October 9, 2014
Editorial: Gift of Taos Modernists’ art a major addition for UNM
Albuquerque Journal, 10/09/2014

Editorial: Gift of Taos Modernists’ art a major addition for UNM
Albuquerque Journal, 10/09/2014

An important collection of modern art that was created in New Mexico will get to stay here.

The results of 50 years of work by Taos couple Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak, who were pioneering artists of the Taos Modernist movement, will find a home at the University of New Mexico. The 900 major pieces of fine art, including paintings, sketchbooks, prints, drawings and archival records, is worth nearly $8 million.

“The arts are critical to the uniqueness of New Mexico and UNM plays a critical role in preserving the legacy of New Mexico artists for future generations,” said UNM President Bob Frank. “This gift not only honors the legacy of Bea and Louis, but will continue to benefit the students and programs of UNM into the future.”

The collection was donated to the university by the Mandelman-Ribak Foundation in Taos, which was established in 1997 to preserve the couple’s artistic legacies. Other museums, including the Smithsonian, also wanted the collection. The couple moved to Taos from New York in the 1940s.

The significance of the collection and the fact that it is staying in New Mexico is not to be understated.

“Bea was aware of their pivotal roles and sought to find a place that could preserve and make accessible their artworks and archives. In her own mind, that place was always the University of New Mexico,” said Alexandra Benjamin, the Taos foundation’s executive director.

Associate Provost and Distinguished Professor of History Virginia Scharff said the collection “will not only enhance our knowledge of the modernist movement, but it will also make UNM a major repository for research for artists and historians around the world.”

The selection of UNM to preserve the Mandelman-Ribak legacy speaks to the significant role the state and the university have in the art world. This is another treasure in the state’s jewel box.

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March 16, 2019
January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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