The museum is celebrating the grand opening of a brand new gallery: The Palice Gallery of Latin American Art. The new gallery, which is located on the second floor of the museum in what used to be administrative offices, adds 2,300 square feet of exhibit space to the museum. The gallery features more than 200 objects of Latin American Art, ranging from Pre-Columbian to Spanish Colonial periods.
Museum curators hope the new exhibition space will inspire visitors to learn more about the history and significance of Latin American art traditions. Visitors can browse through educational resources and watch films in the gallery's video viewing room. The space also has bilingual interpretive materials to help art lovers get the most out of their visit.
The Tucson Museum of Art just opened a new Latin American art gallery — Photo courtesy of Tucson Museum of Art
The Palice Gallery has been outfitted with state-of-the-art LED lighting, security and environmental controls. Apart from the permanent collection, the new gallery will also showcase an ongoing rotation of contemporary art displays. As part of the new gallery expansion, the museum is also debuting a 2,350-square foot outdoor Latin American sculpture terrace.
Some of the highlights in the new gallery include a fragment of what may be an Olmec stela, or stone slab. The carving depicts a male figure standing in profile, holding what appears to be a spear. Museum curators believe the carving represents the El Tajin style of pre-Columbian Veracruz, Mexico. The piece dates back to sometime between 100 to 200 CE.
From the gallery's Spanish and Post-Colonial collection, visitors can get an up-close look at a 17th-century wood statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, which features gilding, copper and lace. There are also several examples of contemporary Latin American folk art, like the Tree of Life by Mexican artist Aurelio Flores, which was created in the 1960s. It's an elaborate tree-shaped candelabrum featuring polychrome birds and flowers. The piece is representative of traditional Mexican folk art motifs and production techniques.
The Tucson Museum of Art is located in the historic El Presidio district in downtown. A handful of the city's oldest structures are adjacent to the museum. Visitors can enjoy free docent-led tours throughout the day, and the museum has a gift shop and cafe. Even better, free admission is available to everyone on the first Sunday of every month.