Tucson, Arizona, September 25, 2023 – The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (TMA) announces Southwest Art: Contemporary Conversations. This exhibition, on view starting Wednesday, September 27, 2023, in the Sandra and Robert Maxfield Gallery, explores Southwest art through four concepts: identities, perspectives, land, and materials, which overlap or connect with one another, often speaking to several themes at once.


Southwest Art is a collective effort of regional collaborators and museum staff. TMA thanks Marla Allison, Lizz Denneau, Gabriella Moreno, Nelda Ruiz, Jenea Sanchez, TC Tolbert, and Ruben Urrea Moreno for their guidance, support, and commitment to the Southwest. About the project, artist-educator Lizz Denneau explained “the variety of voices involved in the process was exciting. Crafting an exhibition that reflected the different perspectives and collective commitment to the region was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. The works selected and the accompanying interpretation highlights a creativity and richness offering a fresh take on art of the Southwest.” 


This project is a part of the museum’s multi-year National Leadership Grant for Museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) (MG-50-19-0044-19): Expanding Narratives. This grant supports the development of culturally responsive and community-based approaches to gallery-based learning, curatorial practices and program development. Patricia Lannes, museum consultant, reflects "It has been a pleasure to be part of the Expanding Narratives, an IMLS National Leadership Grant project that has brought substantial change to TMA. The new exhibitions of the permanent collection are the result of an innovative community-based curation process that impacted and transformed the museum into an active cultural center where visitors can explore the collections from many different perspectives.”


The public is invited to experience Southwest Art: Contemporary Conversations with two unique programs.


First Thursday — October 5th, 5–8 p.m. Explore the different perspectives and identities that make up the Southwest featuring a panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. with TMA collaborators (Lizz Denneau, Patricia Lannes, and Gabriella Moreno), Bolivian Street Food from SUMAJ, activities with Laila and Ami, performances by Nogales-based artists Nefftys and Kevin Jung, and sounds by DJ humblelianess.


October 5th, 5:30 –7 p.m. — Expanding Narratives: Building Connections and Engaging Communities Lizz Denneau (artist-educator), Gabriella Moreno (scholar and art historian), and Patricia Lannes (museum consultant) will share reflections and insights into the TMA’s community-based curatorial practices, programs and partnerships, culturally responsive approaches to gallerybased instruction, and the new permanent collection exhibition Southwest Art: Contemporary Conversations.


Second SundAZe — October 8, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Celebrate community with a Chinese Chorizo Festival kick-off featuring Ate Kei’s Treats, Phatboii’s BBQ, and more. Connect with makers influenced by the land and materials of the Southwest, vendors include: Apapáchame Tierra, Blue Corn Custom Designs, Drutopia, Love in a Cup, Lower Arizona Jewelry, Nogaleria, Señorita Art & Culture, and more! Participate in family yoga at 11:30 a.m. and create at the art-making stations.


Additional programs, events, and resources related to Southwest Art: Contemporary Conversations can be found at TucsonMuseumofArt.org


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, MG-50- 19-0044-19.


The views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition, Southwest Art: Contemporary Conversations, and related programming do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Lectures are $5 for non-members; free for TMA members and students with ID. Tours are included with admissions. Registration is required. Visit tucsonmuseumofart.org for the latest news and exhibition highlights.


Upon request, American Sign Language interpretation for lectures can be provided. Visitors can request this service up to two weeks before the date of the lecture. To request this service call Isaí Pacheco at ipacheco@tucsonmuseumofart.org or 520-616-2699.


Upon request, Spanish interpretation can be provided for lectures. Visitors can request this service up to two weeks before the conference date. To request this service, contact Isai Pacheco at ipacheco@tucsonmuseumofart.org or 520-616-2699.


Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


About Tucson Museum of Art As an institution built upon the original territories of the O’odham, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (TMA) acknowledges the Indigenous Sonoran Desert communities, past and present, who have stewarded this region throughout generations.


TMA connects art to life through meaningful and engaging experiences that inspire discovery, spark creativity and promote cultural understanding. Founded in 1924, TMA encompasses an entire city block in historic downtown Tucson and is committed to developing quality exhibitions, expanding and diversifying its collection, providing arts education opportunities, and presenting relevant and innovative programs while broadening public access to the arts.


The museum features exhibitions of Modern and Contemporary art, Latin American art from ancient to today, Indigenous arts and Art of the American West. A permanent collection of over 10,000 works of art spans continents, centuries and media. TMA’s campus includes five properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an art education center and research library, the Museum Store and the highly acclaimed museum restaurant Café a la C’Art. TMA is a private 501(c)(3) charitable arts and education organization. For additional information visit TucsonMuseumofArt.org or call (520) 624-2333.