Santa Fe News


New Santa Fe art exhibit explores families through time

29 Mar 2013 1:11 PM
New Santa Fe art exhibit explores families through time

It is impossible to understand the history of Santa Fe without first understanding the stories of the families who lived there, and a new art exhibit does just that. "Thicker than Water," a photography and mixed-media installation at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, uses portraits, documentary films and other mediums to show how the lives of various families, clans and tribes have intersected over the course of New Mexico's history. The show, which features the work of four artists - Brenda Croft, Tom Jones, Greg Staats and Anna Tsouhlarakis - is on display through May 12.

Santa Fe is a particularly apt city to host such an exhibition, as it has famously been a melting pot for many different cultures. The installation explores what this means by bringing in archival film footage and photographs to create a narrative.

"Understanding these various levels of belonging enables conversations where the imaginary and the real intersect, co-mingle and create space for a more comprehensive understanding of indigenous realities in global contexts," co-curators Nancy Marie Mithlo and Ryan Rice wrote in a text that accompanies the exhibit. "The selection of artists from Canada, the United States and Australia facilitate this more expansive conversation on what the notion of 'belonging means in a globalized 21st century.'"

Even in Santa Fe's thriving visual arts scene, "Thicker than Water" stands out as an especially evocative exhibit. According to the Santa Fe Reporter, the show fruitfully explores the "relationship between communal ideologies and modern ideas about individualism." Guests to the installation, whether locals or tourists, will surely have a lot to learn from the eclectic and well-curated show.