In Our Own Backyard examines contemporary art in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico from the 1980s to the present. The exhibition stems from the collection of Ray Graham, a pivotal arts supporter and longtime collector of many major regional and national artists. In 1990, Graham remodeled the building that now houses 516 ARTS at 516 Central Avenue SW in Downtown
Albuquerque as a contemporary art venue, where he founded CAFÉ almost 30 years ago and operated the space as a commercial gallery for five years. This exhibition features work from his collection and artists who were shown at CAFÉ, both with work from that period and recent work. Highlighting discourses around place, materials, practice and process, the exhibition brings together a cross-section of approaches and genres that explore the creative energy of New Mexico’s artists and legacy in the larger contemporary art world.
516 ARTS Executive Director Suzanne Sbarge says, “We chose to focus on the Graham collection and the history of the 516 building to examine the continuum of the evolving contemporary art scene here. Each generation builds on the last, and this show offers an opportunity to reflect on how the ideas, priorities and concerns of a group of New Mexico artists have changed over time.”