Because It’s Time | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

All New Mexico state museums and historic sites are open to the public. Some programs and venues may not be fully operational. Find out more about how we are keeping our staff and visitors safe.

Because It’s Time

Unraveling Race and Place in NM

Joanna Keane Lopez, Nine Ways to Say Hello (2018), adobe bricks, mirror, lime wash, mica, cotton, cochineal insects, onion skins, installation, 96” x 161” x 14”, collection of the artist. Photo: Addison Doty.

Because It’s Time: Unraveling Race and Place in NM features artworks that examine race and identity in New Mexico through an intersectional lens alongside gender, sexuality, class, nationality, citizenship status, etc. from local, national and international perspectives.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center invited 13 artists, each of whom invited an additional 13 artists, to create new artworks about what race and identity in New Mexico mean to them. These newly created works are shown alongside selections from the NHCC Art Museum’s permanent collection. Altogether, the artworks in this exhibition address the complexity and nuance of the topic and illuminate the interconnected nature of local and global social justice concerns.

Because It’s Time is the product of a curatorial approach that recognized a need to consider a range of perspectives regarding whose art should be shown and the subject-matter of that work. The result is an exhibition with deeply personal and vulnerable works of art that include topics such as the overrepresentation of Latinx communities in new HIV diagnoses, colonization, generational trauma and addiction, the beauty and hardships of language and human migration, the complexity of our family histories, the necessity of strong communities, and more.

Since the exhibition opened May 4,2018, the NHCC has hosted a number of events related to Because It’s Time and there are more to come. The process continues to be a learning experience and the hope is to maintain an environment of openness and education, for the staff and our visitors, even after the exhibition closes. For information about related programs, please visit our website: To purchase your copy of the catalog featuring images of the artworks and statements by the artists, please visit:

Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $6 Adults (17+), $5 for NM Residents (17+), Free for: Youth (16 & under), Seniors (60+) on Wednesday, Veterans & US Active Duty Military Personnel through Labor Day, and NM Residents on the first Sunday of each month.

Also, at NHCC, ILUMINARTE, a celebration of luminarias/farolitos and an illuminated bike parade December 8. Plus, see our entire Performing Arts season, including dance, theater and musical performances at

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

The Palace Seen and Unseen: A Convergence of History and Archaeology

Reflecting current archaeological and historical perspectives, Palace Seen and Unseen draws from historic documents,
more »

Looking Back

How does a museum acquire its collections? Are they purchased or donated? Where is everything stored, and how are
more »

Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now

Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now sweeps across more than 500 years of history—from the state’s
more »

Michael Naranjo Touching Beauty Exhibit

On display in the Bataan Building Atrium Gallery: Touching Beauty Now, sculpture by Santa Clara Pueblo’s Michael
more »