SITE Santa Fe

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SITE Santa Fe
1995 exhibition at SITE Santa Fe
EstablishedFebruary 1, 1995
Location1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Coordinates35°40′53″N 105°56′59″W / 35.6813983°N 105.9497264°W / 35.6813983; -105.9497264
Typecontemporary art
Visitors1.5 million/year
DirectorIrene Hofmann

SITE Santa Fe (often referred to simply as SITE) is a non-profit contemporary arts organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since its founding, SITE Santa Fe has gained worldwide recognition through a series of biennial exhibitions that have featured numerous famous artists. These exhibits have attracted thousands of visitors from all around the world.


In 1992, local gallery owner Laura Carpenter conceived the idea of SITE Santa Fe, soliciting donations that would eventually total more than $1 million - a third of which went into the renovation by New York architect Richard Gluckman of a warehouse near the train tracks into 19,000 feet of exhibition space.[1]

SITE Santa Fe, curated by Bruce W. Ferguson,[2] was started in 1995 with the goal of hosting the only biennial of contemporary art in the entire United States. For the biennial's first edition, Ferguson, along with co-curator Vince Varga, selected 31 artists from 13 different countries to participate, half of them women, half from the United States.[3]

The first of these biennials was launched on July 14, 1995, and ran through October 8, 1995. Since then, there have been 5 other biennials, the most recent of which ended on January 7, 2007. Following the massive success of the first biennial, SITE Santa Fe opted to present exhibitions on an ongoing basis.

These exhibits have also proved to be greatly successful and widely recognized. With the inclusion of work by such well-known artists as Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jenny Holzer, Rebecca Horn, Anish Kapoor, Bruce Nauman, Lorna Simpson and Andres Serrano, the event encompasses not only the largest display of contemporary and conceptual art ever mounted in this city but also symposiums, concerts, films, children's programs and performances.[4] Later editions have featured contributions from world-famous artists such as Gregory Crewdson, Andy Goldsworthy, Takashi Murakami, Elizabeth Peyton, Raymond Pettibon and Kara Walker. Each artist received $7,500 to make his or her contribution. No help from commercial galleries or collectors was allowed. All the artists were to return to Santa Fe for at least three weeks before the biennial opened to help with the installation process.[5]

SITE Santa Fe also remained a presence through the administration of grants to local artists, as well ancillary programs in education and development.[6]

In 1997, SITE Santa Fe served as commissioning institution for the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale.[7]

Current activity[edit]

The 7th biennial entitled "Lucky Number Seven" opened June 22, 2008. The exhibit, curated by Lance Fung, features the work of 25 artists from 16 different countries. The exhibition was documented online by a student documentary team from the Media Arts Program at New Mexico Highlands University, the New Media Arts Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and other local arts programs. Many community members collaborate with SITE Santa Fe, such as Deborah Fritz, a local curator and gallerist.[8]

In 2011, SITE Santa Fe stopped producing its trademark show but promised to unveil plans for another sort of international exhibition with regional roots.[9]

Notable artists featured in past biennials[edit]

Notable Artists who exhibited at SITE Santa Fe[edit]


  1. ^ Patrick Pacheco (July 30, 1995), ART: SITE Specific Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Patrick Pacheco (July 30, 1995), ART: SITE Specific Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Patrick Pacheco (July 30, 1995), ART: SITE Specific Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Patrick Pacheco (July 30, 1995), ART: SITE Specific Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Jori Finkel (January 27, 2008), Welcome to New Mexico. Now Create. New York Times.
  6. ^ Patrick Pacheco (July 30, 1995), ART: SITE Specific Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ 47th International Exhibition of Art 1997: Robert Colescott. Recent Works Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.
  8. ^ "Site Unseen 7." Archived 2013-04-15 at SITE Santa Fe. 2012. Accessed January 8, 2013.
  9. ^ Jori Finkel (July 21, 2012), The biennial fights for attention — and relevance Los Angeles Times.


  • "SITE Sante Fe mission statement". SITE Sante Fe. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  • "Lucky Number 7 exhibition documentary website announced". Santa Fe Lucky 7. Retrieved 2008-07-13.

External links[edit]