516 ARTS presents a panel discussion in conjunction with the concurrent exhibitions opening the same evening (6-8pm): Across the Great Divide, featuring the work of Albuquerque photographer Roberta Price; and Worlds Outside This One, a group exhibition of international artists curated by Erin Elder. This event is part of the summer collaboration titled unCOMMON GROUND, a series of exhibitions and programs exploring self-sufficiency, community and visions of utopia presented by 516 ARTS and the new Alvarado Urban Farm.

Price’s work is a photographic memoir of the back-to-the-land movement in the late 1960s and 70s, and the accompanying group exhibition explores what those historical experiments mean to contemporary artists today. The panelists will discuss the various and eclectic architectural styles that developed as commune members designed and built their own homes, from the viewpoint of both residents as well as experts in the field. The discussion will also cover the often-misunderstood status of women in the rural communes, supplanting the stereotype of barefoot women holding toddlers with stories of the strong independent women of the Huerfano Valley. Some of the panelists will share personal experiences from living the communal lifestyles of that era at Libre and Red Rockers, communities in the Huerfano Valley of Southern Colorado, where they lived close to the earth to fulfill basic human needs, raise families, educate children, design and build their own homes. Featured panelists:

Roberta Price, writer, photographer and intellectual property attorney in Albuquerque, who was an early resident of the Libre commune and lived there for seven years in the 1970s;

Mary Corey, UCLA history professor, historical advisor to the PBS Educational TV Series The Living Century, and one of the founding members of the Red Rockers commune;

Linda Fleming, artist, professor of sculpture and fine arts at California Collage of the Arts, and one of the founders of the Libre commune (now a community of artists in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains), where she continues to maintain a studio that she single-handedly built;

Arnold Valdez, architect, recipient of numerous honors and awards recognizing his achievements in architectural planning, most recently as a George Pearl Fellow in 2008 at the University of New Mexico, will speak about how counterculture architecture has mixed with local vernacular architecture;

Erin Elder, guest curator of the exhibition Worlds Outside This One, is a writer and teacher interested in collaboration, sense of place and expanded notions of culture. She is co-founder of PLAND, an off-the-grid residency program supporting the development of experimental and research-driven projects in the context of the Taos mesa.

Panel moderator Mary Anne Redding, curator of Across the Great Divide, is the Curator of Photography, Palace of the Governors / New Mexico History Museum.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the New Mexico Humanities Council, McCune Charitable Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New Mexico Council on Photography and the Bethel Museum at Bethel Woods, NY.