Preview: Introducing Ford / Forlano.

“The conversation is in every piece,” says David Forlano. “The input is the journey.” He and Steven Ford have collaborated for nearly four decades under the moniker Ford / Forlano, creating wearable artworks from polymer clay, sterling silver, gold leaf and many other materials. Over the years, their designs have undergone a spectacular evolution—as has the nature of their working relationship. Forlano moved to Santa Fe in 2005, putting almost 2,000 miles between the longtime collaborators. “It has actually made the work more dynamic, with an even bigger range,” Ford says. form & concept presents Introducing Ford / Forlano, featuring the artistic duo’s latest work, on Friday, February 23 from 5 to 8 pm. 

Ford and Forlano met in Rome, where they were both in a study abroad program through Philadelphia’s Tyler School of Art. “We had studios next to each other, but our styles of painting and thinking about art were worlds apart,” says Forlano. “I had never met someone like him.” Forlano had a passion for color theory and aesthetics, while Ford was more focused on structure and materials. After returning from Italy, they moved into a big house with some college friends. “I think because we were in art school and hungry, we were fascinated with the opposites,” Forlano says. “It opened both of our worlds to looking at things from the perspective of the other.”

Steven Ford- David Forlano- Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Ford / Forlano, Tube Necklace #67, polymer, sterling silver.

Not long after they graduated, a friend of Ford’s sparked his interest in polymer clay as an artistic medium. At the time, the material was widely considered a toy for children. Ford had studied glass art early in his college career, and was interested in applying that skill set to polymer clay artworks. He and Forlano set about experimenting with the material, using a technique called caning (known in the glass world as millefiori) to create and scale patterns in the clay. “In the beginning, we really promoted the work as ‘hey, look at this interesting material and what we can do with it.’” says Ford.

They built a successful business teaching workshops and selling polymer clay jewelry to shops and galleries across the nation. “Eventually, we found that our work was not evolving because we were teaching the same things over and over again,” Ford explains. The artistic use of polymer clay had also become more popular—in large part due to Ford and Forlano’s work—and they were looking to distinguish themselves in the burgeoning market. “We stopped teaching, which was scary,” says Ford. “But our work took off then and got really interesting.”

Steve Ford- David Forlano- Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Ford / Forlano, Ribbon Brooch #22, polymer, sterling silver.

In 1999, Ford / Forlano began working with a metalsmith to incorporate sterling silver and other precious metals into their polymer clay designs. The move vaulted them into the world of fine jewelry. “The best galleries, the ones we had watched at craft shows for years, stopped at our booth,” says Forlano. “They said they’d been hoping we would do that for years.” Their transition from wholesale to high-end was successful, and the duo zeroed in on a signature aesthetic. “In particular, the way we use color is a voice. That’s something that I feel like kind of secures a little corner for us,” Forlano says. “I think that’s how we got to be who we are.”

Both artists like to compare their use of color to mixing paint on a palette. “Ultimately, polymer should be like paint, it’s just a material for expression,” says Ford.  “I want to think about color, line and texture—all of the things that a painter thinks about.” Towards the beginning of their careers, when they’d just left art school, the duo took this quite literally. “At that time, we really had no idea what jewelry was or meant,” Forlano says. “We just made basically little paintings.”

Steven Ford- David Forlano- Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Ford / Forlano, Cuff #7, polymer, sterling silver.

Then came Forlano’s big move. In 2005, he decided to resettle in Santa Fe to live with his partner, actress Debrianna Mansini. “Frankly, I thought we were doomed when he did that,” says Ford. “We’d been working literally side-by-side up until that point.” Forlano cleared out his workstation in their Philadelphia studio, a building that filled an entire downtown city block, and headed Southwest.

Ford and Forlano’s ability to provide instant feedback to each other was replaced by phone calls, emails and the U.S. Postal Service. It slowed the pace of production, but took their work in compelling new directions. “When Dave moved to Santa Fe, I noticed that his colors got really desert-like and dusty,” says Ford. “I wanted cool, bright gem tones and he would send me these sandstone-looking things.”

Steven Ford- David Forlano- Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Ford / Forlano, Tube Necklace #68, polymer, sterling silver.

