Preview: Soul of Nations

Soul of Nations- Brea Foley Art Program- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Frank Rose and Sandy Zane of form & concept, with Ernest Hill and Soul of Nations artists. 

It’s safe to say that the Brea Foley Art Program is one-of-a-kind. The initiative, by Washington, D.C. and Arizona-based nonprofit Soul of Nations, vaults teens from Southwestern Indigenous communities into the upper echelons of the art world. This year’s program had hundreds of applicants and 15 finalists, all between the ages of 15 and 18. Three winners jetted off to Manhattan for a residency at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Later in the summer, all of the finalists will exhibit together at form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, on the weekend of this year’s SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market.

The Soul of Nations group exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, August 17, 5 to 7 pm, followed by an artist talk on Saturday, August 18, 1 to 2 pm. Inspired by the theme “Honor the Earth,” the participants offer fresh perspectives on Indigenous identity, contemporary culture and the state of the environment.

Soul of Nations Group Exhibition- Brea Foley Art Program- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Maiyah King, Sanctity, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 in.

“Art is its own language,” says Ernest Hill, cofounder of Soul of Nations. “People might not want to hear what you have to say about your own plight, but you could look at a canvas and that could ignite a discussion.” That was the founding philosophy for Soul of Nations, which Hill dreamed up with his childhood friend Brea Foley. Hill and Foley grew up in Denver but had strong connections to Navajo Nation in the Four Corners region: Foley’s heritage was Navajo, and Hill’s family conducted missionary work on Native reservations when he was young. They were both interested in addressing the extreme poverty divide between Indigenous communities and the rest of the Southwest.

“There was this drastic disconnect between on-reservation life and off-reservation life,” Hill says. “I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t go back unless I could do something about it.” Foley passed away in 2014 from breast cancer, but Hill carried on their mission and officially incorporated Soul of Nations as a 501(c)3 the following year. The organization has a broad charter, seeking to uplift the vast numbers of displaced Indigenous communities throughout the Americas.

Soul of Nations Group Exhibition- Brea Foley Art Program- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Mikhail Ganadonegro, Mother Earth, acrylic on canvas, 23 x 27.5 in.

Hill created the Brea Foley Art Program as a tribute to his late collaborator, with the more targeted mission of providing art world opportunities to Native teens from the Southwest. “At the beginning, we had a focus group and asked students, ‘What are you most interested in doing?’” says Hill. “About 80% of the students said that they were really interested in the arts as a career path. We wanted to show them ways to be successful.”

The Brea Foley Art Program has grown and evolved in the three years since its founding. Hill says awareness of the initiative has grown significantly, with 253 applicants for this year’s program. In addition to the residency at Tisch School of the Arts, this year’s winners—Maiyah King of Albuquerque, Bailey Pete of Gallup, and Christine Garcia of Santa Fe—participated in a special reception at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. “Last year we did a series of college tours and museum tours, but we wanted to find a school that was dedicated to investing in youth at a larger level,” says Hill. “NYU really stepped up to the plate.”

Soul of Nations Group Exhibition- Brea Foley Art Program- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Kiara Tom, The Y’ell Night Chants, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 in.

Hill also wanted to build a bridge to the commercial art world for the program’s participants. That’s how form & concept came into the picture. “It’s a whole new realm for us in terms of education,” says Hill. “We want to teach them how to work with a marketing team, but also how to market yourself in the commercial art scene. Being an artist is like having a sole proprietorship.” All 15 of this year’s finalists will contribute an artwork to the Soul of Nations group exhibition at form & concept. They hail from 11 different tribal communities throughout the Southwest.

Their work will debut at the gallery on the weekend of the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, which attracts over 100,000 visitors to buy art directly from 1,000 artists who represent more than 200 federally recognized tribes from the U.S. and Canada. The show’s opening reception also features the debut of an art installation by Armond Lara, an internationally renowned artist with Navajo heritage.

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Featured Artists: Mikhail K. Ganadonegro, Quansha J. Abayta, Maiyah King, Bailey Makai Pete, Deanna Lee, Christine Garcia, Naomi Smart, Kyle Begay, Megan Joe, Rikki Begay, Iona Stevens, Naomi Begay, Josiah Whitesinger, Lehlahni Michelle, Kiara Tom

Meet Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez.

