Contemporary Art for Everyone

516 ARTS is a non-collecting contemporary art museum in the center of Downtown Albuquerque that celebrates thought-provoking art in the here and now. Our mission is to connect contemporary artists and diverse audiences. 516 ARTS presents relevant exhibitions and public programs, which feature a mix of local, national, and international artists and inspire curiosity, risk-taking and creative experimentation.

Founded in 2006, 516 ARTS engages with timely themes such as the environment, immigration, and the north/south axis of cultural exchange with a focus on Latin America. Our public programs include collaborations with museums and organizations around the region and beyond, public art projects, guest speakers, public forums, the 516 WORDS literary series, workshops, performances and special events. Education programs include exhibition tours for schools and community groups with curriculum support materials for teachers, youth activities, and hands-on workshops with guest artists.

In 2016, 516 ARTS was selected as a partner in the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 516 ARTS launched the Fulcrum Fund, an annual, competitive grant program providing funding directly to artists for artist-organized activities in our region.

Our Values

516 ARTS is committed to providing a dynamic, creative and inspiring space where individuals can gather to discuss, explore and learn about contemporary art and relevant issues and topics of our day. We actively seek inclusivity in our exhibitions and public programming, as well as in our board, staff, public space, and work environment. We strive to create experiences that are welcoming, relevant and accessible to people of diverse backgrounds. We seek to be active participants in celebrating the diversity in our community, while exploring topics such as socio-economic class, education, the environment and immigration. We continually evaluate our programming, exhibitions and staffing in relation to our goals of enhanced audience engagement and the reflection of diverse perspectives. We do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, age, gender identity, religious affiliation or national origin and believe that our unique differences, ideas, preferences and perspectives contribute to a rich, vibrant and meaningful fabric that unites us all.

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Board of Directors



• Danny Lopez, Chair
Arts & Culture Consultant

• Suzanne Sbarge, President
Founder/Executive Director, 516 ARTS

• Lauren Tresp, Vice President
Director & Publisher, Southwest Contemporary

• Gabriel Castro, Treasurer
Director, Presbyterian Medical Group Practice Operations

• Helen Juliet Atkins, Secretary
Interdisciplinary Artist


• Rebecca Black
Former international development professional, US Government

• Roger Fragua (Jemez Pueblo)
President, Cota Holdings, LLC

• Jon vanGaasbeek

• Kathleen Metzger
Vice President, Southwest Neurosurgical Associates

• Tim Price
PNM Foundation

• Pamela Weese Powell
CEO and Co-Founder of the Dakota Tree Project


Michael Berman, Artist, Environmental Activist
Andrew Connors, Director, Albuquerque Museum
Devendra Contractor, Architect, DNCA
Jim Enote (Zuni Pueblo), Executive Director, Colorado Plateau Foundation
Melinda Frame, Filmmaker, FRAME+WORK, LLC
Tom Guralnick, Executive Director, Outpost Performance Space
Andrea Hanley (Navajo), Curator, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
Deborah Jojola (Isleta Pueblo), Artist
Jane Kennedy, Fundraising Consultant
Arif Khan, Director, UNM Art Museum
Josie Lopez, PhD, Curator of Art, Albuquerque Museum
Karl Orozco, Visual Arts Educator, Albuquerque Academy
Marla Painter, Community Organizer
Adolphe Pierre-Louis, Photojournalist, Albuquerque Journal / Actor / Musician
Henry Rael, Program Officer, McCune Charitable Foundation
Rick Rennie, Historic District Improvement Company
Mark Rohde, FAIA, RMKM Architecture PC
Augustine Romero, Artist, City of Albuquerque, South Broadway Cultural Center
Sommer Smith, MediaDesk, Co-founder & Creative Director
Claire Stasiewicz, MBA, Anderson School of Management, UNM
Rob Strell, Strell Design
Tonya Turner Carroll, Co-owner Turner Carroll Gallery

Out of State Members:

Mary Anne Redding, Curator, Turchin Center for Visual Arts, NC


Danny López, Board Chair
Arts & Culture Consultant
Danny López has dedicated his career to advancing arts and culture locally, nationally, and internationally. He is a New Mexico native who served as Program and Marketing Manager for the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington, DC, and prior to that he worked for 11 years in numerous capacities at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. He has served as a Board Director for the New Mexico Humanities Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and International Business from New Mexico State University and was a business development volunteer in the US Peace Corps in Nicaragua. In addition to his work in the arts, Danny works with his partner Cherie Montoya in managing an organic farm adjacent to the award-winning Farm & Table restaurant in Albuquerque’s North Valley. He is an avid writer and cyclist and enjoys promoting our state’s cultural and environmental treasures.