Ford has since left their old space for a smaller studio nearby, and Forlano married Mansini not long after his move. Through transitions large and small, their collaboration has endured. “We have lots of battles, we’re kind of like an old married couple,” says Ford. “But when he says something, I understand it in a way that I don’t think many people would.” Forlano adds, “As artists, we of course bring our egos to the table. We have a voice, we want to be heard. In a really healthy collaboration, that’s not going to get pushed under the table or pushed aside. It’s going to enhance the other person’s vision.”

This special event coincides with the opening reception for Strangers Collective’s Mirror Box group exhibition. Click here to learn more about both events.

Browse Ford / Forlano’s work.
RSVP on Facebook.

Preview: Mirror Box | Strangers Collective

Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill and Jordan Eddy, co-directors of Strangers Collective and the No Land art space, curate this exhibition of emerging artists and writers at form & concept. The show represents a network of early career creatives, starting in Santa Fe and spiraling across the nation. Its curatorial throughline presents a radical method for reflecting on place and identity through art objects. Mirror Box opens at form & concept on Friday, February 23 from 5 to 8 pm.

“The central mission of Strangers Collective has always been to pry open wall space for emerging artists in Santa Fe’s highly competitive market,” says Farrell. “Mirror Box is a culmination of our efforts.” Strangers Collective’s past pop-up group exhibitions, spanning summer 2014 through winter 2017, appeared in diverse venues including ART.i.factory Gallery, Santa Fe Community Gallery and Center for Contemporary Arts. “In spring of 2017, we founded No Land, which is a small space on the Plaza where we curate solo exhibitions for emerging artists,” says Strangers co-director Jordan Eddy. “We found ourselves in a solid place to make another big, definitive curatorial statement, but needed a bigger venue to do it.” form & concept, where Eddy works as marketing manager by day, offered up its sprawling top floor galleries for the show.

Kevin Bond Photography- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Kevin Bond, Reminiscences Safelight, photo transfer on safelight, 16.5 x 11.5 x 9 in., 2016.

“I was excited to set the stage for this Strangers show, because I’ve seen the project expand and contract to fit so many spaces and compelling stories,” says form & concept Gallery Director Frank Rose. “form & concept often shows emerging artists, so it made perfect sense to align our efforts and strengthen the web.” Farrell, Eddy and Gill have been working on the show for over ten months, conducting in-person studio visits in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Denver, and virtual check-ins with artists in Arizona, California, Oregon, New York, Japan and South Korea. “The collective is New Mexico-based, but our geographic range has grown as people move around to other art communities across the country,” says Gill. “Reuniting everyone for this exhibition showed us that there are still remarkably strong links between the concepts the artists are exploring.”

The term “mirror box” originates in the medical field: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran invented the box with two back-to-back mirrors in the center to help amputees manage phantom limb pain. The patient places the “good” limb into one side, and the “residual” limb into the other, making mirrored movements that can trick the brain into believing that it’s moving the phantom limb. “It’s a tribute to the incredible power of grey matter,” says Eddy. “If our minds are capable of conjuring a nervous system from thin air, can we link up with people, places or things in the same visceral but invisible way?” The curatorial team realized that art, like the mirror box, can act as a conduit for this type of transcendent—but also highly tangible—experience.

Julie Slattery Sculpture- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Julie Slattery, Bird Skull series, bronze, 5 x 2.5 x3 in. (large), 3.5 x 2 x 2 in. (small), 2018.

“As we turned over the idea of a ‘mirror box’ in conversation, its meaning evolved to represent a sort of theoretical art object,” says Farrell. “If you imagine a cube made from mirrors floating in a landscape, it reflects you and your surroundings across six different planes. By peering into it, you begin view identity and place in novel ways.” The show’s participants interact with the world in a similar fashion, reflecting, filtering and distorting their varied contexts to create visions of the world that are requisitely imbued with their own experiences.

“The artworks and zines are mapping out this ‘complete picture’ of an experience,” says Gill. “We’re asserting that fully realized artistic expression can communicate something truer than, say, a hasty smartphone snapshot of a particular person or place.” In an increasingly polarized world, it’s a radical act of empathy to dive through the looking glass.

Follow Strangers Collective on Instagram and Facebook for behind-the-scenes photos and stories from the curatorial process, and RSVP for Mirror Box at the link below.