Dr. Estevan Rael-Galvez- Flying Blue Buffalo Project- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez of Santa Fe will speak at a free preview of Armond Lara’s Flying Blue Buffalo installation on Thursday, August 16 at 5:30 pm. 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. Learn how he found his way to academia in Joseph A. Baca’s excellent article “The Accidental Historian” in the Weekly Alibi. Here’s an excerpt:

The son of a borreguero (sheep herder) in northern Taos County, Estevan Rael-Gálvez says he constantly lost his flock. Life on the farm wasn’t for him. So with his mother’s encouragement, he walked away from his family’s generations-old trade of sheep and farming in Costilla and Questa to answer his calling—academia, and ultimately a much larger world where culture, art and politics converge.

Dr. Rael-Gálvez 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.”

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We’re #1!

Santa Fe Reporter- Best of Santa Fe 2018- Best Gallery- Form & Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

Readers of Santa Fe Reporter voted us “Best Gallery” in the publication’s annual Best of Santa Fe contest! Thanks to everyone who helped boost form & concept from last year’s #2 slot, all the way to #1. Here’s what SFR had to say about the gallery:

Paintings? Check. Music? Check. Video, sculpture, dance and pretty much any kind of contemporary awesomeness you can imagine in the Railyard Arts District? Check, check, check and check.

Click here to read more, and come celebrate with us at the form & concept Annual Exhibition 2018, opening this Friday, July 27 from 5 to 7 pm. The reception overlaps with SFR‘s annual block party, which is a short walk away in (and around) the Railyard Market Pavilion from 5 to 9 pm.

Santa Fe Reporter- Form & Concept voted Best Gallery- Best of Santa Fe 2018- Santa Fe New Mexico

Best Santa Fe Galleries- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe Reporter- Best of Santa Fe 2018

Santa Fe Gallery Guide- Form and Concept- Best of Santa Fe 2018- Santa Fe New Mexico

Top Santa Fe Gallery- Form and Concept- Best of Santa Fe 2018- Santa Fe Reporter- New Mexico

Open House: Canyon Road Creatives

Bunny Tobias - Art Instructor - Workshop - Santa Fe Workshop - Santa Fe Art Workshop - Santa Fe Instructor - Canyon Road Workshop

“Canyon Road is in flux right now—more than locals might realize,” says Sandy Zane. “It’s on the cusp of a contemporary revolution.” As owner of form & concept and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, Zane has worked for years to foster a strong contemporary arts scene in the city’s Railyard District. Now she’s opening a dynamic new business on Canyon Road, and is determined to help turn the tide in the notoriously traditional gallery district. Canyon Road Creatives, located at 826 Canyon Road, is a national hub for highly unconventional arts workshops. Zane brings together instructors for the first round of workshops at a free open house event on Saturday, July 21 from noon to 5 pm.

“We’ve been doing these spectacular artist demonstrations at form & concept, and wanted a way to present more of those dynamic moments where an artistic process is revealed,” Zane says. form & concept, which opened in the Railyard in May 2016, blends art, craft and design disciplines in a boundary-shattering exhibition and event program. As Zane conceptualized Canyon Road Creatives with local artist Bunny Tobias, they were guided by this resolutely mixed-media philosophy. “In short, things have gotten weird, which is just how we like it,” Tobias explains. “These workshops are designed to spark powerful contemporary dialogues. You’ll leave with new skills and artwork, but also with a head full of fresh ideas.”

Paper Bead Necklace - Bunny Tobias - Canyon Road Creatives - Santa Fe Workshop - Santa Fe Craft - Craft Workshops - Santa Fe Craft Workshops - Canyon Road Workshop

Since the soft opening of Canyon Road Creatives in early June, the space has hosted a number of innovative workshops. Renata Gaul and Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya taught weaving and coding in a class presented by the Currents New Media Festival. Solange Roberdeau introduced students to the process of gilding on fabric, paper and wood. Pat Chapman shared her expertise in sculpting with a papier mâché-clay hybrid, and Tobias presided over an epic, multi-round game of exquisite corpse. 

Upcoming Canyon Road Creatives workshops are just as varied, as is the slate of instructors. Some of the teachers are represented artists at form & concept, while others hail from across the nation and the world. “There’s essentially no limit to what we can do,” says Zane. “The space is versatile, the artists we’re working with are enormously talented, and the demand for programming like this is strong.”

