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New curator at Albuquerque Museum was once an intern

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Museum’s newly opened “Hispanic Visions” exhibition threads directly into the background of new museum curator Josie Lopez.

A specialist in 19th and 20th century printmaking, she taught courses on the prints of Francisco Goya during a Southern Methodist University fellowship. Lopez also wrote her master’s thesis on Goya’s “Caprichos,” a set of prints expressing the artist’s condemnation of the follies and foolishness of Spanish society. “Visions” includes works from ancient Spain through El Greco, Velásquez, Goya and beyond.

“It’s incredible and it’s been one of my research areas,” she said.

Now the curator at 516 ARTS, Lopez will start her new job Dec. 10.

“Josie had such a spectacular combination of the global perspective and the local specific,” museum director Andrew Connors said.

The Albuquerque Museum has presented everything from 20th century modernism to contemporary African design, he added.

“The curator of art has to be incredibly flexible and be able to present this in an interesting manner and in an accessible way.”

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in teaching from Brown University, Lopez boasts a doctoral degree in art history from the University of California at Berkeley.

She was born and raised in Albuquerque, beginning her internship at the Albuquerque Museum. In 2017, she organized “The Carved Line: Block Printmaking in New Mexico” at the Albuquerque Museum.

Lopez most recently co-curated the “Currency: What Do You Value?” exhibit at 516 ARTS and its previous exhibition “Puerto Rico: Defying Darkness.”

“I’ve worked on a lot of different time periods and approaches to art history,” she said. “The Albuquerque Museum is both local and national and historical.”

Lopez has a particular interest in Latin American art and says she “wants to broaden the discourse in New Mexico.”

“We have a very rich history based on our Latin traditions,” she said. “The museum allows for a whole range of interactions along these lines of interest.”

“How do we engage with the three cultures in a way that doesn’t mythologize it?” she asked.

“The Albuquerque Museum is an amazing place,” she added. “There’s so much happening and so much potential.”