Suzi Davidoff, Simplified World/Aplomada Falcon and Grasses, 2017, charcoal, gesso, map, 50 x 68 x 3 inches

Species in Peril Along the Rio Grande: Contemporary Artists Respond

September 28 - December 28, 2019

516 ARTS and partners present Species in Peril Along the Rio Grande, an exhibition and series of regional public programs developed with the Art & Ecology Program at the University of New Mexico. The project explores how the river connects us across borders and disciplines, and is designed to provide education and spur dialogue around pressing ecological issues of our time. The exhibition – subtitled Contemporary Artists Respond – features commissioned and existing artworks highlighting diverse perspectives on varieties of plants and animals, including flowers, trees, fish, birds, and bees—iconic and overlooked—undergoing mass-die off’s and population declines within the Rio Grande watershed. Through the eyes of contemporary artists, the exhibition examines regional flora and fauna and raises ethical and cultural questions about human impact on the natural world. The exhibition takes place at 516 ARTS in Albuquerque and is co-curated by Josie Lopez, PhD, Curator of Art, Albuquerque Museum, and Subhankar Banerjee, Lannan Chair and Professor of Art & Ecology Program at the University of New Mexico.

Centering around the main exhibition at 516 ARTS, the regional collaboration features public programs including educational talks, forums, workshops, performances and outdoor activities presented by partner venues across state borders and the US/Mexico border as well as across disciplines spanning the arts, science, technology, and environmental activism. These programs take place in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Northern Mexico, where partners have been invited to develop their own programming that brings together art and environment to raise awareness and generate activism around species in peril in our region. 516 ARTS is publishing and distributing a map/calendar to all of these activities, which will be available in this August, and is coordinating an awareness campaign to showcase this project as a model for regional collaboration around environmental issues.


Opening events during the first week of the exhibition include: the Public Opening Reception (6-8pm) and a Member Preview (5-6pm) including a private walk-through with curators and artists on the opening day of Saturday, September 28; as well as the following special events:

Sunday, September 29, 2pm: Opening Address & Forum
This event features an invocation by Brophy Toledo, Cultural Leader, Jemez Pueblo; a keynote talk by Kierán Suckling, Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, who writes and lectures on the threats to, preservation of, and relationships between cultural and biological diversity, and maintains the most comprehensive endangered species research and management database in the United States; and forum with exhibition Co-Curators Josie Lopez, PhD, and Subhankar Banerjee, and exhibiting artist Cannupa Hanska Luger, who is building a life-sized ceramic buffalo skeleton for the exhibition. This event takes place at the Albuquerque Museum and is free and open to this public.

Thursday, October 3, 7:30pm: Elizabeth Kolbert & Laura Paskus in Conversation
516 ARTS, in partnership with Lannan Foundation, welcomes Pulitzer prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert in conversation with New Mexico journalist Laura Paskus. Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a book about mass extinctions that weaves intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field. It was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year and is number one on the Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of all time, and won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in the General Nonfiction category. Laura Paskus has been writing about environment issues in New Mexico for 17 years, reporting for magazines, newspapers, and public radio, focusing in particular on climate change, water, energy and southwestern rivers. A former archaeologist and tribal consultant, she currently hosts a monthly show on New Mexico PBS, Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present and Future. Her book, At the Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate, is forthcoming from UNM Press. This event takes place at the KiMo Theatre and is followed by a reception and booksigning with Kolbert and Paskus at 516 ARTS (for ticket holders). TICKETS: $10 general / $8 / members / $6 students, available at


Exhibition artists include: Michael Berman; Kaitlin Bryson & Hollis Moore; laura c carlson; Agnes Chavez; Suzi Davidoff; Catalina Delgado Trunk; Marissa Demarco, Dylan McLaughlin & Jessica Zeglin; Jessica Gross; Cannupa Hanska Luger; c marquez; Daisy Quezada; Nicasio Romero; and Mary Tsiongas & Jennifer Owen-White. Additional speakers include: Michael Berman, exhibiting artist; León De la Rosa, PhD and Ma. Eugenia Hernández, , PhD, professors in the Visual Arts Program at Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad-Juárez; and Sam Truett, PhD, borderlands historian at UNM, among others. Partners in New Mexico include: the Art & Ecology Program at UNM; Bernalillo County Public Art Program, Flower Hill Institute, Roswell Museum, STEMarts Lab & BIO STEAM Lab (Taos), The Taos Land Trust, University Art Museum at NMSU (Las Cruces) and Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (Albuquerque). Partners in Mexico include: Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad-Juárez and El Museo Contemporáneo de Ciudad- Juárez. Partners in Texas include: Ballroom Marfa, El Paso Museum of Art and The Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at UTEP. Our partner in Colorado is RedLine Contemporary Art Center (Denver). And our lead national environmental partner is the Center for Biological Diversity.