Canyon Road Creatives - Canyon Road Gallery - Canyon Road Workshop - Canyon Road Art - Santa Fe Workshops - Santa Fe Art

Canyon Road Creatives is located at 826 Canyon Road, a historic adobe home that’s a few doors up from El Farol Restaurant and across from The Teahouse. Zane owns the building, and previously provided it to Santa Fe Community College’s student-run Red Dot Gallery. When SFCC closed the art space, Zane knew she wanted to keep its educational mission alive in some way. It’s well-suited for workshops, with multiple rooms for classes, a living room with a vast library of art periodicals, and a full kitchen. Zane and Tobias have even bigger plans for the space: they’re working on the plans for an artist residency and exhibition schedule.

Zane sees her new workshop venue as part of a larger wave of new, game-changing art spaces and projects on Canyon Road. Just next door is the Beals & Co. Showroom, a space that’s directed by Bobby Beals and exhibits experimental work by local, emerging artists. Farther up Canyon Road, Pilar Law’s Edition One Gallery presents one-off prints by early-to-late-career photographers. At the base of Canyon Road, galleries such as OTA Contemporary and Peters Projects have resolutely contemporary exhibition programs. “There’s a new contingent forming,” says Zane. “Over the coming months and years, it’s bound to coalesce into something that profoundly shifts the culture of Santa Fe.”

View upcoming workshops here.
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Beyond Meow Wolf.

Meow Wolf- Ultimate Santa Fe Summer Guide- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

form & concept is featured in Meow Wolf’s Ultimate Santa Fe Summer Guide! If you’re planning a trip to see the art collective’s world-famous art installation House of Eternal Return, make sure to check out all of the other sweet spots on their list. Here’s an excerpt from the guide:

As much fun as it would be to get lost in the multiverse forever, one has to come back to reality once in awhile. While in this dimension here’s our list of the best things to do during summer in (and around) Santa Fe that will keep your journey thriving.

They call us “one of Santa Fe’s most experimental gallery spaces,” which is just what we’re aiming to be! Some of our other favorite places on the list include SITE Santa Fe, Currents New Media Festival, Opuntia, Tonic, Paloma and, of course, MEOW WOLF! Browse the whole list here, and we’ll see you in Santa Fe this summer!

This Week: Three Events!

Emerging Media Alliance- Launch Party- Currents New Media Festival- Santa Fe New Mexico

Launch Party

Emerging Media Alliance

Thursday, June 14th, 7-10 pm

Currents New Media Festival
El Museo Cultural De Santa Fe
555 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe Railyard

June is Emerging Media Month in Santa Fe, as declared by this rebellious crew of new media pioneers! We’re proud to be part of the Emerging Media Alliance, along with local legends such as Meow Wolf, Simply Social Media, Descartes Labs and SITE Santa Fe. This launch party for EMA offers an inside look at the Currents New Media Festival exhibition—and an opportunity to mingle with our new mayor, Alan Webber. This is a free, registration-only event. Sign up at the link below.

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Image: Parallel Studios.

Debra Baxter- Tooth and Nail Exhibition- Closing Reception- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Closing Reception

Debra Baxter: Tooth & Nail

Friday, June 15th, 5-7 PM

Join Debra Baxter for a last look at her solo exhibition Tooth & Nail at this closing reception on Friday, June 15 from 5 to 7 pm. The show officially closes on June 16, 2018.

Baxter frequently picks up materials she’s never used before, searching for novel ways to engage the histories of sculpture, jewelry, weaponry or drapery. For Tooth & Nail, the events of the #MeToo movement have fed into her continued interest in the strength, vulnerability and the raw power of the female voice. The courage of these women has activated work with a blend of toughness and vulnerability. “These contrasting materials carry a similar spirit,” she explains. “My sculptures sometimes look delicate, but when they’re finished, they are structurally resilient.”

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Image: Debra Baxter, Basta, alabaster, cedar, quartz crystal, 9 x 10 x 13 in.

Nathan Wheeler- Performance Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico


Nathan Wheeler

Saturday, June 16th, 7-8:30 PM

The gallery will ask for a $5-$25 donation at the door in support of the artist. 

