Rio Rancho Public Art

Image from The GuardianSelfie as art at the Saatchi: from Rembrandt to a grinning macaque, Credit Victoria Jones/PA

Commissioner McDonnell shares some of his thoughts on the change in art communities towards a more virtual presence.

As you scroll through your social media, you've no doubt seen plenty of selfies from people who want to share and showcase their various cultural experiences. The easy approach of these selfies puts an importance on the here and now and not necessarily the class of entertainment. "For today's audiences, the definition of culture has democratized, nearly to the point of extinction. It's no longer about high versus low or culture versus entertainment; it's about relevance or irrelevance,"(Kelton Global)  Artists and galleries are taking note of this shift as well as the immense power and response to selfies in this digital age. Galleries are taking great consideration of the Instagram effect for their shows, allowing them to focus on: short pop-up shows, increase in interactivity, and of course creating a experience that is prime for selfie participation. That high desire for selfies at one of these shows, makes it relevant and popular not only for the gallery but the audience as well. But how long can this selfie influence last in shows and galleries?

Image from Exploring the effects of social media on art and culture, one selfie at a time.  Credit: Jake Michaels

Like Kusama's, the works of many Instagram-famous artists tend to share a few traits: they are highly immersive, a bit fantastical and escapist, and make for good selfie (bonus points if there is added interactivity). Positioning the viewer as both a willing subject and voyeur, the socially-optimized space resonates as a surreal form of 21st-century pop art, tapped into the currency of images and the onlooker's desire to be culturally relevant.

Embracing the undeniable pull of the social-media experience, New York art institutions have made notable shifts in the past decade.

The Museum of Arts and Design, traditionally known for its object-based approach to craft, coined an Olfactory Arts department in 2010; an interactive show on perfume design shortly followed.

Three years ago, the New Museum founded the first museum-led technology incubator, NEW INC, as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum tapped a computer programmer-turned-architect, Troy Conrad Therrien, as its first curator of architecture and digital initiatives. Among Therrien's first projects was a digital-first online exhibition framed as a speculative stock market of cryptocurrencies; next year, he'll open a show called "Architecture Effects" at the Guggenheim Bilbao -- fittingly the namesake of the "Bilbao Effect."

Therrien shared a somewhat dystopian reading of the effect of social media on art in popular culture: "The Kusama chamber selfie is the aesthetic of the tragic ecstasy of a broken world order running on fumes," he said. "It's what you do to escape the 24-hour news cycle that has removed all doubt that reality today for most of us is, in fact, no more than reality TV." (READ THE REST HERE)


This is only the Art Commissions third year participating in the Mayor's Sunday is Funday but this was the Commission best year yet! The goal was to focus much more on the art and artist in Rio Rancho. What better way to do that than to have live art demonstrations of various art forms throughout the event. We had a amazing turn out of artists from the Rio Rancho Art Association and we can't thank them enough for the time and effort they put into. The turn out and engagement from the community was equally amazing and we look forward to bringing more art to this community!
The Art Commission put together two videos highlighting the event, please enjoy.


The Rio Rancho Art Commissions July 12, 2017 presentation to the Governing Body addressed a outline for 2017 and early 2018 projects and participation. Major points of the presentation covered:
   * Art in Public Places Project
   * The Rio Rancho Art Commission Outreach and Community Participation
   * Social Media Platform and Engagement
   * Policy and Ordinance Work

July 12, 2017 Report/Outline:
Full Video Presentation to The Governing Body: 

                             * You may need to view in a different browser if video does not play.

Image from Sun SailorMobile art exhibition headed for St. Louis Park  Published September 11, 2014 

  Public art organizations and art advocates strive to bring art into our everyday lives. This means placing impactful artwork throughout a community such as in high traffic areas, buildings, whether prominent or rural. But sometimes this isn't enough to get people to engage with art, of course that isn't going to stop them from finding a way of bringing the art to the people.

