Bard College in Upstate New York is known as an enclave for edgy and offbeat thought leaders—as is Santa Fe, New Mexico. Creative luminaries from both communities gather for a one-of-a-kind forum in the City Different this spring, thanks to Bard alumnus and Santa Fe gallery owner Sandy Zane. She hosts a weekend retreat for Bardians at form & concept, culminating in a round table discussion with Bard College President Leon Botstein, PhD, and leaders of New Mexico’s creative community. Participants will discuss innovative education models and their potential to change the world.
The conversation is moderated by Hakim Bellamy, Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Albuquerque. It features Mary Kershaw of New Mexico Museum of Art, John Flax of Theater Grottesco, and Cindy Montoya of New Mexico School for the Arts. Round Table with Dr. Leon Botstein takes place on Sunday, April 22 from 2 to 3 pm. The event is free and open to the public, and tea and other light refreshments will be served.
“The round table discussion will pose a powerful question: how can we rethink educational models to address complex contemporary challenges?” says Zane. “The participants have tackled this query time and again throughout their remarkable careers—and their diverse answers are sure to amaze you.” Bellamy, who is the Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Albuquerque and has a background in arts education, will guide the discussion. The other participants occupy distinct niches in the universe of arts education.
Botstein will speak to his experience as a world-class conductor and liberal arts educator, while Montoya will discuss the nationally ranked high school program at New Mexico School for the Arts. Kershaw has a strong background in museum education, and Flax runs experimental, performance-based educational programming through Theater Grottesco. “I can’t wait to bring all of these colorful, passionate leaders to the same table,” says Zane. “There’s no telling what will happen.”
Join us at form & concept on Saturday, April 7 from 3-4 pm (that’s today!) for the Mirror Box zine reading. The event is hosted by Strangers Collective, the local alliance of early career creatives that curated the group exhibition Mirror Box in our second-floor galleries. About half of the Strangers are writers, and they produce zines of all shapes and sizes that appear alongside the visual art in the group’s shows. The zines in Mirror Box feature poetry, short fiction, illustrations, documentary photography and much more. Check out the list of participants below, and make sure to RSVP for the zine reading on Facebook to show your support. We’ll see you in a bit!
Israel Francisco Haros Lopez
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. It starts with a special performance series at form & concept, showcasing outstanding student musicians, creative writers and poets of NMSA. Attend the inaugural performance on Thursday, March 1 at 5 pm, and mark your calendar for Young Masters performances the first Thursday of each month.
The first performance is hosted by NMSA faculty members Kurt Isaacson and Hakim Bellamy. “We would be irresponsible not to build connections with our new neighbors,” says Isaacson, the chair of NMSA’s Music Department. “Galleries and art institutions are the bedrock of the arts and culture economy in the Railyard. They’ll serve as strong foundations and anchors for the new school, and NMSA will in turn fertilize the creative environment in this district.”
Isaacson and Bellamy, NMSA’s Creative Writing Director, were on the hunt for a new venue for readings and performances—somewhere they could showcase contemporary and student-made work. They struck up a conversation with Sandy Zane, an avid supporter of NMSA who owns the Railyard’s form & concept gallery, and she offered up the space for a new event series.
The first performance features a 25-30 minute music program, with configurations including a string quartet, solo cello performance, and vocal performance with string duo accompaniment. Isaacson says the events will have a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, a mission that he hopes will leave its mark on the Railyard. “I want the new campus and the Railyard to be a hub for interdisciplinary work,” he says. “If the vision of the neighborhood is new and contemporary art, then the injection of NMSA into that community is essential. It’s a crossroads for so many art forms.”
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Somehow in my mind, in my being, I felt I needed permission.”
Before carving the original Flying Blue Buffalo, Armond journeyed to Colorado to find a herd in the wild. His encounter with the buffalo gave him the inspiration to begin the ambitious installation and storytelling project.
The Flying Blue Buffalo Project will feature 75 cast resin sculptures crafted under Armond’s supervision. The Installation will debut this August. Support our Kickstarter campaign to learn more about the project and collect exclusive Flying Blue Buffalo artwork.
On Saturday, February 17 at 3 pm, Lara will conduct a panel discussion with Moises Gonzales, Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Sunny Dooley, Kim Trujillo, Joseph Riggs, and Weston Brownlee.
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.
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.”
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.
“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. Armond combined the buffalo with the symbol of the “lost bluebirds,” a term the Pueblo people called the millions of Native children who were abducted and enslaved as household servants and field-hands.
This August, Armond will collaborate with form & concept to fulfill his long-held dream of creating a monumental installation of flying blue buffalo sculpture that explores this little-told history. A Kickstarter campaign will raise funds to support the production of over seventy 3D printed buffalo, based on a series of wood carvings by Lara.
I have been a board member of Creative Santa Fe for several years and I believe passionately in the mission of this organization. I want you to know about some very exciting new projects happening in 2018. In addition to addressing Santa Fe’s urgent affordable housing crisis with the Siler Yard Arts + Creativity Center, a low income, 60 unit, live-work space for artists, we are launching a new initiative called the Disruptive Futures Dialogues Series.
This series will be a year-long community engagement in partnership with organizations throughout the city and the region to envision the future of Santa Fe. We will focus on the key question: What do we want Santa Fe, and the world, to look like for Future Generations, and how do we get there from here?
Each dialogue will address a critical issue our city faces which also reflects global issues, including: affordable housing, job creation, the upcoming mayoral election, the environment, film & technology, nuclear weapons, and cyber connectivity. We recognize that progress can only be made by breaking down silos, bringing diverse voices to the conversation, and finding what connects rather than separates us. It is our goal that at the end of this year of engagements and dialogues that we will have a clear action plan to continue working on key initiatives and building ongoing partnerships to strengthen our economy and help build a sustainable future for our city.
Your interest and support is vital for Creative Santa Fe to become a leader in connecting our community, creating city-wide conversations, and effecting positive change throughout the city. We hope you will support Creative Santa Fe with a year-end gift to help us continue on our path to ensure that Santa Fe is a healthy, vibrant, and thriving city for generations to come.
To donate and/or to be on our mailing list, click here, mail a check to PO Box 2388 Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87504, or call Executive Director, Cyndi Conn at 505-288-3538.
Thank you in advance for your support and belief in Creative Santa Fe.
Wishing you the very best for the holidays and the new year,