Preview with Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez:
Thursday, August 16, 5:30 pm
Opening: Friday, August 17, 5-7 pm Artist Talk: Saturday, August 18, 2-3 pm
This weekend, when Santa Fe artist Armond Lara sends 77 winged buffalo sculptures into the stratosphere of form & concept’s atrium, he’ll fulfill a long-held dream. The Flying Blue Buffalo installation tells the centuries-long story of enslaved Native American children—including Lara’s grandmother. The Pueblo people called these abducted youths “Lost Bluebirds.” Lara combined this symbol with the buffalo to create the Flying Blue Buffalo, a new icon of Indigenous resilience. Listen to Armond Lara’s interview with Spencer Beckwith on KUNM, and learn more at the links below.
Image: Armond Lara, Flying Blue Buffalo installation.
Soul of Nations
Opening: Friday, August 17, 5-7 pm Artist Talk: Saturday, August 18, 1-2 pm
Soul of Nations, a Washington, D.C. and Arizona-based nonprofit that works to uplift Indigenous communities throughout the Americas, presents this juried exhibition of Native teen artists from Southwest reservations. Inspired by the theme “Honor the Earth,” the participants offer fresh perspectives on Indigenous identity, contemporary culture and the state of the environment. The 15 featured artists offer boundary-pushing aesthetic statements from a new generation of Indigenous creatives.
Suspended from the ceiling is a herd of blue buffalo, seventy-five of them, flying on wings. The buffalo tell the story of thousands of Native American children who, from the 17th Century through the 19th, were abducted from their families and enslaved on ranches and in homes across the Southwest. The Flying Blue Buffalo installation is the creation of veteran Santa Fe artist Armond Lara, and it’s on view starting August 17 at the Santa Fe gallery, form & concept.
You can listen to two versions of the radio segment on the KUNM website— one that’s 4 minutes and one’s that 7 minutes. Both stories include this gorgeous quote from Armond:
I decided that all I would see was a cloud of blue. I thought it would be a beautiful presentation. That’s the whole philosophy for Navajo people. Walk In Beauty. It has to be in a beautiful way. It doesn’t have to be ugly, even though it is ugly. We can take the pride and the endurance of still being here. Like the buffalo.
Meanwhile, we’re deep in the installation process for Armond’s show. You can see the grid system we’re using in the photo above, which will support all of the sculptures in the piece. Come see it on opening weekend, August 16-18!
Later this month, when Armond Lara sends 75 winged buffalo sculptures into the stratosphere of form & concept’s atrium, he’ll fulfill a long-held dream. Lara has been depicting buffalo in his artwork for years, but more recently they’ve turned blue and sprouted wings. The Flying Blue Buffalo series is a reference to the Santa Fe artist’s family history: his grandmother, who was Navajo, was kidnapped as a small child and forced into servitude by a Mexican family. Across three centuries of Spanish, Mexican and American rule, thousands of Native children were similarly enslaved as household servants or field hands.
The Pueblo people called these abducted youths “Lost Bluebirds,” a symbol that Lara combined with the buffalo to create a new icon of Indigenous resilience. He dreamed up a massive installation of 75 winged buffalo sculptures, which came to fruition through a Kickstarter campaign and 3D printing technology. We’re hosting a preview of the installation on Thursday, August 16, featuring a talk by Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez of Santa Fe. The installation opens with a reception on Friday, August 17, and Lara conducts an artist talk on August 18.
“My grandmother didn’t talk much, but if she did talk, you listened,” says Lara. He’s known the story of his grandmother’s abduction for as long as he can remember, but it wasn’t until recently that he learned how common the practice was. “My sister was doing genealogy research on the family, and she found a list of all the Native American kids who had been ‘adopted’ by Mexican families in the Four Corners area,” says Lara. “It dawned on me, whoa, this is really widespread. That’s when I started asking other people about it.” He learned about the kidnapping and enslavement of an enormous number of Native American children over several centuries—from the 1600’s when the Spanish arrived, through the period of Mexican Independence, until the late 1800’s under the government of the United States. A number of Lara’s close friends revealed that they too had ancestors who were taken.
For Lara, this growing web of stories reminded him of his grandmother’s resilience, which has been an enduring source of inspiration. “I looked to my grandparents for guidance. The strongest voice was my grandmother’s voice,” Lara says. “She didn’t talk about it, she just did it. If she needed something, she’d make it. If she needed a robe, she’d weave one. I really admired that quality.” He dreamed up an art installation and storytelling project that might communicate this ethos, and inspire people to learn more about their heritage. A series of five winged blue buffalo marionettes that Lara carved from wood over a number of years became central conceptual elements.
With the help of his frequent collaborator Joseph Riggs, an artist and retired attorney who lives in Santa Fe, Lara pitched the idea to form & concept. The gallery commissioned a digital model and several mock-ups of the buffalo from Albuquerque technology firm 3D Proven Systems, while Lara and Riggs started gathering stories for the project. “We’ve represented Armond’s work for years, and were so excited to help bring his vision into reality,” says Sandy Zane, Owner of Zane Bennett Contemporary Art and form & concept. “For a project at this scale, we turned to 3D printing technology to capture the original carvings in high fidelity.” The gallery mounted a Kickstarter campaign to fund a round of 3D-printed sculptures, which were used to create molds for a final series of 75 cast resin sculptures.