Learn more about this exhibition.
RSVP on Facebook.

Alicia Piller Artwork- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alicia Piller, Heart Flow, mixed media, 82 x 12 x 2.5 in., 2015.

Art

Kevin Bond, Derek Chan, Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill, Erin Gould, Julia Haywood, Chaz John, Kat Kinnick, Shannon Latham, Ariana Lombardi, Emily Mason, Nate Masse, Drew MC, David O’Brien, Josh Palmeri, Sarah Palmeri, Alicia Piller, Julie Slattery, Stephanie Thompson, Dion Valdez, Emmaly Wiederholt, Ona Yopack

Zines

Liz Brindley, Caryn Crimmel, Melissa Dow, Jordan Eddy, Juro Gagne, Jess Haring, Katie Johnson, Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, Amanda Malloy & David McCarty, Erin Mickelson, Erica Nguyen, Yvette Serrano, Bucket Siler, Stephanie Thompson, Charlotte Thurman, Emmaly Wiederholt, Rachelle Woods, Michael Wilson

Derek Chan Artwork- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Derek Chan, Mercury in Retrograde, acrylic, silver leaf and collage on panel, 72 x 48 in., 2013. Photo by Jose Rivera.

This Friday: Strangers Collective & Ford / Forlano

Alicia Piller Sculpture- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alicia Piller, Celestial Body (detail), leather, mixed media, 50 x 17 x 17 in., 2014.

Opening
Strangers Collective
MIRROR BOX

February 23 – April 14, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, February 23, 5-8 pm

Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill and Jordan Eddy, co-directors of Strangers Collective and the No Land art space, curate this exhibition of emerging artists and writers. The term “mirror box” originates in the medical field: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran invented the box with two back-to-back mirrors in the center to help amputees manage phantom limb pain. The patient places the “good” limb into one side, and the “residual” limb into the other, making mirrored movements that can trick the brain into believing that it’s moving the phantom limb. “It’s a tribute to the incredible power of grey matter,” says Eddy. “If our minds are capable of conjuring a nervous system from thin air, can we link up with people, places or things in the same visceral but invisible way?” The curatorial team realized that art, like the mirror box, can act as a conduit for this type of transcendent—but also highly tangible—experience.

Learn more about this exhibition.
RSVP on Facebook.

Ford / Forlano Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Ford / Forlano, Hydro Brooch #422, polymer, sterling silver, gold leaf.

Special Reception
Introducing Ford / Forlano

Friday, February 23, 5-8 pm

“The conversation is in every piece,” says David Forlano. “The input is the journey.” He and Steven Ford have collaborated for nearly four decades under the moniker Ford / Forlano, creating wearable artworks from polymer clay, sterling silver, gold leaf and many other materials. Over the years, their designs have undergone a spectacular evolution—as has the nature of their working relationship. Forlano moved to Santa Fe in 2005, putting almost 2,000 miles between the longtime collaborators. “It has actually made the work more dynamic, with an even bigger range,” Ford says. form & concept presents Introducing Ford / Forlano, featuring the artistic duo’s latest work.

Learn more about this event.
RSVP on Facebook.

Preview: Flying Blue Buffalo Project Panel

Armond Lara- Flying Blue Buffalo Project- Kickstarter Campaign- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Limited edition Flying Blue Buffalo print, one of the Kickstarter rewards.

Special Event
Armond Lara: Flying Blue Buffalo Project

Wednesday, February 17
Open House: 2-5 pm
Panel Discussion: 3 pm

Our Kickstarter campaign for Armond Lara’s Flying Blue Buffalo Project is in full swing! So far, we have 22 backers and have raised over 10% of our goal. We’re celebrating the campaign’s midpoint next Saturday, Feb. 17 with an open house and panel discussion event from 2-5 pm. The panel starts at 3 pm, and features professional and amateur historians who’ve extensively studied Native slavery in the Southwest. Like Armond, a number of the panelists have Indigenous ancestors who were enslaved. They’ll shed light on this under-examined history through conversation and storytelling. Here’s the lineup:

Armond Lara 

The creative dynamo behind the Flying Blue Buffalo Project! The Santa Fe artist is Hispanic and Navajo. A dark chapter of his family history helped inspire the project. Since starting this endeavor, he has studied the larger phenomenon of Native child slavery in the West.

