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.
Happy July! We’re excited to share this lovely review of our Inner Orbit exhibition by Chelsea Weathers in The Magazine. The show explores cultural or personal visions of space, so Chelsea started her review with a childhood memory:
For most people who aren’t astronomers or astrophysicists, outer space is a nebulous concept (no pun intended). How we relate to ideas like space-time, the Big Bang, and black holes often has more to do with our immediate material surroundings than with equations and formulas. My own experience of watching Halley’s Comet involves a strong memory of the vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream cone my father bought for me when we waited to catch a glimpse of it—a moment that I don’t remember at all. On one hand, my childhood mind grasping at quotidian details reflects an inability to comprehend the enormity of outer space. Then again, everyday human life is inextricably connected to our conceptions of the universe in ways that aren’t always grandiose. I understand the rarity of Halley’s Comet because I remember that ice cream cone.
form & concept has two events lined up for the weekend, and they’re not to be missed! Tonight is the closing reception for Debra Baxter’s solo exhibition Tooth & Nail (Friday, 6/15, 5-7 pm). On Saturday, we’re hosting Nathan Wheeler for an experimental music and performance piece among the artworks of Inner Orbit (Saturday, 6/16, 7-8:30 pm). Alex De Vore of Santa Fe Reporter chose Nathan’s event as a calendar pick this week. Here’s an excerpt:
Ever heard of an EMF meter? They’re those gadgets that detect electromagnetic fields or, in some cases, psychic energy and possibly ghosts. Spooky, right? But don’t be scared; New York-based multi-disciplinary artist and dancer Nathan Wheeler plans to use them for a non-spooky event.
Paul Weideman covered the performance in this week’s Pasatiempo. Here’s an excerpt:
Wheeler embarks on a communal experience with living people and perhaps with some more ethereal collaborators. One of his chief tools in this process is an instrument that can sense electromagnetic fields (EMFs). “We’ll all be sitting in a space, but basically what I’m doing is using ghost-detection circuits [EMF meters] to read the different sort of invisible energies that are in the space,” said the artist, who is known for his improvisational music and dance performances. “These circuits do things like detect electromagnetic interference and static electricity, but they also are supposed to detect ghosts.”
Learn more about both events in this blog post. We’ll see you this weekend!
Tonight (Friday, 4/27) from 5-7 pm, form & concept hosts an opening reception for two sculpture shows: Tooth & Nail by Debra Baxter, and Minimal Tension by Matthew Szösz. Both solo exhibitions have received some great coverage in local press over the past few months. Baxter was the cover artist for The Magazine‘s February issue, and the subject of a feature article by Jenn Shapland. Here’s an excerpt:
Debra Baxter has just chucked something across her studio. A five-pointed throwing star sticks firmly into the opposite wall. She’s about to throw another, but first she shows it to me. It’s elegant lace made of metal. The tips have been sharpened. Baxter’s work occupies several unlikely but generative intersections: between the fierce and the sentimental, between museum pieces and ready-to-wear jewelry. Since her early pieces in alabaster, Baxter has tried to find a way to use sculpture to harness a woman’s voice, her source both of power and of vulnerability.
Tooth & Nail also scored a shout-out in this week’s Santa Fe Reporter. Here’s a tidbit from Alex De Vore’s calendar pick:
Sculptor Debra Baxter’s propensity for crafting armor and weaponry-adjacent pieces from metal, stone and wood belies the subtly elegant touches rampant throughout her work. […] Representational this is not; intriguing and borderline dangerous it is. Good luck not getting sucked in.
Matthew Szösz is in town this weekend for the opening, and will also conduct an artist talk on Saturday, April 28 from 2-3 pm. His exhibition of glass sculptures, Minimal Tension, got a spotlight in this week’s Pasatiempo. Michael Abatemarco writes:
Matthew Szösz’s sculptures are dynamic works in glass made using a variety of tools and techniques. Minimal Tension, an exhibition that draws from two ongoing series, Inflatables and Ropework, opens Friday, April 27.
