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SITE Santa Fe
1995 exhibition at SITE Santa Fe
Established February 1, 1995
Location 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Type contemporary art
Visitors ~35,000/year

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 in 1995, SITE Santa Fe has presented 11 biennials, more than 90 contemporary art exhibitions, and works by over 800 artists. Following its presentation of the first international biennial of contemporary art in the US, SITE expanded its programming to include an ongoing exhibitions of notable artists in solo and group shows, often including new commissions and US debuts. SITE presents acclaimed artists from all over the world while supporting New Mexico-based artists with significant career development and exhibition opportunities. Approximately 20% of exhibited artists are based in New Mexico.

SITE also presents public and educational programs related to the themes of each exhibition that include conversations with artists and curators, film screenings, performances, concerts, hands-on workshops, and collaborations with Santa Fe Public Schools. SITE partners with many local organizations and schools to develop and present its programs.


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.

SITE Santa Fe, curated by Bruce W. Ferguson, 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.

The first of these biennials was launched on July 14, 1995, and ran through October 8, 1995. Over the years, SITE's International Biennial has featured guest curators including Bruce W. Ferguson (1995), Francesco Bonami (1997), Rosa Martinez (1999), Dave Kickey (2001), Robert Storr (2004), Klaus Ottomann (2006), Lance Fung (2008), Daniel Belasco and Sarah Lewis (2010). Following the success of the first biennial, SITE Santa Fe opted to present exhibitions on an ongoing basis, including work by artists Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jenny Holzer, Rebecca Horn, Anish Kapoor, Bruce Nauman, Lorna Simpson, Andres Serrano, Gregory Crewdson, Andy Goldsworthy, Takashi Murakami, Elizabeth Peyton, Raymond Pettibon and Kara Walker.

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

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

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.

In 2011, SITE's leadership set out to reimagine its signature biennial exhibition. SITElines: New Perspectives on Art of the Americas, the first of the reimagined biennials, was organized by a diverse team of curators and featured artworks that explore the many layers of history and culture in the Western hemisphere, highlighting under-recognized points of view. Simultaneously, SITE developed SITE Center, a socially engaged artist residency program that ties the curatorial process of SITElines and outreach programs that foster deeper engagement within New Mexico communities. SITE Center residencies have addressed topics such as cultural difference, indigenous histories, and incarceration.

In the summer of 2016, SITE broke ground on an expansion and renovation project designed by SHoP Architects. After a year of construction, SITE reopened with a new building that increased the museum's capacity to display artwork, host events, and engage with local students.

Current activity

SITE Santa Fe has been closed temporarily for the protection of staff and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. SITE reopened to visitors with Displaced: Contemporary Artists Confront the Global Refugee Crisis in July 2020.

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