Lara’s artwork.

Moises Gonzales

Moises Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the Community and Regional Planning Program at UNM, he also serves as the Director of the Resource Center for Raza Planning and is the Director of the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Planning and Design Degree Program. Gonzales holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Design from the University of Colorado, Denver as well as a Professional Planning Degree in the Master of Community and Regional Planning Program from UNM. He was the co-instructor for the summer urban studio that worked with students on the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo cultural corridor and he is still currently involved with this project. Moises will also be advising on the historic restoration plaza project for Nambe Pueblo and has also advised iD+Pi on the potential housing assessment project with the Santa Clara Housing Authority.

Estevan Rael-Gálvez

With ancestral connections to both Hispanic and indigenous communities, Dr. Rael-Gálvez was raised working on a farm and ranch stewarded by his family for generations in Costilla, New Mexico. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he completed an award winning dissertation, “Identifying Captivity and Capturing Identity: Narratives of American Indian Slavery. ” He is currently working on the manuscript, The Silence of Slavery. Formerly the State Historian of New Mexico, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Senior Vice President at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dr. Rael-Gálvez currently is a writer and the founding principal of Creative Strategies 360°, a consulting firm which supports transformative work within communities and organizations, including his present project, an initiative on “Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation.”

Read an article about Rael-Gálvez.

Sunny Dooley

When I started storytelling, it was the first time these stories were told by a Navajo person. That was thirty years ago. Since then, I’ve worked – as a storyteller, folklorist and cultural consultant – collecting, learning and retelling the oral tradition of the Diné Hozhojii Hané (Navajo Blessingway stories). These stories present the world view of the Diné people and details their relationship with their surroundings. I have retold these stories by oral tradition in Navajo and in English for a variety of organizations, universities, elementary schools and conferences throughout the US, Canada, Africa, Europe and Mexico including the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, the Denver Arts Museum, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISDI) and programs sponsored by the PEW Charitable Trust.

I was the Olive B. O’Connor Distinguished Visiting Professor of Literature and Storyteller-in-Residence at Colgate University and one of nine women, and the only Native storyteller to be included in the Women’s Chautauqua Institute. In 2006, I received the Navajos Making a Difference Award at the annual Navajo Studies conference. I am on the roster of the NMHC Chautauqua Speakers Program, which features specialists on New Mexico history and culture. I have done storytelling workshops with students and teachers (in New York schools) and seniors (at the northern Navajo Medical Center. A few years ago, I founded the Hané Storytelling Festival for indigenous storytellers. I was featured in Jack Hanna’s Zoo Life, the German documentary, Niedergang der Najavos and Miss Navajo, a PBS Independent Lens documentary, in which I spoke about winning the 1982 Miss Navajo Nation pageant that celebrates women and tradition.

Dooley’s website.

Kim Trujillo 

Kim Trujillo is from Belen, NM. She received a BA degree in journalism from NMSU. She is a former news anchor in Albuquerque at KRQE-TV.  She is currently working in NM film as a costume designer. She is featured on Ancestry.com commercial that has aired more than 12,000 times over the last two years nationally and in Canada.

Trujillo’s Ancestry.com ad.

Joseph Riggs

Joseph Riggs is an artist from Northern New Mexico, currently residing in Tesuque, NM. He is a retired criminal defense attorney, having practiced law for 40 years and Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico. In addition to his art, he is collaborating with Armond Lara on Lara’s Flying Blue Buffalo Project. His other interests include community activism as Project Manager of the Santa Fe Artists Medical Fund, and as President of the Tesuque Water Association Board.

Riggs’ website.

Weston Brownlee

Weston Brownlee is the Director of Operations at 3D Proven Systems, and a professional sculptor. His current work in the realms of digital art, 3D Modeling, 3D Scanning, and 3D Printing, when paired with his background in lost wax casting, foundry, and traditional cast arts all have come into play to help realize Armand Lara’s Flying Blue Buffalo Project.

3D Proven Systems website.

Click here to learn more about the Kickstarter.

Last Look: Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Installation view of Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon. Photo by Kara Duval.

