(I’m Nostalgic for) Memories I’ve Never Lived Before

This exhibition was to open at the Coe Center on May 8, but not all is lost—please stay tuned as our amazing Hands-On curators creatively rework their exhibition to reach you in a new way while sheltering at home!

For us, the exhibition concept of nostalgia seemed to find us. Together as we shared experiences and found ourselves discussing the works of art, deepening our familiarity with one another over many meetings, through writing and working, to create this exhibition together—we gave ourselves an open space to discuss ‘nostalgia’ and what it means to us. Nostalgia is the common ground, it is what binds us together through the familiar touch of our memories; it is this same connection which will lead us to the creation of a physical space to immerse our viewers into facing the same concept we strive to recreate. By bringing together pieces from the Coe’s collection and our own original artworks, we are creating an encompassing living space that allows you, the viewer, to step into our nostalgia. This forces us to process nostalgia (both good and bad) and which all of us deal with in our day-to-day lives. —2020 Hands-On Curators


This image is of the 2020 Hands-On curators at Youthworks in February with artist David Sloan. He is instructing them how to screen their self-made logo onto the Hands-On Curatorial Program t-shirts. These shirts will be sold to help offset some of the costs for the program.




The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts’ Hands-On Curatorial Program is in its sixth year working with high school students from the Academy of Technology and the Classics (ATC), the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS), and the New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA). Returning students Roan Mulholland (ATC), Lesly Esparza (NMSA) and Veronica Silva (NMSA) are joined by new members Amanda Singer (Santa Clara Pueblo) and (ATC), Elysia Escobedo (Santa Clara Pueblo) (SFIS), and Cameron Hicks (ATC). The program provides an opportunity for students to work hands-on with the Coe collection of over 2,000 works of indigenous art from around the world. Through museum visits and weekly sessions, the curators learn how to create their own exhibition from the Coe collection by selecting objects, researching and drafting wall texts, writing press releases, designing graphics and the exhibition layout, as well as creating their own limited-run curator-designed t-shirts in collaboration with YouthWorks. The participants build their own exhibition from the ground up.