Virtual community events bring worldwide community to NMSU Art Museum


(Courtesy photo)

CUTLINE: Marisa Sage, director of the University Art Museum at New Mexico State University, gives a virtual tour of “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020” since the museum was forced to close because of the pandemic. (Courtesy photo)

DATE: 05/18/2020
WRITER: Amanda Adame, 575-646-7953, [email protected]
CONTACT: Marisa Sage, 575-646-2545, [email protected]

New Mexico State University Art Museum Director Marisa Sage and her co-curator artist Laurel Nakadate spent two years preparing the premier exhibit, “Labor: Motherhood & Art in 2020,” only to have the worldwide pandemic force them to close the doors of the brand new museum after a few weeks.

Instead of giving up, they created a way to share the exhibit, not just with the regional community, but worldwide in two ways: Live virtual events titled “ALONE/TOGETHER” and a virtual guided tour of the “Labor” exhibits in the museum with Sage as the tour guide.

Click here to see the tour:

“I have been floored by how online programming has expanded our reach globally,” Sage said. “These new online platforms have given the UAM the ability to engage in a whole new and far-reaching way.”

More than 40 families from around the world participated in the live “Let’s Crash Together,” event. Led by artist Joey Fauerso, participants from Costa Rica, Venice, London and many more, collectively crashed their sculptures together. Fauerso explained the success of the programs was because they create a sense of community through shared participation.

“In this time of COVID-19 we are all kind of hidden at home,” Fauerso said. “I wanted to create some outlets for the kinds of spontaneous creativity that is happening every day to be showcased and seen on a public platform.”

Watch the crash at:

“ART practice/MOTHER practice,” a live zoom reading and performance by 12 New Mexico based artists/mothers, had more than 70 people participate from all over the world including India, England, Vancouver and across the United States.

Watch the reading at:

“It is pretty magical,” Sage said. “It made me realize that this type of online programming is a phenomenal way to outreach, educate, engage and recruit to not only our NMSU and regional community but a much larger global community.”

“ALONE/TOGETHER,” has included live performances, pre-recorded video and experimental community programs led by artists.

“My goal with these events has been to inspire new concepts of community and to give our viewers, especially our students, artists and community mothers meaningful and accessible art-based content to participate in during a time when they may feel disconnected and overwhelmed,” Sage said. “So, while our doors are temporarily shut, this is a way for us to support our communities to stay hopeful.”

Alisha Kerlin, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art executive director from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, has participated in multiple events as a way to feel a part of something positive. She says we need art now more than ever and the boost of comfort art brings is exactly what people need.

NMSU College Associate Art Professor Tauna Cole-Dorn said the events made her feel inspired and empowered as a participant. Cole-Dorn added the “ALONE/TOGETHER” events give people something positive to look forward to.

“Seeing the success of this series, I am more confident than ever that art will play a crucial and valuable role in this time of uncertainty and crisis,” Sage said. “It provides compassionate and community-minded avenues for creative expression.”

For more information about other upcoming events, please visit or the Art Museum Instagram,

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