As Thais Mather’s critically acclaimed solo exhibition Reckless Abandon approaches its closing date, join her for a final public engagement on Friday, February 2 from 5 to 7 pm. The Magazine just published a fantastic review of the show by Diane Armitage in their February/March relaunch issue. Here’s an excerpt:

There are many threads to follow in Reckless Abandon: from images of Stone Age fertility goddesses; to the Walpurgisnacht, or Witches’ Sabbath, a performance of hellish and deafening heavy metal music played in a cave-like room and accompanying a video of fire projected on a large bowl of water; to the life-size wooden figure of a woman burnt from head to toe. This latter sculpture, Mine and Thine, along with the charred bust Thaumaturge, (a miracle worker or a magician), are the two most powerful works in Mather’s exhibition. The presence of the blackened figure, laid out as if on a burial slab, sucks all the energy out of the room it was installed in, just as it was intended to do. It’s a timeless reminder that women, along with men, are due for a ritual funeral pyre whereby the darkest aspects of our collective history are dematerialized and transformed into a more enlightened chapter of human behavior in the evolution of consciousness. How else can the phoenix rise from the oppressive ashes of history and say, “I can just leave you… Now I can just fly away”?

Read the rest of the review here, and come see Reckless Abandon at the closing reception tonight. The exhibition officially ends on February 10.

Learn more about this exhibition.
RSVP for the closing reception on Facebook.

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Show- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Photos by Kara Duval. Browse Thais Mather’s artwork here.

Support Armond Lara’s Kickstarter!

Armond Lara- Flying Blue Buffalo Kickstarter- Watch the Video- Form and Concept Gallery
Armond Lara at form & concept. Click the image to watch the Kickstarter video.

“A herd of anything has much more impact than one.” -Armond Lara

form & concept presents a Kickstarter campaign, anchored by an open house and panel discussion event, in support of Armond Lara’s Flying Blue Buffalo Project.

The fundraiser will go towards the creation of a monumental installation of cast resin Flying Blue Buffalo sculptures in the gallery’s atrium, based on a series of wood carvings by Lara. Inspired by the Santa Fe artist’s family history, this project tells the centuries-long story of enslaved Native American children. It’s a topic that hit the front page of the New York Times this weekend, in an article by Simon Romero. Here’s an excerpt:

Lenny Trujillo made a startling discovery when he began researching his descent from one of New Mexico’s pioneering Hispanic families: One of his ancestors was a slave.

“I didn’t know about New Mexico’s slave trade, so I was just stunned,” said Mr. Trujillo, 66, a retired postal worker who lives in Los Angeles. “Then I discovered how slavery was a defining feature of my family’s history.”

Mr. Trujillo is one of many Latinos who are finding ancestral connections to a flourishing slave trade on the blood-soaked frontier now known as the American Southwest. Their captive forebears were Native Americans — slaves frequently known as Genízaros (pronounced heh-NEE-sah-ros) who were sold to Hispanic families when the region was under Spanish control from the 16th to 19th centuries. Many Indian slaves remained in bondage when Mexico and later the United States governed New Mexico.

The revelations have prompted some painful personal reckonings over identity and heritage. But they have also fueled a larger, politically charged debate on what it means to be Hispanic and Native American.

Lara’s studies of this little-told history lead to the conception of the Flying Blue Buffalo, a new symbol of Indigenous survival and resilience. The Flying Blue Buffalo Project Kickstarter campaign launched on January 26 and runs through February 28. Mock-ups of the buffalo sculptures will appear at a February 17 open house event, and Lara will convene a panel of history experts to discuss the project and its themes. The installation will debut in form & concept’s atrium on August 17, 2018, and run through November 2018.

Click here to learn more & contribute.

Armond Lara- Flying Blue Buffalo Project- Digital Rendering of Art Installation- Form and Concept Gallery
Digital rendering of Flying Blue Buffalo art installation, 3D Proven Systems.
Armond Lara- Flying Blue Buffalo Print- Kickstarter Reward- Form and Concept Gallery
Limited edition Flying Blue Buffalo print.
Armond Lara- Flying Blue Buffalo Wood Carving- Santa Fe New Mexico- Form and Concept Gallery
One of Armond’s original Flying Blue Buffalo carvings.
Armond Lara- Flying Blue Buffalo Project- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Digital rendering of cast resin buffalo.