The show was also featured in Santa Fe Arts Journal‘s email newsletter, in a write-up by Emily Van Cleve:
For Szösz, setting up just one glass art experiment is an involved process, with preparation taking anywhere from a half a day to four weeks. Sometimes the sculpture works out fine, but it also can shatter into a million pieces.
Preview both shows on our exhibition page, and make sure to stop by for the opening reception tonight and Matthew’s artist talk tomorrow!
Wesley Anderegg: ARIZONA opens tonight (Friday, 3/30) from 5 to 7 pm at form & concept, followed by an artist talk on Saturday (3/31) from 2 to 3 pm. For a first look at the show, make sure to pick up a copy of this week’s Pasatiempo. Michael Abatemarco interviewed Wes for a lively piece called Raising Arizona, excerpted here:
For ceramic artist Wesley Anderegg, Arizona is a state of mind, and he might picture you there with a can of Coors sooner than with luna moths. But who knows? You shouldn’t put anything past him. After all, Anderegg would gladly trade in stereotypical cowboys roping steers for quirky characters on hobby horses, or for dreamers floating in the sky, high above the saguaro. About two dozen ceramic tiles depicting life in Arizona, as filtered through the wry and surreal mind of the artist, are on exhibit at Form & Concept, each one measuring about 12 by 12 inches and about an inch and a half thick.
Emily Van Cleve of Santa Fe Arts Journal penned a preview of the show, with some fantastic quotes from Wes. Here’s a tidbit:
It’s fair to say that California-based ceramic artist Wesley Anderegg has somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the state of Arizona.
He was born in Phoenix, graduated from Arizona State University and lived in the area for more than 30 years. His show “Arizona” at form & concept, which opens on March 30, pokes fun at life in his birthplace.
“I love the desert,” he explains. “From January through March, there’s no better place to be. When I grew up there in the 1950s, we lived at the edge of town. The desert was a great place to raise hell.”
Learn more about the show at the links below, and make sure to stop by tonight & tomorrow to meet the artist!
Heidi Brandow has received two fellowships in the past few months. Story Maps is an initiative by Santa Fe Art Institute that mentors young, local, creative leaders of color in community engagement. Heidi also received an Artist in Business Leadership fellowship from the First Peoples Fund. Read a snippet from their mission statement below:
“When an individual artist is uplifted and supported, they impact their families, communities and the benefits can ripple out regionally and nationally. This inspires artists to fully honor their cultural creativity and frees them to embrace their Native identity and voice.”
“Baxter is an artist for one refreshingly honest reason. ‘If I didn’t make art, I would lose my mind.'” That’s the first line of Elysian’s recent profile on Debra Baxter. The article, much like Debra’s work, is a vulnerable and powerful examination of what it means to be a female artist. Read the full interview here. Debra’s Aqua Aura Knuckles appear on the cover of The Magazine’s February/March relaunch issue. Here’s an excerpt from Jenn Shapland’s cover story about Debra and her work:
Debra Baxter has just chucked something across her studio. A five-pointed throwing star sticks firmly into the opposite wall. She’s about to throw another, but first she shows it to me. It’s elegant lace made of metal. The tips have been sharpened.
Matthew Mullins will appear in the New American Paintings Special Alumni Issue this March. Pick up a copy to see his painting Chicoma in print. Matthew’s Ursa Major graced the cover of Pasatiempo in December,for their 2017 Writing Competition issue.
Rebecca Rutstein is taking Pennsylvania museums by storm! The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently acquired a 2017 painting by Rutstein for their public collection. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, which is the nation’s oldest art museum and art school, added two of her artworks to their collection.
Wesley Anderegg‘s solo exhibition ARIZONAis coming up at form & concept. The opening reception is Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm, and Wes will conduct an artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm. Wes also appears with Ryan Meyers in the two-man exhibition About Face, opening in Bakersville, NC this April.
Click here to browse the complete form & concept collection.
This week’s issue of Pasatiempo features the winners of the publication’s annual writing contest. Images of works by local artists appear in the cover story, and a painting by our own Matthew Mullins graces the cover! The piece is a watercolor and gouache on paper titledUrsa Major. Make sure to grab a copy while it’s on the stands (December 22-28, 2017), and read more about Matt in his recently updated biography. Here’s an excerpt:
The interconnection of human consciousness and the natural world is what inspires the work of Santa Fe artist Matthew Mullins. Mullins’ watercolor and acrylic ink paintings merge human made patterns derived from social constructs with the visual perception of nature, creating a harmonious relationship that the artist feels is often lost in today’s culture.
