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Offering innovative perspectives

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Digital art.

Its popularity continues to grow because of its accessibility.

It is also a pillar behind the Carl & Marilyn Thoma Foundation’s newest endeavor in the Santa Fe Railyard District.

The 3,500-square-foot, two-level space for contemporary art is called Art Vault. It opened to the public on April 30.

Jim Campbell’s “Data Transformation,” 2017, Custom electronics (color, silent), LEDs, circuit boards, frosted acrylic. (Jim Campbell/Collection of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation)

According to Nicole Danti, Public Relations & Communications Manager for the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation, the space is the only digital art collection open to the public in the Southwest, and one of very few in the United States. She says artworks from the Thoma Foundation collection are on view year-round, rotating seasonally.

The opening was delayed due to the pandemic, having originally been set to open in November 2020.

Art Vault is displaying two exhibits to mark its opening.

The first is “Networked Nature,” which is an exhibition of digital and media artworks that connect with nature’s creative energy.

“Artworks on this floor feature artists’ pioneering approaches to artificial intelligence, machine learning, real-time software, custom algorithms and virtual environments,” Danti says.

On the second floor are 15 works in “Saint Somebody.” This exhibit is curated on the theme of sacred people and icons in global societies, with artwork from the 1700s through the present from the Thoma Foundation core collection.

Guillermo Galindo’s “Waveform Coded Landscape,” 2015. Acrylic ink and inkjet pigment print on cut Hahnemuhle photo rag paper. (Guillermo Galindo/Collection of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation)

“Featured exhibitions will include emerging and mid-career artists alongside internationally renowned pioneers of video sculpture, self-taught computer artists and influential digital time-based media artists,” Danti says. “Large-scale digital and video installations invite viewers to broaden their understanding of technology with innovative perspectives on the human experience.”

Carl Thoma says his vision has been to bring larger, more accessible works of digital and media art to the international art hub of Santa Fe.

“We are thrilled to increase our cultural contribution to the vibrant visual arts scene in Santa Fe,” Thoma says in a statement. “With Art House, we established the foremost digital art exhibition space in the Southwestern United States and now we’ve transitioned into a building with three times the exhibition space in the Railyard Arts District, the center of Santa Fe’s contemporary art scene.”

Art Vault will take the place of The Thoma Foundation’s Art House at 231 Delgado Street in Santa Fe, which will transition to the Foundation’s main office location.

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