Composer and multidisciplinary artist Nathan Wheeler ensnares form & concept in a web of “ghost detection circuits”—also known as EMF meters—for this improvisational music and dance performance. The psychic energy of Wheeler and his spectators will trigger the sensors and influence swirling visuals and soundscapes. Wheeler is a New York-based artist who works at the intersection of sound design, dance, clothing design, video, and interactive programming. He has shown work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Denver Art Museum, and at festivals around the globe.

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Image: Nathan Wheeler.

THIS WEEK: Young Masters & Inner Orbit Artist Talk

Currents New Media Festival- Santa Fe Reporter- Santa Fe Railyard- New Mexico
CURRENTS New Media Festival

The Santa Fe Railyard is the place to be this weekend! The CURRENTS New Media Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with a massive exhibition at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Institute hosts the inaugural Interplanetary Festival at the Railyard Plaza and other venues. Both festivals have partnered with numerous organizations around Santa Fe to present exhibitions and events that bring together art, science and technology. Check out Iris McLister’s article in this week’s Santa Fe Reporter to get it all straight, and make sure to stop by form & concept for two events on Thursday & Saturday. More details below!

New Mexico School for the Arts- Young Masters Performance Series- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico


Young Masters | NMSA

Thursday, June 7th, 6 – 7:30 pm

New Mexico School for the Arts will soon break ground on renovations for their new Railyard location, and they’re wasting no time injecting fresh creative energy into the arts district. The arts high school presents a special performance series at form & concept, hosted by faculty members and showcasing outstanding student musicians, creative writers and poets. Featured artists include Keenan McDonald, Myriah Duda, Adam Griffo, Acacia Burnham, Jada Baca and Lila Baca.

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Image: NMSA

Inner Orbit Artist Talk- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

Artist Talk

Inner Orbit

Saturday, June 9th, 2 PM

Join Inner Orbit artists Matthew Mullins and Drew Lenihan for this interactive tour. They’ll engage with Frank Rose and Jordan Eddy of form & concept in a conversation about the show’s themes. Inner Orbit spotlights contemporary artists from across the United States who meld fine art and craft mediums with technology for deeply personal looks at the firmament. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.

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Image: Marcus Zuñiga, lines, mural, led string lights, marker.

Vote for us!

Best of Santa Fe 2018- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe Reporter


We’re in the final stretch of voting for Best of Santa Fe 2018! form & concept was nominated by Santa Fe Reporter‘s readers in the Best Gallery category. We were in the running last year, and won second place. This year we’re going for the gold! If you like what we’ve been up to, make sure to cast your vote before the contest closes at midnight on May 31. You can vote in one click below.

Click here to vote for form & concept.

THIS FRIDAY: Inner Orbit & Erika Lynne Hanson

Two exhibitions debut at form & concept on Friday, as part of our Second Anniversary Celebration! Learn more about them below, and make sure to RSVP for the party on Facebook.

Hillerbrand + Magsamen- Higher Ground Photograph- Inner Orbit Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico


Inner Orbit

Opening Reception: Friday, May 25, 5-7 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, June 9, 2-3 pm

From a human perspective, the night sky is a densely layered cultural landscape. Long before they were subjects of scientific study, stars were laden with countless overlapping mythologies. Fortune tellers, sailors, writers, architects and artists have all projected profound meaning into the cosmos—tying earthly events to the movements of heavenly bodies. Inner Orbit spotlights contemporary artists with personal or cultural visions of outer space. Many of the featured artists meld fine art and craft mediums with technology for a fresh look at the firmament.

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Above: Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Higher Ground- Family, archival inkjet print, 2015.

Erika Lynne Hanson- Movement Choir- Site Specific Installation- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico


Erika Lynne Hanson

Movement Choir: Landscape Scores

Opening Reception: Friday, May 25, 5-7 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, May 26, 2-3 pm

Arizona artist Erika Lynne Hanson weaves a hidden history of the Southwest into her solo exhibition Movement Choir: Landscape Scores. Using a coded language in her fiber and new media artworks, Hanson charts the paths of Cold War missile tests from Green River, Utah to White Sands, New Mexico. The rusty remnants, scattered over more than 600 miles of desert, represent open questions about the nature of humanity and our relationship to nature.

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Above: Erika Lynne Hanson, Movement Choir: Green River, site specific installation, 2017.