Since 1951 the Museum of Fine Arts has organized juried exhibitions that reflect the broad range of contemporary art being produced in New Mexico and the greater Southwest. Internationally, biennials have become popular formats for showcasing both emerging and more established artists. Often these exhibitions are invitational events. In contrast, the Museum of Fine Arts' juried exhibition takes the form of an open call for artists' submissions to be considered by a jury of three.
This year the jurors were Terezita Romo, executive director of MACLA/San Josť Center for Latino Arts; renowned painter Susan Rothenberg; and Charles Stainback, director of the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. During two days in February, in the darkness of the museum's St. Francis Auditorium, they thoughtfully reviewed more than 5,500 slides from 1,347 artists. The process was "blind," meaning that the jurors considered works purely on their aesthetic merits, without knowing who created the artworks that were projected on the screens before them. Although each juror brought his or her own aesthetic preferences and curatorial perspective to the table, together they curated an exhibition that represents a cross-section of art from the Southwest.
THE SHOW's diverse array of work-representing all media, all styles and addressing numerous concerns-allows us to reconsider what "Southwestern art" is. Both the local and the global find their place in THE SHOW, affirming that vital creative production and artistic exchange continue to thrive in this region.