“Humans are part of the natural world,” says Mullins. “But we often become so focused on our individuality that we lose track of that connection. My work is about reintegrating with nature and finding unity in that relationship.”
Click here to read more, and stop by the gallery to see Ursa Major in person! You can browse all of Matt’s artwork on his artist page.
Thais Mather’sReckless Abandon opens TONIGHT from 5-7 pm—with a reading from 2-3 pm on Saturday—and the artist has been hard at work installing the show and engaging the press in a conversation about art, history and feminism. Watch the latest clip from our video preview series above, and check out links to press about Reckless Abandon below.
It’s not every day that a gallery as spacious as the Railyard’s form & concept opens up an entire floor to just one artist, but Santa Fe’s Thais Mather has a massive body of multi-disciplinary work and a whole hell of a lot to say. With Reckless Abandon, Mather examines the ideas of humanity, feminism, activism, the end of days and so much more through visual works, collaborative performance pieces and readings.
Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal North wrote an awesome preview of the exhibition. A little excerpt:
[Mather’s] mixed-media work, inspired by mankind’s evolution over time, with its art and symbols, ranges from resembling something that could have been made by cave people to more modern conceptual pieces. All of it, she says, is meant to encourage the audience to reflect on what’s worth holding on to and what’s not.
“There’s a point we’re coming to as Americans that our privileges are going to run out,” said Mather. “It just doesn’t matter any more. It’s a globalized world, and there’s going to have to be some complete reimagining with how the culture functions and how the global culture functions if we really plan to survive.”
Kathryn Davis interviewed Thais among the artworks of Reckless Abandon for her media platform ArtBeat Santa Fe:
Emily Van Cleve of Santa Fe Arts Journal wrote up the show earlier this week in an article aptly title A Vision for Humanity. Here’s a blurb:
Mather describes the process of making art as her product. “The show was birthed as an exploration of material and self, with the self as material and the material as self,” she adds. “I pushed the limits of what I knew but tried not to manipulate any material beyond what it was teaching me. So I worked with clay and let the clay converse with me. I worked in watercolor and we talked and didn’t fight. I just spent time and got lost and found in the process.”
Decommissioned firearms aren’t the most pliable artistic medium, but that hasn’t stopped faculty and students at Santa Fe Community College from reshaping them into stunning artworks. They’ve been hard at work bending, slicing, shredding and melting old guns into sculptures, jewelry and even apparel. Tonight, the art will appear at a special reception, live auction and silent auction, along with juried works by artists from across the world that reflect on gun violence prevention. Part of the proceeds from the Guns to Art Benefit Show go to the artists, art and welding scholarships at SFCC, and the 501(c)3 non-partisan organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. Come to the event tonight (Friday, 11/17) from 4-7 pm. The live auction starts at 5:30 pm sharp!
Sara Yingling of KRQE News 13 drove up from Albuquerque to report on the exhibition in a segment that debuted today (embedded above), and we’ve appeared on the Richard Eeds Show and The Big Show with Honey Harris to talk it up. Santa Fe Reporter featured the show in their calendar last week, and Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal North penned a preview of the show. Here’s a tidbit from her piece:
When told that his art class at Santa Fe Community College would be using guns as work material, Marty Helldorfer said it at first felt “overwhelming and threatening.”
“My initial reaction was what could you possibly do … What in God’s name can you do to turn this into art?” Helldorfer said.
A retired hospital administrator who now spends most of his time making ceramics and steelwork, Helldorfer said the gun material is very different from the mild steel most artists work with. It’s difficult to forge and takes more time to change its original form. But in his “Forging for the Artist” course this spring, he manipulated three gun barrels to resemble aloe leaves and placed them alongside an actual potted plant.