Click here to browse Armond Lara’s artwork.

Upcoming: Jodi Colella & Armond Lara Events!

Jodi Collella Fiber Art- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Artist Talk & Opening

Jodi Colella: Unidentified Women

Artist Talk & Preview: Thursday, January 25, 2-3 pm
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 5-7 pm

It started somewhere among the vast archives of the Historic Northampton Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fiber artist Jodi Colella was working on an art project inspired by the museum’s headwear collection, and she stumbled upon a series of daguerreotype portraits. “They were like little 18th and 19th century selfies,” Colella says. “I noticed that all the men in the images had every single detail of their life listed in the catalog. About 80% of the women were labeled ‘unidentified.’”

“In the end, these women were lost,” Colella says. “I think of it as lost lives and labor. By using labor that’s often culturally identified as feminine, I wanted to bring out their identities.” She first exhibited the Unidentified Women embroideries in 2016 at the Historic Northampton Museum, along with a series of wearable sculptures that referenced the history of women’s headwear. Both projects centered on the cultural interplay between conformity and individuality, personhood and objectification. The works examine ways that gender, race, social status and economic power has dictated who was recorded—and how they were presented—through history. “In many of the images, the women are hiding or being hidden in some way—but they’re also being shown,” Colella says. “So it’s that tension between showing that they’ve been hidden and celebrating their visibility.”

Preview the full exhibition.
RSVP on Facebook.

Images: Jodi Colella, Under Cover, Drape & I See You, II, mixed fibers, found materials, daguerreotype.

Flying Blue Buffalo Kickstarter- Artist Armond Lara- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Kickstarter Campaign & Special Event

Armond Lara: Flying Blue Buffalo Project

Kickstarter Launch: Friday, January 26, 5-7 pm
Open House & Panel: Wednesday, February 17, 2-5 pm

“Buffalo are masters of survival,” says Armond Lara. “They’re still around today, even though we tried our best to kill them all off.” The Santa Fe artist has depicted buffalo in his drawings, paintings and sculptures for decades. In recent years, they’ve turned blue and sprouted wings. The winged blue buffalo reference a dark chapter of Lara’s family history: his grandmother, who was Diné, was kidnapped as a child and forced into servitude by a Mexican family. This was a common story in the American West. Across three centuries of Spanish, Mexican and American rule, millions of Native children were enslaved as household servants or field hands.

The Pueblo people called these abducted youths “lost bluebirds,” a symbol that Lara combined with the buffalo into a new icon of Indigenous survival. This August, he’ll collaborate with form & concept to fulfill his long-held dream of creating a monumental installation of flying blue buffalo sculptures that explores this little-told history. The Flying Blue Buffalo Project Kickstarter campaign, running January 26 through February 28 and anchored by a special event on February 17, will raise funds to support the production of over seventy 3D printed buffalo, based on a series of wood carvings by Lara.

Watch the teaser video.
RSVP on Facebook.

Image: Digital rendering of Armond Lara’s 3D-printed Flying Blue Buffalo, 3D Proven Systems.

THIS SATURDAY: A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Visual Preview

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance

In conjunction with Thais Mather’s exhibition Reckless Abandon,
and featuring Ekalos Reed, Áine McCarthy & Kara Duval

Saturday, January 20, 7 am-7pm

7 am-7 pm: Ekalos Reed & Áine McCarthy, “Tending the Mighty Dead”
4:30-6:30 pm: Kara Duval, “RED”
6-7 pm: Closing Ceremony

Please note: From 7 to 10 am, the performance will be visible from outside form & concept, but the gallery does not open to the public until 10 am.

Sequence of Events

The public is invited to attend the event at anytime and for any duration from 10 am to 7 pm to watch, write a prayer, ring a bell, offer a flower, meditate or engage in some other respectful way with the ritual.

