Skip to Content


2016 Hands-On Curatorial Program Exhibition

The curators!

Culture Exchange: The Unspoken Truth

Each object has a story to be told and each object holds the worth of gold in its own culture. - Heaven Talachy

A group of diverse high school students from Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) and the Academy for Technology and the Classics (ATC) embarked on an inspirational journey of historical exploration and self-realization. Through this opportunity students were able to learn about cultures once foreign to them.

In collaboration with the Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts, students chose and extensively researched historical and contemporary art pieces in hopes to discover the individual histories and personal connections behind the works. The unspoken truth of this exhibition was found in the connections that students felt with art pieces, both familiar and unknown. The show focused on the impressions that the objects bestowed and the personal stories each student was inspired to write as a result. The exhibition displayed many compelling pieces of indigenous art from around the world.

About the program: The Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts' Hands-On Curatorial Program is in its second year working with high school students from Santa Fe. The program provides an opportunity for students to work directly with a collection of over 2,000 works of indigenous art from around the world. Through museum visits and weekly sessions the curators learn how to create their own exhibition from this collection.

By selecting objects, researching and drafting wall texts, writing press releases, designing graphics and exhibition layout, and, this year, designing and creating their own limited-run Hands-On t-shirts in collaboration with Warehouse21, participants build their own exhibition from the ground up.



The curators choosing their pieces








Curators behind the scenes at the Wheelwright Museum











"The Unspoken Truth" installation