Soon after Tony Price (1937-2000) arrived in New Mexico in the early 1970s, he discovered the legendary Zia Salvage Yard, which sold to the public the minacious fragments of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s nuclear weapons programs. Price repurposed these materials to create the prophetic and visionary sculpture he called Atomic Art. He summed up his alchemistic artistry this way: “It’s a little bit like sympathetic magic and how you would take an object and endow it with another type of creative energy from the purpose it was originally meant for. To take something that was really negative and build it into something positive.” Following his death, a group of his allies and patrons formed the FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE, Inc. to provide stewardship for his consequential body of work and ensure that the exigent message embedded in his oeuvre remains available to future generations. The Friends have facilitated solo exhibitions, publications, and public programs at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe in 2004, the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in 2005, and Phil Space in Santa Fe in 2019-2023.

MISSION

The mission of the FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE, Inc. is to perpetuate his artistic legacy through exhibitions, publications, scholarship, and the establishment of a permanent home for the collection.

Vision

The extant cumulation of over 165 works of Atomic Art carries a message of peace and reconciliation that is as relevant today as when they were created. While each piece is imbued with its own individual statement, Price believed that these works spoke most dynamically when experienced collectively. In accordance with his wishes to keep the entire collection intact, our vision is to create a permanent home for these masterworks where visitors can intimately assimilate their multidimensional essence. The FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE, Inc. aspire to develop a reinvigorated Board to provide governance for our evolving non-profit status and the necessary project management, fundraising, and academic experience to bring this project to fruition.

“Atomic Artist”, 1982 Documentary by Glen Silber and Claudia Vianello

Download PDF of traveling exhibition prospectus (6.3 MB)

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Tony Price’s Atomic Art melds biting satire and irony with the age-old tradition of ‘beating swords into plowshares’ to pull back the veil on the perilous disposition of nuclear arsenals. Created from the detritus of our nation’s prima facie nuclear weapons program, this poignant chorus of sculptural artworks compliments the present constellation of anti-nuclear voices in modes at once experiential and metaphysical. Preserving and advancing these viewpoints for rising generations is the enduring legacy of this collection.

Designate your tax-deductible contributions to the Friends of Tony Price, Inc. via the New Mexico Foundation for the following immediate priorities:

• Completion of our website

• Securing, conserving, and documenting the collection and assets of the artist’s Estate

• Organizational development through strategic business planning, cultivation of relationships with aligned partners and funders, and enhanced recruitment of superlative Board members and advisors.