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“The opening was heartbreakingly beautiful and touching,” said University Art Museum (UAM) Director Marisa Sage about UAM’s reopening Friday evening, Jan 21, after a long pandemic-induced hiatus.
Visitors enjoyed artwork in a variety of media as part of two exhibitions: “Four Sites of Return: Ritual, Remembrance, Reparation & Reclamation,” and “Remembered Landscapes: The Sacred Space of Home.” The exhibitions continue through March 5 at UAM, Devasthali Hall, 1308 University Ave. (where University intersects with Solano Drive).
“Both installations showcase Black, Indigenous and People of Color New Mexico-based artists who partake in real and imagined searches for ancestral lands and black futures through the creation of projects that include acts of research, resilience, resistance collecting and ritual,” Sage said.
“I was so flattered that even though the fear of Covid numbers loomed prior to the open, so many community members recognized how important Nikesha Breeze and Jackie Mitchell Edwards' works are to uncovering hidden histories in this region and so they came out in support despite the pandemic to witness this gorgeous ceremony and celebration of these two artists (and all of their collaborators),” Sage said.
“We had over 200 people throughout the night and I have never had such strong reactions to a show,” she said. “One woman was near tears when she told me Nikesha had helped her see a history here in New Mexico, a place where her family has lived for three generations, a history of Black New Mexicans she had never knew anything about. It is hard to put into words how special it was,” Sage said.