Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art announces autumn exhibitions

Gabriela Muñoz and M. Jenea Sanchez, Untitled (detail), 2016. Serigraph on bricks made with Mexican soil. 3 x 22 feet.  (Courtesy of the artists, Gabriela Muñoz and M. Jenea Sanchez)

Gabriela Muñoz and M. Jenea Sanchez, Untitled (detail), 2016. Serigraph on bricks made with Mexican soil. 3 x 22 feet.
(Courtesy of the artists, Gabriela Muñoz and M. Jenea Sanchez)

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will present two exhibitions for the autumn 2016 season, including a collaboration with Arizona State University and displaying the latest in the museum’s Architecture + Art series.

The two exhibitions are a collaboration with Arizona State University Intermedia Professor Muriel Magenta showcasing works by artists who are rethinking and transforming the status quo of the place of women in today’s society, and the latest in the Museum’s Architecture + Art series presenting Santiago Borja’s response to an archaeologic landmark of the Southwest.

SMoCA’s autumn opening celebration will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, with free admission for the public to enjoy the exhibitions and mix and mingle with artists and curators. The season of exhibitions will be accompanied by a full schedule of related programs and events.

Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power: Oct. 1-Jan. 8, 2017

A cross-disciplinary collaboration between SMoCA and ASU Intermedia Professor Muriel Magenta, Ph.D., Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power aims to use art as a critical catalyst in rethinking and transforming the advancement of women, according to a press release.

The exhibition will feature 19 artists whose works deal with the themes and issues of how women exercise and think about power.

The exhibition is grounded by the experiences of five women who have held positions of great leadership: Kyrsten Sinema, U.S. congresswoman, 9th District, Ariz.; Rebecca White Berch, former chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court; Barbara Barrett, international businesswoman, former U.S. ambassador to Finland and namesake of ASU’s Barrett Honors College; Diane Enos, former president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; and Gloria Feldt, activist, former CEO of Planned Parenthood and faculty member of the ASU School of Social Transformation.

Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power explores this vital subject during the historical juncture in U.S history as a woman runs for president as the nominee of a major party.

The artists’ works challenge women to think about power in their everyday lives and to find ways they can make a difference, the release stated. Participating artists include: Julie Anand, Malena Barnhart, Patricia Clark, Anne Coe, Grisha Coleman, Meredith Drum, Angela Ellsworth, Brooke Grucella, Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver, Mary Hood, Adriene Jenik, Siri Khandavilli, Muriel Magenta, Gabriela Muñoz, Mary Neubauer and Todd Ingalls, M. Jenea Sanchez, and Forrest Solis.

SMoCA will host a symposium to bring together the advocates and artists to deepen and further this conversation and welcome Guerrilla Girl founder “Frida Kahlo” for a public lecture and workshop.

Related events include:

Push Comes to Shove Gallery Performance: Oct. 1-2

  • Artists Gabriela Muñoz and M. Janea Sanchez work in the gallery as part of the exhibition Push Comes to Shove. Observe this durational performance and talk to the artists during breaks. Free with paid museum admission.

Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power Symposium: Oct. 15

  • 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the SMoCA Lounge
  • Join us for a series of presentations and discussions in conjunction with the exhibition Push Comes to Shove. Speakers include important women in politics, business and the arts.
  • Tickets: $20, $15 for students at, Free for Friends/Members at 480-499-8587.

Guerrilla Girls Take on Arizona: Nov. 18

  • 7 p.m. at Arizona State University, location to be announced
  • Legendary feminist activists, the Guerrilla Girls send founding member “Frida Kahlo” to talk politics, art and engagement. Presented in partnership with Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, School of Art, Arizona State University and Arizona State University Art Museum.
  • Free with RSVP at

Guerrilla Girls Activism Workshop: Nov. 19

  • 10 a.m. at SMoCA
  • Aestheticize your activism! Learn more about the Guerrilla Girls’ style of activism and how to produce your own project. Tickets: $35 at, $30 for Friends/Members at 480-499-8587.

Architecture + Art: Everything Falls into Place When It Collapses: Oct. 15-Jan. 22, 2017

Mexico City-based artist Santiago Borja works internationally at the intersection of art, architecture and ethnography. He is known for creating large-scale installations and architectural interventions that cross cultural boundaries and contrast traditional crafts with contemporary theory and modernist design.

Architecture + Art: Everything Falls into Place When It Collapses is Mr. Borja’s site-specific project in response to the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument – a Southwest icon of Native American culture – and its complex history within the national cultural politics of the U.S. over the past 125 years.

The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, known in the O’odham language as “Siwañ Wa’a Ki” or “Sivan Vahki,” is one of the largest surviving ancient sites in North America. It bears witness to the skill and creativity of the large community of ancient Sonoran Desert people who inhabited it, developing wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections that lasted more than 1,000 years until approximately 1450 A.D. when the location was largely abandoned.

The site consists of multiple adobe structures surrounded by a compound wall and houses the remains of the Great House, a monumental, four-story adobe structure whose purpose and function are unknown.

In 1892, the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument became the first cultural site in the U.S. to be given national protection, and in 1918, it was re-designated as a national monument by President Woodrow Wilson.

In the early 20th century, a series of roofs were constructed over the Great House, culminating in the construction of a massive, modern steel roof that was completed in 1932 and still stands today. The roof was intended to conserve the remarkable structure, but was undertaken without the advice of Native American communities, namely the O’odham peoples who are recognized as the ancestors of those who built it.

The superposition of these two physical structures – one more than 700 years old and the other almost 100 years old – is emblematic of the complicated and difficult relationship between Native Americans and the U.S. Federal Government. It is a juxtaposition of culturally different concepts of time, questions of legacy and belonging, technologies, knowledge and ideas about the future.

Mr. Borja is interested in this conversation that raises questions about different cultures – Native American, white, academic, artistic and administrative – related to archaeological remains, the rationalism of Modernism and its belief in its ability to solve problems through technological means, and the complexity of interpreting and preserving the material past – both ancient and Modernist, the press release stated.

This exhibition is part of SMoCA’s Architecture + Art series that investigates the junction between the practices of artists and architects, furthering the Museum’s mission to champion innovation in these fields and changing the ways in which architecture is presented in museum galleries.

Related event includes:

Architecture + Art: Everything Falls into Place When It Collapses: Oct. 8

  • 4 – 8 p.m. at Combine Studios, 821 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
  • Join us for an in-depth discussion of artist Santiago Borja’s exhibition Architecture + Art: Everything Falls into Place When It Collapses. Presented in partnership with Arizona State University Art Museum at Combine Studios. Free to the public.

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