“Tending the Mighty Dead”

Áine McCarthy & Ekalos Reed

7am- 7pm

Áine McCarthy and Ekalos Reed perform “Tending the Mighty Dead” a 12 hour ritual prayer to embody the remembrance of our killed ancestors (women and others) and to invite their wisdom to take root in our individual and collective flesh, bones, and blood. “In ancient times Art was not separate from Healing,” says Reed. “In this spirit we offer ourselves in movement for twelve hours to see clearly the injustice and feel clearly the pain. In doing this we create a space for wisdom and strength to return to us.” The ritual will include a soundscape of present-day field recordings from places here in New Mexico and far away that have historical significance to the project. Bearing witness in ourselves and in places where injustices have occured is part of the healing process and helps tend the ground to grow new creative and healthy lifeways.

“RED”

Kara Duval

4:30 – 6:30pm

Kara Duval performs “RED”, a reintegrating ritual that snakes its way through the exhibit in search of reclamation. The set for ‘Red’ consists of over 300 ft of red fabric that is woven through the art works in the gallery. Duval traverses the fabric, symbolizing the long journey often taken to return home to the body after experiencing trauma. Movement is one of the first expressions restricted when a person or a people have gone through trauma. RED is about the movement to return home to the body and recognizing its inherent wholeness. Duval uses dance and story to reconnect and heal the fabric of her individual and collective histories. She uses an audio tapestry of women’s personal stories revolving around shame, abuse, and trauma as a sound score to her journey.

Closing Ceremony

Various artists

6:00-7:00 pm

Reed, McCarthy and Duval are joined by additional performers to complete the closing ceremony.

Learn more about this event.
RSVP on Facebook.

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Click here to learn more about this event.

Images 

1, 3 & 5: Ekalos Reed & Áine McCarthy, “Tending the Mighty Dead,” durational performance piece, 2018. Photo by Timothy Jason Reed.

2, 4 & 6: Kara Duval, “RED,” durational performance piece, 2018. Photo by Kara Duval.

 

Preview: Jodi Colella | Unidentified Women

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

It started somewhere among the vast archives of the Historic Northampton Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fiber artist Jodi Colella was working on an art project inspired by the museum’s headwear collection, and she stumbled upon a series of daguerreotype portraits. “They were like little 18th and 19th century selfies,” Colella says. “I noticed that all the men in the images had every single detail of their life listed in the catalog. About 80% of the women were labeled ‘unidentified.’” The artist was fascinated by these forgotten, female faces, and the contrast between the women’s fleeting social visibility and their invisibility to history. After hunting down similar portraits in flea markets and antique shops, Colella stitched intricate embroideries across the images, further obscuring the women’s identities. The body of work, titled Unidentified Women, makes its Santa Fe debut at form & concept on Friday, January 26 from 5-7 pm. Colella will appear at the opening reception, and also conduct an artist talk on Thursday, January 25 from 2-3 pm.

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“In the end, these women were lost,” Colella says. “I think of it as lost lives and labor. By using labor that’s often culturally identified as feminine, I wanted to bring out their identities.” She first exhibited the Unidentified Women embroideries in 2016 at the Historic Northampton Museum, along with a series of wearable sculptures that referenced the history of women’s headwear. Both projects centered on the cultural interplay between conformity and individuality, personhood and objectification. The works examine ways that gender, race, social status and economic power has dictated who was recorded—and how they were presented—through history. “In many of the images, the women are hiding or being hidden in some way—but they’re also being shown,” Colella says. “So it’s that tension between showing that they’ve been hidden and celebrating their visibility.”

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Colella grew up in Massachusetts, in a family of artists and craftspeople. As a child, she developed a passion for knitting, embroidery and other fiber arts. After completing a certificate program for graphic design at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she launched a successful career as a designer that spanned nearly two decades. In 2000, she took a break to focus on fine art, and never went back. Colella has since exhibited her fiber artwork across the nation, including in the Surface Design Association’s international juried exhibition Shifting Landscapes at form & concept in February, 2017.

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“For Shifting Landscapes, we showed two of Jodi’s China Samplers, which are meticulous embroideries on Mao propaganda magazines from the 1960’s,” says Frank Rose, Gallery Director of form & concept. “In that work and in Unidentified Women, she’s bringing complex realities of the past to light with compassionate attention and incredible skill. These artworks can help us understand how we’ve arrived at our present cultural and political moment.” Unidentified Women will appear on form & concept’s staircase and catwalk. The original set of 16 embroideries, measuring 2 x 3 inches, will appear with a never-before-seen series of larger works from the ongoing series. “After the project at the museum, I knew I wasn’t done with the daguerreotypes,” says Colella. “There’s a poignancy to these images that has kept me working. These are women I don’t know, no one knows them anymore, but I’ve found a way to meet them again.”

