Rachel de W. Wixom
President (exofficio), Executive Director
Rachel de W. Wixom has worked in the art industry for over thirty years. In 1989, she began at the international art publisher teNeues Publishing Company in their New York City office. She was responsible for licensing and overseeing the editorial and production division at the New York office. Wixom worked closely with museums, artists, and artist estates worldwide, such as The Andy Warhol Foundation, Keith Haring Estate, Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and more.
In 2002, Wixom became Managing Editor at the Whitney Museum of American Art and was promoted in 2003 to Head of Publications. At the Whitney, she worked closely with curators, museums, artists, artists, organizations worldwide, and the Whitney education and marketing departments. She oversaw licensing and was responsible for aspects of the Whitney website as well as the museum’s publications, exhibition graphics, and exhibition catalogs—such as the Whitney Biennial catalogs, Picasso and American Art, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction, Alexander Calder: The Paris Years 1926-1933, and many more.
Ralph T. Coe [Ted] created the private non-operating 501(c)3 organization in 2007. Knowing he was near the end of his life journey, he asked his niece, Wixom, if she might use her experience to transition the 501(c)3 into an operating organization once he was gone. Coe passed in September 2010. In 2012, Wixom left the Whitney to move to Santa Fe to do just that. The Coe Center was born in her uncle’s home, with its first public program held at 1590 B Pacheco Street in 2014.
Alex J. Peña,
Deputy Director & Chief Curator
Alex J. Peña is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation. He is also San Ildefonso Pueblo, Pawnee, and Caucasian. Peña was born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma, and graduated from Cameron University with a BFA. He received his MA and MFA degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an emphasis in Printmaking.
Peña has taught and held leadership positions at various institutions across the country, including Santa Fe Preparatory School, IAIA, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In addition to his work at the Coe Arts Center, he continues his artistic practice. Peña’s art is found in galleries, museums, and collections worldwide and has been featured in various books, catalogs, and periodicals.
Rose Burns is a museum professional with a passion for conservation and collections management. Her previous experience includes an internship at the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute focusing on imaging and paper conservation.
Rose earned a BFA in Museum Conservation and a BS in Biology with honors from New Mexico State University. She completed internships at the NMSU Arthropod Collection and the Kent Hall University Museum. In addition, she has worked as a graduate assistant in desert soil microbiology where she created outreach materials and did scientific analysis. She was a collections assistant for the City of Las Cruces Museum System, which included working with the collections of the Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, Museum of Art, and Branigan Cultural Center to improve the collections database, storage conditions, utilize the collection to create exhibits and social media content. Her diverse experiences have helped shape her approach to conservation and collections management, and her love for both science and the arts is evident in her work.
Lillia McEnaney is a museum anthropologist, independent curator, and freelance arts writer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has—and continues to—work on curatorial projects at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology, the Museum of International Folk Art, and the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.
Her writing has appeared in Museum Anthropology, Museum Worlds, Visual Anthropology Review, Journal of Museum Ethnography, Hyperallergic, El Palacio: The Magazine of the Museums of New Mexico, and Southwest Contemporary, among others.
She currently serves as the secretary of the Board, chair of the communications committee, and blog manager for the Council for Museum Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association.
Originally from Newtown, Connecticut, Lillia holds a BA in anthropological archaeology and religious studies from Hamilton College and an MA in museum studies from New York University.
Heidi K. Brandow
Heidi K. Brandow (Diné & Kānaka Maoli) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is centered on the inclusion of Indigenous people and perspectives in the development of ethical and sustainable methods of creative engagement.
She is a co-founder of the Harvard Indigenous Design Collective, an organization that recognizes and promotes design by and for Indigenous communities as foundational to the history, theory, and practice of design fields.
Brandow received her undergraduate degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts, studied Industrial Design at Istanbul Technical University, and received a Master of Design Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Bridget Rawles is a freelance journalist and translator living in the countryside of the small town of Villarrica, located in southern Chile. She has a keen interest in museums and has helped research and conserve collections of historical photos.
She has facilitated participatory cultural planning processes in the Araucanía region where she resides and is currently working on a project researching and writing about the rural areas of Villarrica.
Bridget studied journalism at the Universidad Austral de Chile and has completed courses in Gender Studies at the Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano in Chile and Communication Studies at Roskilde University in Denmark. At this time she is learning Mapuzungun, the language spoken by the Indigenous Mapuche who were the first inhabitants of the region she calls home.
Nature has always been her inspiration and she lives in an area surrounded by lakes, forests and active volcanoes, which has led her to participate in a local grassroots environmental organization seeking to protect flora, fauna and fungi through awareness and engagement.