Helldorfer, his classmates and dozens of other students at the community college over the last year were given decommissioned guns to turn into art as part of the New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence’s gun buyback program. Selected student works, along with a juried show of art commenting on gun violence, will be shown and auctioned off at form & concept gallery starting Tuesday.
To top it all off, Jennifer Levin of Pasatiempo wrote a beautiful report on the show in this week’s issue. Here’s an excerpt:
NMPGV obtained the guns that got turned into art at SFCC by holding gun buyback events around the state, at which they gave food and gas cards to members of the public who turned in unwanted guns. Each gun was checked by law enforcement to make sure that it wasn’t loaded or stolen, and hadn’t been used in a crime. “We’ve never actually gotten a crime gun,” said Miranda Viscoli, co-president of NMPGV, which was founded in 2013 in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. “Once the guns go through that process, we hand them off to be cut in half, according to ATF standards, so that they can never be used again.”
Jeremy Thomas, a sculptor and SFCC faculty member, started working with NMPGV a year ago when his students began using the decommissioned gun parts as raw materials. As one of the show’s juried artists, he used stainless-steel gun parts to make inflated and deflated forms that fit in with his larger body of work. Thomas, himself a gun owner, now privately volunteers to decommission guns that NMPGV buys from the public.
“There is a big difference between owning a firearm and being responsible for it, and allowing an excess of firearms into society,” he said. “There’s been a real shift of focus over the past 30 years — from guns being a tool used in ranching and hunting or things like that, to a tool that is used in self-defense, or claimed to be used in self-defense. I own guns personally because of my family, my history — and that also brings about the idea that gun culture is passed down generation to generation. It’s not like it’s a brand-new thing. Culturally, I’m involved in that, whether I like it or not.”
Neon has been in use an artistic medium for decades, but there’s something about it that seems perpetually of the “now.” Its glow makes it feel like a living thing, and the low hum it gives off could be friendly or threatening. The blue-green quality of neon light conjures a feeling of Americana and a gritty futurist sensation at the same time. Jaque Fragua bends this culturally loaded medium to his will in a series of provocative sculptures that illuminate the walls and windows of form & concept. Fragua’s neon creations parody the kitsch of curio shops and critique the appropriation of Native American aesthetics with biting wit. Cravereported on Fragua’s early influences in a profile last year:
From humble beginnings and a large family, Fragua grew up in an adobe house on Jemez Pueblo, about an hour northwest of Albuquerque. He began painting ceremonial objects for dances and cultural rituals in his youth. As an adolescent, he attended high school in Denver, and got into graffiti (along with some trouble). Formal training at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe followed.
Pre-Internet, the mainstream public didn’t know what was happening on reservations or in contemporary Native culture; Fragua saw an opportunity to use his experiences as the basis for his body of work. “I felt like the art I was interested in making could be a conduit for dialogue and to spread that awareness,” he says.
Fragua discussed the experience of moving through the world as a Native artist with Santa Fe Reporter in 2015:
The reality is that it is twice as oppressive as being just a Native person. I feel like there’s so much pressure on young Native people to rise to a certain occasion or level of being or just adulthood…I don’t know what it is, but there’s all this pressure to be something that I don’t feel like we’re necessarily meant to be. It might be capturing the American Dream, or go to college and get your master’s in oil engineering, and there’s these things that our parents or the generation before have been trained or conditioned to do for so many years. Now, I feel like because we’re in a current state of society [where] people are having difficulty deciding what exactly they want to do, with that comes more pressure.
VICE‘s Creators Projecttouched on Fragua’s recent activist work in an article late last year:
The artistic abilities Fragua honed with graffiti eventually pushed him toward activist endeavors. “I came into the social justice sector by accident. A friend of mine asked me to help him make a banner for a specific Native organization fighting for water rights in Northern Arizona. This was 2007. Since then, I have been creating art every year for different indigenous campaigns and struggles, separate from the art I create for myself.” This past summer, Fragua traveled to North Dakota to help fight the Dakota Access Pipeline. “Part of my role there was to educate about art as a visual communication through non-violent direct action. The banner was created for an action that was deployed the morning after I arrived,” says Fragua.
Visit Jaque Fragua’s artist page to learn more about his work.