 "Art Trucks" aren't exactly a new concept in public art but several recent examples have shown us just how much this simple idea can enhance lives and communities. An Art Truck can take on any theme or service, such as  showcasing a cities public art collection, art education, a gallery pop up show, as well as providing information and resources for the public. The Rio Rancho Art Commission has also thrown this idea around as well and one day we hope to implement a unique version of our own.

Some Art Trucks are no small matter either, Arlington Arts and Cultural Affairs, was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  This would be a new venture for Arlington Arts as recent art center closing left a gap in the area. "The mobile van aims to both expand community access to art and to diversify public engagement, county officials said. “The main goal of the Arlington Art Truck is to demystify the artmaking process, to tear down the four walls, turn it inside out – [and bring it] to the people,” said Michelle Isabelle-Stark, director of Arlington Arts and Cultural Affairs." (Article from Inside NovaArlington ‘Art Truck’ wins NEA funding, Published on June 16, 2017.)

Pakistan Truck Art has been a phenomenon for years and has reached a global audience. These large hulking trucks have taken on a new life by transforming into pieces of art that provide a pop of color on highways and cities. Hundreds of hours are put into each one and can become the pride of the community. This tradition has inspired many across the world.
Image from Aol,Pakistan's 'truck art' has become a global phenomenon By DRAZEN JORGIC, Published on June 13, 2017.)

Source: assignasia, "Pakistan Truck Art" Youtube, May 27,2015

The Art Truck is a creative and fun idea in whatever form it takes and whomever takes the wheel. They are a inventive way to bring art straight to the people and in some cases they encourage the public to participate it making the artwork themselves. They are compact and ever-changing artwork that opens up a world of possibilities. 


What's the first that comes to mind when you hear "law firm"? Creativity, community center and performing arts probably were not on the list. Yet surprisingly a law firm in Oklahoma City has become a hot bed of arts and community activity. Back in 2011 the law firm acquired a warehouse down in Oklahoma's "skid row" area and converted it into the more modern law office it is today. The initial plan they had in mind was not a community space, that came later. As they renovated the large open parking lot, they found that the space gradually took on a life of it's own. With each addition they took the plain concrete parking lot into a unique environment until eventually "it created an intimate stage. But, if you have a stage you need seating, and dramatic lighting and a true urban garden requires native plants and trees. In the end, we created a kitchen and indoor event center that opened to the outdoors—complete with modular tables and reconfigurable seating." (Sorocco)  This however created a bit of a problem, they had made a beautiful open urban garden, but knew that the area would most likely go untouched by staff. They made the unconventional move and opened the space up the community at little to no charge, thus creating an easily accessible community center.

Image from Mike Jones. Artsblog


(Article from ArtsBlogMaking Space for the Arts: A Law Firm's Story of 5,475 (Nonbillable) Hours By Douglas Sorocco, Published on Mar 02, 2017.)

When we initially put out the word that the space—dubbed “DC on Film Row”—was open and available we expected a rush of people to sign up. Instead, the sound of crickets resonated. We had to coax people into using the space—no, we're not crazy; yes, it is free to use; and no, there's no catch. The first groups to take us up on our offer were the nonprofits: Everyone from the Alzheimer’s Association to Western artists tried us out. Fundraisers, capital campaign kickoffs, volunteer appreciation events, staff training, education days, and arts education occurred in our space. We’ve made new friends and are enriched by being direct witnesses to the spirit of service and commitment within our community.

Image from DC on Film Row

Following the nonprofits were the musicians, performers, and bands. Sensing a need, we underwrote and promoted a free monthly outside music evening—The Mix™—providing a paying opportunity for young performers. Concomitantly, the artists “found us,” and we began hosting visual art activities—openings, group and individual shows, student capstone exhibitions, classes, and open nights for people to gather and create art. Performing artists reserved the space for theatrical and dance performances. Improvisational groups rehearsed and performed in our outdoor gardens. Artists from the community facilitated painting and weaving classes. Photographers met and hosted open critique nights. Creativity and creation became the background soundtrack for our downtown space.