Suzanne Sbarge, President
Founder/Executive Director of 516 ARTS
Suzanne Sbarge is the Founder and Executive Director of 516 ARTS which she launched in 2006 in partnership with the McCune Charitable Foundation. In her approach to arts administration, she focuses on contemporary art and interdisciplinary projects in an educational context, with an emphasis on collaboration among artists and organizations. She previously directed Magnifico Arts, Inc. (in the same building as 516 ARTS) and the Harwood Art Center. She has led numerous collaborative arts projects which have garnered national and international attention, including Species in Peril Along the Rio Grande, HABITAT: Exploring Climate Change Through the Arts, Digital Latin America, ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness, STREET ARTS: A Celebration of Hip Hop Culture & Free Expression, and LAND/ART. She holds a BA in Art History and Studio Arts from Barnard College in New York and an MA in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. As a visual artist herself, she has brought her own particular creativity and passion for the arts to her leadership work in New Mexico for over two and half decades. She was born and raised in Connecticut and has lived in Albuquerque since 1989.

Lauren Tresp, Vice President
Publisher, Southwest Contemporary
Lauren Tresp is the publisher of The Magazine of Southwest Contemporary, New Mexico’s leading contemporary arts magazine since 1992. In her time as publisher and owner of Southwest Contemporary, she launched the publication’s first comprehensive digital platform, oversaw the first total redesign of the magazine since its founding, and worked to increase transparency, diversity, and inclusion throughout the publication’s editorial coverage and team contributors. She has been writing professionally about contemporary art since 2013. She has a Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where she studied Medieval and Renaissance Art History, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and History from UCLA.

Gabriel Julio Castro
Director of Presbyterian Medical Group Practice Operations
Gabriel Julio Castro serves as a Director at Presbyterian Healthcare Services. He has worked in healthcare for 21 years and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Radiology Management and a master’s degree in business administration. He is a 2021 Leadership Albuquerque class member scheduled for graduation in June 2021, and an Albuquerque Business First 2018, 40 under Forty honoree. Gabriel was born and raised in Northern New Mexico and the importance of “community” was inculcated to him early on by his family and community elders.

Rebecca Black
International Development Professional, US Government
Rebecca Black completed her BA in Political Science at the University of Michigan and her Masters in City Planning in Economic Development at MIT. She served as the Economic Development Planner and then the Executive Director of Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation in Boston where the Mayor proclaimed Rebecca Black Day honoring her contribution to Boston’s neighborhoods. Since 1992, Rebecca has worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) performing different senior roles in many cities including: Washington, DC; Warsaw, Poland; Pertoria, Africa; Delhi, India; Kabul, Afghanistan; Bamako, Mali; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Helen Juliet Atkins
Helen Juliet Atkins is an interdisciplinary artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received a BA in Studio Arts from the University of New Mexico in 2016. Her studio practice, public works, and community engaged projects often focus on the intersection of art and social justice. Atkins is a 2018 recipient of the inaugural Women in Creativity “Shine” Award, which honors creative women and their community impact. She is a co-founder of Plates Against Patriarchy, a visual arts and storytelling project that challenges patriarchal systems of power. Atkins currently serves on the Albuquerque Museum Board of Trustees. While working on collaborative projects, she is also building a body of work that explores notions of experience and identity. This­ work has been shown in galleries nationally and internationally.

Roger Fragua
President, Cota Holdings, LLC
Roger Fragua has dedicated his professional career to the advancement and development of American Indian communities. Roger is currently the President of Coda Holdings, LLC, whose mission is to support Tribal community and economic development in the energy and telecommunication sectors. Additionally, Roger is the Executive Director of Flower Hill Institute as a non-profit that is focused on Cultural Preservation, Youth Stem Camps and Indigenous Knowledge, Climate Change and Agriculture. Roger has also worked with the Western Governors’ Association and the National Tribal Environmental Council on State and Tribal relations as it relates to environmental issues. The basis for Roger’s commitment to Indian Country began during his tenure as the Tribal Administrator for his own Pueblo, where he served as the Tribal political and business resource for several years. Roger is keenly focused on the Arts.