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Announcing Strangers Collective’s Mirror Box.

Nate Masse Painter- Strangers Collective- Mirror Box Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Nate Masse, On Polyamory (detail), mixed media, 57.5 x 55″, 2013-2018

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form & concept and Strangers Collective occupy far-flung domains in Santa Fe’s art community. The former is a nearly 10,000-square-foot gallery in the city’s Railyard District, the latter is an emerging arts group that operates the three-room experimental art space No Land on the Santa Fe Plaza. From opposite ends of the scene, these two organizations have worked in complementary ways to elevate local, emerging artists.

Their paths intersect this winter with the debut of Mirror Box, an exhibition of artists and writers curated by Strangers Collective’s co-directors Alex Gill, Kyle Farrell and Jordan Eddy, and hosted by form & concept. The show engages a network of early career creatives, anchored in Santa Fe and spiraling across the nation. Its curatorial throughline presents a radical method for reflecting on place and identity through art objects. Mirror Box opens at form & concept on Friday, February 23 from 5 to 8 pm, with a curator and artist talk on March 17 and a closing performance titled “Don’t You Want to Dance?” by Emmaly Wiederholt on April 14.

Emily Mason Photographer- Strangers Collective- Mirror Box Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery
Emily Mason, cannonball, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 in., 2015.

The term “mirror box” originates in the medical field: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran invented the box with two back-to-back mirrors in the center to help amputees manage phantom limb pain. The patient places the “good” limb into one side, and the “residual” limb into the other, making mirrored movements that can trick the brain into believing that it’s moving the phantom limb. “It’s a tribute to the incredible power of grey matter,” says Eddy. “If our minds are capable of conjuring a nervous system from thin air, can we link up with people, places or things in the same visceral but invisible way?” The curatorial team realized that art, like the mirror box, can act as a conduit for this type of transcendent—but also highly tangible—experience.

“As we turned over the idea of a ‘mirror box’ in conversation, its meaning evolved to represent a sort of theoretical art object,” says Farrell. “If you imagine a cube made from mirrors floating in a landscape, it reflects you and your surroundings across six different planes. By peering into it, you begin view identity and place in novel ways.” The show’s participants interact with the world in a similar fashion, reflecting, filtering and distorting their varied contexts to create visions of the world that are requisitely imbued with their own experiences.

Kevin Bond Photography- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Kevin Bond, Lumen Test #6, gelatin silver paper exposed to nature for 1 month, 5 x 7 in., 2017.

Photographer Emily Mason makes images of her surroundings, collages them onto sculptural props, and photographs the finished assemblages to create images that flicker between dimensionality and abstraction. Painter Nate Masse creates layered figurative compositions that compress visual details from multiple moments into a single, sensuous image. Sculptor Julie Slattery shapes talismanic objects—in this case, enormous bird skulls—that become emotional reliquaries for specific events in her life.

“The artworks and zines are mapping out this ‘complete picture’ of an experience,” says Gill. “We’re asserting that fully realized artistic expression can communicate something truer than, say, a hasty smartphone snapshot of a particular person or place.” In an increasingly polarized world, it’s a radical act of empathy to dive through the looking glass.

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Participating Artists

Kevin Bond, Derek Chan, Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill, Erin Gould, Julia Haywood, Kat Kinnick, Shannon Latham, Emily Mason, Nate Masse, Drew MC, David O’Brien, Sarah Palmeri, Alicia Piller, Julie Slattery, Stephanie Thompson, Dion Valdez, Emmaly Wiederholt, Ona Yopack

Participating Writers

Caryn Crimmel, Melissa Dow, Jordan Eddy, Juro Gagne, Jess Haring, Katie Johnson, Shannon Latham, Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, Erica Nguyen, Yvette Serrano, Bucket Siler, Stephanie Thompson, Charlotte Thurman, Emmaly Wiederholt, Rachelle Woods, Michael Wilson, Liz Brindley