Many are surprised to learn that the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM) is home to an extensive art collection. What began as collecting a few pieces of art for the Memorial Medical Center (MMC) annex—which then housed the Memorial Medical Center Foundation—turned into the acquisition of hundreds of pieces donated by area physicians, artists and generous community members.
The leading force behind the acquisition of the artwork was the late Betty Hummer. An artist herself, Betty called upon her artist friends to donate pieces of art so that the MMC annex could become a space where physicians, staff, and above all—patients—could feel the healing and calming power of the visual arts.
When MMC was acquired by a private corporation, the Healthcare Foundation of Southern New Mexico was formed and the art was relocated to the First Step Center. The center provided maternal and child wellness services, which presented the opportunity for all who visited, especially mothers and children, to have the ability to experience viewing art in almost a gallery-like setting. Eventually the Healthcare Foundation of Southern New Mexico merged with the CFSNM, and when the First Step Center closed its doors in 2015, the CFSNM placed all of the art in storage for safe keeping.
In an effort to revitalize awareness for these art pieces, the CFSNM board made the decision to deaccession a portion of the collection and host an art sale. The sale is part of CFSNM’s art rehoming plan to give community members the opportunity to purchase art they would not regularly have the ability to access. “Art was never been meant to be locked up where no one can see it,” said Ammu Devasthali, the Art Committee Chair and CFSNM board member. Rosemary McLoughlin, local artist and CFSNM art committee member, has been involved in the creation and acquisition of art for the foundation since the beginning. “With changing circumstances and through creative efforts, the collection is now making its way back into our community, enriching us in new and promising ways.”
Terra Winter, Executive Director of CFSNM, is encouraged by the fact that proceeds from this sale will allow the Community Foundation to continue to support our region through grants, scholarships and professional development opportunities. “It is fulfilling to know that residents in our community will now benefit from and enjoy the art in their homes. These art pieces are part of our foundation’s history,” stated Winter.
Approximately 200 pieces of art will be available for sale to the public at the CFSNM community art sale. The sale, scheduled for December 8-10, 2017, will be held at 390 Calle de Alegra (formerly the First Step Center.) The sale will be open to the public Friday, December 8 from 5:30-8:00 p.m., Saturday, December 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 10 from noon to 4 p.m.
To learn more about the CFSNM community art sale, please call (575) 521-4794 or email [email protected].