SITEcenter was the education and outreach component of the SITElines exhibitions, which focused on art from the Americas in a biennial format. SITEcenter signals a commitment to tie the curatorial process with education outreach efforts and a deeper engagement within in the community of Santa Fe. SITEcenter programs included commissioning artists to work on projects within the community as well as lectures and events related to the themes of the exhibitions.
Dario Robleto: The Sun Awaits Our Shadows
SITE’s Education Department worked with artist Dario Robleto and a group of New Mexico School for the Arts students throughout their junior and senior years on the construction of a time capsule, which is presented as part of the Future Shock exhibition. Inspired by the Voyager Golden Record which launched a message outside of our solar system in 1977, students worked on their own message creation which culminated in the co-creation of an an art object in the form of a time capsule. The capsule will be buried at SITE Santa Fe.
Jamison Chas Banks: Retour de Cendres
Jamison Chas Banks worked with college students from the Institute for American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and high school students from the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque. The students and Banks explored historical occurrences in Native American history in relation to education and sports. The students learned printmaking from Chas Banks, designed their own team logos, then printed these designs onto uniform jerseys, baseballs, and other memorabilia. The project culminated in a baseball game at Graves Park in Albuquerque between the NACA Eagles and IAIA T-birds. An exhibition at Axle Contemporary featured the jerseys, posters, pennants, commemorative baseballs and programs from the collaboration as well as a video documentation of the game and the project’s development.
Francisca Benitez: Moebius Path
Francisca Benitez developed MOEBIUS PATH, a fusion of art, poetry, choreography and performance. Benitez ignited a powerful connection between SITE Santa Fe and New Mexico School for the Deaf (NMSD) by working with students to create presentations of a museum exhibition, ASL poetry slam, and looping walk between NMSD’s Centennial Museum and SITE Santa Fe. Working together, the project created an inclusive space in which hearing and hearing-impaired individuals can share and learn from each other.
Raven Chacon Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project
Raven Chacon created the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project with high school students from the Santa Fe Indian School. The students’ experience, worldview and cultural perspectives infused each of their six string quartet compositions; and culminated in a public concert performed by a professional string quartet.
Pablo Helguera: Nuevo romancero nuevomejicano and The Hermit Battalion
For the 2014 Unsettled Landscapes exhibition, Helguera examined the brief historical period when New Mexico was part of Mexico. That first phase of research resulted in Nuevo romancero nuevomejicano, which consisted of a performance and an interactive installation rooted in the legacy of the musical form of the medieval Spanish romance that has been preserved in New Mexico.
For the final phase of the project, Helguera created a theatrical prop shop at SITE Santa Fe where visitors can purchase items pertinent to a fictional play titled The Hermit Battalion. Each object in the store is catalogued in a way that connects it to a larger story. The Hermit Battalion references multiple stories, including the creation of the Fiestas de Santa Fe and the reconquest of Santa Fe; the history of St. Patrick’s Battalion––a unit of Irish immigrants who defected from the United States to fight with the Mexican Army during the Mexican–American War; the tale of John Augustiani, an Italian immigrant and religious recluse who became a legend in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and gave the nearby Hermit Peak its name; among others. Helguera met with local historians to dig more deeply into these narratives, and the store was staffed with storytellers who expounded on the histories and legends presented in the installation.