Putting Art in its Place
Amid the bustle of students darting through hallways and courtyards, a gallery-like environment flourishes on campus. The college exhibits an impressive art collection that greets the eye – indoors and out – with museum-quality artwork in various media by acclaimed artists. And it’s all free to the observer.
When approaching the campus, one immediately notices sculptures rising from the horizon. The latest installation is “Shadow Light Lens” by Santa Fe artist Don Redman. Redman, a 2014 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, creates large-scale outdoor sculptures that interact with the natural elements of the landscape, including light, shade and wind. “Shadow Light Lens” captures sunlight through the steel as it changes with the time of day, giving the impression of motion and enticing the viewer to reflect on its beauty.
Students and visitors are fortunate to have exposure to such an abundance of visual assets, and it’s by design: Not long after the college was established in 1983, President William C. Witter founded the Arts Advisory Committee. Its purpose was “to assist in planning a new college facility (e.g. the current campus) reflective of the rich cultural and artistic traditions of our region.” Members included such luminaries as Recursos de Santa Fe founder Ellen Bradbury, Director of the Palace of the Governors Tom Chavez, former gallery owner Linda Durham, Institute of American Indian Arts co-founder and President Lloyd Kiva New, Museum of Fine Arts Curator Sandra D’Emilio and art historian Sharyn Udall. Through the years, the college has shown work by artists R.C. Gorman, Glenna Goodacre, Allan Houser, Bob Haozous, Erika Wanenmacher, Siegfried Halus, Melvin Detroit and many others.
Now a program of Santa Fe Community College Foundation, Art on Campus is responsible for the college’s vast art collection. Its mission: to ensure the educational, cultural and artistic experience of students, employees and visitors through exposure to the arts. “The arts enhance student learning. Displaying art throughout campus helps integrate art into the educational experience,” said Art on Campus Chair Sandy Zane, SFCC Foundation Board Member and owner of form + concept. “Whether you are a mathematician, a teacher, an artist or an entrepreneur like me, the arts are critical to using your brain and in creative problem solving.” Zane envisions expanding the visibility of the college’s arts programs and collection through targeted events and significant acquisitions.
The public is welcome to explore art throughout the grounds and buildings. Campus is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, contact Art on Campus Collection Manager Linda Cassel at email@example.com or 505-428-1855.