Warehouse 21 Retrospective Event
Held December 10-21, 2021 Santa Fe, NM
For eight months in 2021, former W21 Executive Director, Ana Gallegos y Reinhardt, alums and friends of W21, sifted through hundreds of articles, flyers, art, stories, VHS tapes, radio cassette tapes, CD’s and photos that featured CCA Warehouse and Warehouse 21 ranging from 1996 -2021. Ana saved this treasure trove and was ready to create an exhibition on an era never to be forgotten. After all, Warehouse 21 turned 25 years young!
The exhibition was in two parts: PART 1, a solo show curated by Yvette Serrano and friends entitled Shoutout to Nostalgia and PART II entitled A Blast From the Past curated by Ana and W21 friends. Both exhibits shared aspects on the roots of youth culture in Santa Fe and how the DIY ethos shaped multicultural artistic scenes for a quarter of a century in the Santa Fe Railyard. The event was held at the Vital Spaces Annex Gallery located at the Midtown Campus in Santa Fe, NM.
On opening Night, December 10, 2021, the ‘Blast from the Past” exhibition was opened to the public. WoW! Over 200 people walked through the door! As masks were required, it was interesting to identify people by their eyes even if over ten years later of not seeing one another.
People mingled, friends reconnected, nostalgia was real, some had tears and many found themselves in photos as youth and were touched by time past and memories of their lives back then.
People witnessed writings of poetry and art describing love, humanity, teen confusion and angst that were found from tabletops, garbage can collections, scrapbooks, typewriter messages and teen made newspapers will be with introspective reflections. Other cutting edge special programs, controversial works that were with healthy debates, wall art, graffiti art, theater shows, products made and more left behind was a curious sight to see.
Ana states. “Stories tell us where we've come from and it defines who we are today. As many people who were involved with W21 and CCA are now 16-48 years of age, they for years have asked for a sharing of the valued archives. As it was such a wide community family, she held on to the dynamic expressions of energy behind a camera lens. It turns out the hoarding of the multiple dozen dusty boxes can now be put to use with all the nostalgia and memorabilia.”
There were many emotions and feelings from over 300 people during the entire run with many who felt the same sentiments as per Ilana Burkes testimonial:
“Perhaps now, we can take the time to look back at what we left behind, and we will have a chance to meet those scattered pieces that we may have forgotten, not to judge or deny, but to integrate. Maybe the timing of it all allows for an expansiveness that did not exist before, a chance to laugh and get reacquainted with our younger selves - the selves that may reflect back to us what we are still in process with or perhaps a deep introspection of what we no longer are.
We have an opportunity to shift whatever knots there may still be lurking in the subconscious, through the exploration of our old writings and thoughts, the things that may have been troubling us or that seemed so huge at the time. We all affected each other one way or another to whatever degree, reflecting things back to each other like mirrors. I am so grateful for it all“.