized by a different team of curators for each edition, from locations throughout the Western Hemisphere. Through SITElines, SITE establishes a new programming hub called SITEcenter to generate connectivity between and during the exhibitions.