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Current Exhibit


The Exhibit "Play/Things:  The Iconography of the Toy" will be closed to the public until it is safe for us to reopen to the public. The dates of the exhibit will start on the day we are able to open and will run for approximately three months after that.  All future exhibits will be pushed back respectively.





 “Play/Things:  The Iconography of the Toy”

March 13 – May 21, 2020

Opening, Friday, March 13, 2020, 5-7 pm

An exhibit featuring the work of New Mexico artists inspired by the role of play in creativity.


Santa Fe, NM—The City of Santa Fe Arts & Culture Department’s Community Gallery announces the opening of, “Play/Things:  The Iconography of the Toy” on display March 13 through May 22, 2020.  The public is invited to attend an opening on Friday, March 13, 2020 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Santa Fe Community Gallery, 201 W. Marcy St.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.”  Plato

 “Play/Things” is an exhibit centered on toys as cultural references and gateways to childhood creativity.  Participating artists were challenged to create artworks inspired by the iconic memories of toys from their childhoods.

 The benefits of creative play are well documented, from improving problem solving and cognitive skills, to boosting self-expression and critical thinking.  However, toy sales over the past three years are down at all three of the major toy companies: Lego, Hasbro, and Mattel.  The closing of Toys “R” Us in 2018 represents a bell weather in the transition of childhood play to a primarily digital format.  With this transition, are toys becoming obsolete?  What does that mean for the creative process of future generations?  Play/Things seeks to investigate the role of toys in American society through the eyes of our most creative resource:  Artists. 

Some of the issues considered by artists participating in the exhibit include (but are not limited to):

  • What is the role of toys in creativity and imagination? 
  • How are gender roles designated and/or reinforced through toys and play? 
  • What are artists’ fondest toys from their childhoods and what did they learn from them?
  • Does digital play ignite creativity in a different way? 

Participating artists:  Jonathan Beno, Robert Matthew Bollinger, Jack Bordnick, Tim L. Brown, Jennie Cooley, J. Defrese, Donelli DiMaria, Matthew Ellis, Geoffrey Gorman, Linda Guenste, Meg Hachmann, Elizabeth Hahn, Samantha Heames, Deeda Hull, Shirley Klinghoffer, Max Lehman, Justin Makemson, Beryl Markowitz, Carol Mell, Xanthe Miller, Joel Nakamura, Cheri O’Brien, Janet O’Neal, Deborah Paisner, Susan E. Roden, Marcy Snow, Cecilia Stanford, Laurinda Stockwell, Jennifer Vasher, DeeAnne Wagner and Frederick G. Yost.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a series of free public programs addressing topics related to the theme are planned.  All events take place at the Community Gallery, 201 West Marcy Street, inside the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.  For more information call, 505-955-6705 or email [bot protected email address].

 The Community Gallery supports local artists, promotes artistic excellence, and strengthens the local arts economy through diverse exhibits, educational and professional development opportunities for local artists, and engaging activities for the public. Through thoughtful and creative programming, the Community Gallery is a hub for viewing quality New Mexico art and the presentation of dynamic educational opportunities, bringing art to the community as well as the community to art.  For more information, call 505-955-9705.

The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission (SFAC), an agency within the municipal government of the City of Santa Fe, provides leadership by and for City government in supporting arts and cultural affairs.  The SFAC also recommends programs and policies that develop, sustain and promote artistic excellence in the community.  For more information contact the SFAC at 505-955-6707, email [bot protected email address], or by fax 505-955-6671.


 Watch this video clip about the Community Gallery  and our tenth anniversary.


Contact Information and Hours

Physical Address: 201 W. Marcy (map ), Santa Fe, NM 8750

Mailing Address: PO Box 909, Santa Fe, NM 87504-090

[bot protected email address]

Ph: (505) 955-67078 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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