In May, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art curator Jana Gottshalk kicked off her exhibit GenNext: Future So Bright. It was a fantastic contemporary showing of over 20 artists in the vein of reinterpreted traditional ephemera, surprising mediums, religious iconography, cultural connectivity and beyond. The show proved so popular, in fact, that the museum is rebooting, reconfiguring, adding numerous new artists and otherwise continuing to celebrate the next generation of Hispanic artist living in Santa Fe. Find the opening for GenNext:Reboot this Friday evening (5:30 pm. Free. 750 Camino Lejo, 982-2226); find thoughts from Gottshalk below.
What made you decide to curate a reboot?
There was a decision to extend the show before I made this reboot decision, so based on that, and that a few of the pieces have been promised elsewhere, I sort of thought this is an awesome opportunity to give a little bit of a fresh new look to the show. This is a small town, and the people who've seen it already—I want them to come back.
Is it hard to curate contemporary works in a town that is a bit attached to tradition?
It was hard for a number of reasons, but I'd never dealt with contemporary work before. All my experience was in Spanish Colonial art, historical art. For me to do this, I thought of it in terms of historical context. I was looking for work that spoke to me through the lens of a historical Spanish style. The show was my concept, I did create the concept, and I do like to present myself with challenges—but it actually turned out to be easier than I thought, because once I started looking for it, I was seeing the ties to the culture and the religion.
If there's one thing you wish everyone knew about the show, what would it be?
There is a lot of research that goes into this. It's based on a lot of history. If you come in and read the labels, you'll see a lot of thought went into the show. One thing I really want people to realize is that just because [artists] are younger doesn't mean they aren't very tied to the culture. The choices they make, the art they're creating—this generation is very knowledgable about the culture and making pieces based on what they know in a very respectful tone. I think some of the work can be read as a disregard of culture when it's a total love and celebration of culture.