For college and graduate-level students in New Mexico, SITE Santa Fe’s Scholar Program is a doorway to opportunities for professional development and enrichment that offers them educational activities organized around SITE’s shows, as well as occasions for networking and for exhibiting their own artwork. Each year, the students engage in individual creative projects, some of which are inspired by SITE exhibitions. Participants in the program are drawn from the art departments of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, the University of New Mexico, the Institute of American Indian Arts, the Santa Fe Community College, St. John’s College, and Highlands University. Each school nominates top students who demonstrate professionalism and creativity in their practices and who are then invited to take part in the program.
Two exhibitions of works by alumni open this spring. The first, at SITE (1606 Paseo de Peralta), begins on Friday, April 10, with a 5 p.m. reception and comprises artists from last year’s program, including Seiya Bowen, Diana Padilla, and Laura Walkingstick. Bowen’s photographs document a disappearing town on the coast of Japan whose younger generations are leaving for larger cities. Padilla paints portraits of kidnappers in Mexico whose crimes have contributed to a culture of fear and death. Walkingstick’s work is inspired by her mother who, as a Native American growing up in the 1940s, experienced a culture of forced assimilation at a boarding school run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The second exhibit opens with a 5 p.m. reception on April 30, at Peters Projects (1011 Paseo de Peralta, 505-954-5800). Works by 11 artists who have participated in the program, including Hannah Hoel, Brandee Caoba, and Trang Vu, will be shown. Current SITE Scholars will present their work in November. For information call SITE at 505-989-1199.
— Michael Abatemarco
Laura Walkingstick: Boarding School Raggedy Ann Doll , 2003,