Jon van Gaasbeek
Jon was born and raised in Albuquerque. He attended Highland High School and UNM where he received an associate degree in engineering and a BA in architecture.

After college he moved to Los Angeles where he worked at various architectural firms and became a licensed California architect. Eventually he took over the architecture office he was working for. He specialized in renovating high-rise buildings and tenant improvement projects. His clients included CBRE, UBS, Keller Williams, the Director’s Guild, the Producer’s Guild, the Writer’s Guild, 15 Minutes Entertainment, AARP and LA Fitness.

As his parents aged, he found himself coming back to Albuquerque more and more often and realized he wanted to move back. He merged his firm with another practice and moved back in 2017.

Since returning home he has renovated and sold several properties and taken on small architecture projects for friends and neighbors and is enjoying the quieter pace of New Mexico. He is dog dad to Chaco, Diesel and Zelli. His hobbies include art, architecture, cars, cooking and travel.

Tim Price
Community Relations & Foundation Giving Analyst, PNM Foundation
Tim Price is Community Relations & Foundation Giving Analyst at the PNM Foundation. He grew up in Artesia, NM, and graduated from UNM in 1985. He lived between New York City and Los Angeles before coming home to Albuquerque 15 years ago. As a production designer in the film industry, he worked with several interesting celebrities and directors. He was also a functional artist with permanent pieces at the Gallery of Functional Art in Santa Monica. His love for art continued as he helped curate and hang Project Angel Art at the Pacific Design Center in 1990 and participated in Divine Design for several years. Tim was active with AIDS Project Los Angeles and Project Angel Food. In Albuquerque, he taught lighting at the Art Center Design College and has worked for PNM and PNM Resource Foundation for 15 years.

Mark Rohde, FAIA, Vice President
RMKM Architecture PC
Mark Rohde is a founding principal of Rohde May Keller McNamara Architecture, P.C. (RMKM), and has specialized in the design and planning of award-winning, high-profile public architecture for more than 30 years. Mark offers clients an engaging and highly collaborative design process and is recognized for his ability to create inspired and transformative architecture for diverse and complex projects. Mark’s expertise extends to all types of architectural projects, with a focus on healthcare, educational, technical, museums, and library building types. His design approach is based on listening and open communication, his comprehensive “hands on” involvement at all phases of the project, his energy and enthusiasm, and his commitment to excellence. Mark received his BA in Architecture from UNM, his Masters in Architecture from Harvard University School of Design and founded RMKM in 1995.

Pamela Weese Powell
CEO & Co-Founder of the Dakota Tree Project
Pamela Weese Powell is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of the Dakota Tree Project (DTP), a nonprofit organization in Albuquerque, NM that focuses on high-heat, low-income neighborhoods to combat systematic disparities in the urban tree canopy. Pamela has a BFA and BA from UNM and an MFA from Hunter College. In 2016, she was recognized as a Woman of Influence by ABQ Biz Journal. Her board experience is vast including Immediate Past Chair of the ABQ Museum Board of Trustees, Past Chair and Board Member of Paws & Stripes, and acts as the Everytown for Gun Safety Lead for the ABQ City Gun Violence Prevention Team.

Staff & Consultants


  • Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director, suzanne@516arts.org
  • Claude Smith, Operations Director, claude@516arts.org
  • Viola Arduini, Program Director, viola@516arts.org
  • Daniel Ulibarri, Education & Digital Engagement Coordinator, daniel@516arts.org
  • Joni Thompson, Finance & Grants Manager
  • Kevin Paul, Marketing & Development Coordinator, kevin@516arts.org
  • Rachelle Pablo, Curator, rachelle@516arts.org
  • Ruza Posich, CNM Work Study Intern
  • Lucinda Aaker, Amy Biehl Student Senior Project


  • Mandy Funchess, Schlenker & Cantwell, Auditor
  • Caroline Blaker, Aquarian Web Studio, Web Presence