The University of New Mexico Art Museum will open the last day of August with its first live exhibit since the museum shut down with the rise of the COVID pandemic.

“During the past year and half, as we coped with a global pandemic and the museum being closed, we sought solace in the meaning and insight that art inspires, and the sense of community that comes from sharing art and ideas with one another,” remarked museum director Arif Khan. “While we are proud of what the UNMAM has accomplished during the closure, the entire staff is looking forward to welcoming back students, faculty and the general public into the museum to provide meaningful and personal connections with the works of art on view.”

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UNMAM marketing manager Devin Geraci said the museum will reopen with one exhibition, Visionary Modern: Raymond Jonson Trilogies, Cycles, and PortraitsVisionary Modern surveys the long and productive career of New Mexico’s leading abstract painter in the 20th century. The exhibition features paintings from 1918-1973, tracing the evolution of Raymond Jonson as a painter of recognizable subjects to a master of non-objective abstraction. Visionary Modern includes 13 complete trilogies and cycles, each containing three or more paintings, and a selection of portraits. These paintings were selected from the UNM Art Museum’s collection, which is the world’s largest repository of Jonson’s work, including more than 600 paintings, drawings, and prints.

The UNM Art Museum relies on the support of student employees for its daily operations and we are excited to welcome a new group of student employees to our team. Our Museum Assistant Team runs the front desk and is the primary point of contact for museum visitors. During the closure, we re-developed the Museum Assistant role to introduce new positions that help with marketing, communications, social media, events and programs, and more. We are also lucky to have additional support from Research Assistants from the Art History program and Graduate Assistants from the Museum Studies program.

The UNMAM will also continue utilizing virtual platforms during the Fall 2021 semester. 

“We are working with artist Rose B. Simpson to develop an online learning platform that gives students the opportunity to interact directly with the artist. This project, titled Seminar, will launch among the student community this semester, with a public component coming in the Spring,” Geraci announced.

During the museum's closure, museum staff transformed four physical exhibitions into virtual exhibitions

“We also worked with a group of UNM students and alumni to develop an online sound installation and virtual community space called There Must Be Other Names For The River,” Geraci added.

“We were also excited to see the growth of the UNM Art Museum Student Advisory Board during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. The advisory board is a group of undergraduate and graduate students from across the University of New Mexico dedicated to promoting an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming museum space for students,” Geraci explained. 

The students hosted virtual lectures from scholars and curators across the nation, arranged socially distanced meet-ups at local museums, and collaborated on an art project that will be installed outside of the UNM Art Museum’s entrance. Find out more information about the UNM Art Museum Student Advisory Board.

The UNM Art Museum is also looking forward to welcoming back faculty and students to the Beaumont Newhall Study Room. The Study Room provides access to works on paper, paintings, small sculptures, and decorative arts from the UNM Art Museum’s vast collection. This rich resource is available to scholars, students, and faculty. Please contact collections associate Heather Kline for Beaumont Newhall Study Room visits.

The UNM Art Museum will reopen on Tuesday, August 31. The UNMAM is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Faculty are welcome to schedule class visits outside of these hours by contacting Geraci for gallery visits. 

** UNM and the UNM Art Museum follow state COVID guidelines. Effective Monday, Aug. 2, masks are required on campus.

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