The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (MCAM) will open its fall exhibit to the public in October. As previously intended, the fall exhibit will feature a collective of artists and the group exhibition "Just Cause: The Power of Contemporary Art in Civics Engagement." An exact date will be announced in the coming days once staff has finalized the logistics for the delivery and installation of the artwork.
Mesa values and supports artist expression in all its forms. The City invests over $15 million annually in the arts through the world-class Mesa Arts Center, three museums and a vast array of art education programs serving people of all ages and abilities. The exhibit's brief pause allowed Mesa to evaluate whether current policies and procedures uphold the values of respect and integrity of our organization, protect artists and balance the needs of our community.
"We are committed to celebrating and supporting freedom of expression and diverse perspectives while upholding our value of respect for those who serve the community," said Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. "As stewards of our taxpayer funds, it is our responsibility to carry out best practices that do right by our residents. We understand the impact this postponement had on our artists and are grateful to those who are continuing to engage with Mesa."
Since the postponement, the City of Mesa determined it needs to update its artist contracts, exhibit curation policy and the annual prospectus submission process. The guidance provided by those processes and continued updates of best practices will allow more time and accountability. Mesa is currently searching for a new Arts and Culture Director who will lead the review and implement much-needed department process improvements.
"This postponement has been proven necessary as it allowed us to uncover process-related deficiencies at the Museum, and that must be addressed. We look forward to building more time into our processes for the community-based board and foundation to evaluate proposals of interest, to create space for thought-provoking discussions, and ultimately to provide informed input to the City," says Deputy City Manager Natalie Lewis. "Our world-class arts institutions are a point of pride for Mesa. I am confident we will emerge stronger."
The exhibit opening day will be announced in the coming weeks. MCAM is a City of Mesa-owned five-gallery complex operated by the Mesa Arts and Culture department. It features changing exhibitions and works from its Permanent Collection. Some of the artists selected to participate in MCAM exhibits sell the pieces on display. Click here for more information about Mesa Arts Center and MCAM.