The expression “poetic justice” describes the outcome of righting moral wrongs in a satisfying and ironically appropriate manner. Works by artists Judith F. Baca, Mildred Howard and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith in the New Mexico Museum of Art’s Poetic Justice exhibit render that concept with memory, history and emotion. Visitors have a special opportunity to hear from all three of these important artists as they discuss the importance of an artist’s voice in cultural and social discourse.
On May 28, the Museum’s celebration of Poetic Justice: Judith F. Baca, Mildred Howard, and Jauen Quick-to-See Smith will be a multi-layered experience. The day will begin 10:30 am with a hosted panel discussion. Baca, Howard and Smith will reflect on their life and careers in art, activism and education. Levi Romero and Edie Tsong, two of the three New Mexico poets commissioned by the Museum to celebrate these pioneering artists, will read selected poems. And, later that day, young New Mexican poets and writers under the age of 25 will share their short works at an open mike both in person and virtually. The entire museum will be free to the public all day.
For decades Baca, Howard and Smith have created complex works that amplify voices and concerns often on the periphery. Participation in the women’s movement, student activism and Native self-determination provided lessons, tools and context for their art. By addressing cultural equity, social priorities and their impact on communities, these accomplished visual artists and teachers engage with issues that are both local and global.