Riggs says the scale of the installation is vital to the project, because it communicates the staggering number of children, families and communities affected by the issue. “I’ve lived in the Southwest my whole life, and I was unfamiliar with the story,” says Riggs. “You can’t find it in history books in New Mexico, but as I learned, there were slave markets all across this region. It became a deep part of the culture of the Southwest.” Each of the 75 buffalo sculptures will represent the story of one “Lost Bluebird,” with oral and written accounts of their fight for survival. “People in New Mexico have been searching for a way to explore this part of their family history,” Riggs says. “They can take pride in the fact that they’re Hispanic, and they’re Native American, and they’re American. There’s so much division in our country. We need to find ways to show our unity, to show how much we’re alike rather than how we’re different. And I think we can do it through this story.”
form & concept’s Annual Exhibition 2018 opens tonight from 5-7 pm! The show features work by all ten of our represented artists, including two new pieces from Mark Newport‘s Sweatermen series (above). “The Sweatermen are heroes of my own invention,” he says. “In each of these works I forge a link between childhood experience and my adult exploration of protection, masculinity, and heroism.” Michael Abatemarco of Pasatiempo covered the Annual Exhibition in this week’s Exhibitionism section. Here’s an excerpt:
Each summer in July, Form & Concept presents its Annual Exhibition featuring works by its represented artists including Heidi Brandow, Debra Baxter, and Wesley Anderegg. “From the beginning, we were interested in reimagining what an art gallery could be,” gallery director Frank Rose said. “The natural starting point was asking, ‘What’s been exhibited, and what or who has been excluded?’ ” The gallery’s roster includes artists whose works explore the diaphanous borders between art, craft, and design.
Click here to read more, and we’ll see you at the opening tonight!
“From the beginning, we were interested in reimagining what an art gallery could be,” says Frank Rose, Director of form & concept gallery. “The natural starting point was asking, ‘What’s been exhibited, and what or who has been excluded?’” The gallery, located in Santa Fe’s Railyard Arts District, celebrated its second anniversary in May—but its most definitive curatorial statement emerges each summer. The latest entry in form & concept’s Annual Exhibition series launches in late July, and includes new artwork from all ten of the gallery’s represented artists. Each show brings together local and far-flung creative voices in a conversation about art, craft and design.
“By looking at the cultural lines we’ve drawn between these broad categories, we start to better understand ways that people have been divided,” says Rose. “What we call art, craft or design has a lot to do with gender, race and class.” form & concept Annual Exhibition 2018 opens on Friday, July 27 from 5 to 7 pm, and a number of the featured artists will conduct a gallery talk on Saturday, August 25 from 2 to 3 pm.
“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.”
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 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.”
Curving lines, swirling textures, glowing accents. Danny Hart‘s elegant new collection combines shaped brass and bronze with carved walnut, olive, coolibah and tiger woods. Look below for some of our favorites.
Internationally renowned jewelry designers Robin Waynee and Ryan Roberts are form & concept’s newest represented artists. The couple has worked side-by-side since 1997, and though they strongly influence each other, they maintain separate practices and bodies of work. They’ll present new designs at this special event, coinciding with the debut of Jaydan Moore’s solo exhibition Dust.
Check out new wearable artworks by three artists from the form & concept shop—including two designers who are new to our roster!
Suzanne Schwartz first discovered the freedom that art could bring when her grandmother taught her to sew and knit. Textiles inspired her even as a child: with their variety of patterns and textures, they opened her eyes to art’s boundless possibilities. As an adult, her creative medium moved from textiles to metals, but the stitches came with her, as seen in her Interwoven Collections. She finds texture and form in nature all around her: the surface of a leaf, the pattern of lichen on a branch, the curve where hills meet, the shadows of water over rocks. These lines and fluid shapes become part of her jewelry.
Julie Slattery‘s wearable sculptures explore emotional responses of attachment and loss. The objects she creates reflect sensations of unease, oddity, and a recognition of something that was or could have been. Slattery is an Albuquerque-based artist who works at the Los Ranchos Fine Art Foundry. Through the process of casting, she creates artwork that necessitates the destruction of an original object. This is often representative of crucial moments or pivotal experiences in her life.
Kat Cole finds meaning through the observance and intimate awareness of the places she inhabits. With each geographic change, she has become more attuned to the natural and man-made attributes that make a location unique. She looks to the built environment of the city where she lives for the formal qualities of her work: materials, forms, colors and surface qualities. The steel and concrete structures that surround us are evidence of human inhabitants, past and present. Cole distills her experiences of these monumental structures into the intimate scale of jewelry. They are completed when worn on the landscape of the body.
Click here to browse the complete form & concept shop collection.
Just in time for Father’s Day, here’s a manly twist on a timeless accessory! Give your dad—or father figure—a bold fashion refresh with the Bro Brooch. This style gadget can be worn in several ways, from the classic above-the-breast-pocket to the faux bowtie. Scroll down for more looks, and browse our complete brooch collection on the form & concept shop website.