Stefani Courtois: A Retrospective
July 28- August 11, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, July 28, 5-7 pm
Santa Fe artist and jeweler Stefani Courtois always had a sketchbook nearby. Inspired by her own imagination and the New Mexico landscape, she incessantly sketched images that would make their way into her powerful artworks. Courtois passed away in April 2017, and left behind a diverse body of work—including jewelry, paintings, drawings and prints—that will appear in a special exhibition at form & concept. Stefani Courtois: A Retrospective opens on Friday, July 28 from 5-7 pm and runs through August 11, 2017.
“Anytime Stefani was out in nature, she was usually by herself,” recalls Abe Marin, the artist’s life partner. “She was influenced by visual stimulus like landscapes and different plants or flowers, and later by birds and their wings.” Though Courtois explored a wide range of mediums and materials, she invariably returned to visions of nature imbued with a powerful feminine energy. The Santa Fe artist’s jewelry designs have appeared in the form & concept shop since the gallery opened in May 2016. Stefani Courtois: A Retrospective will link her wearable art to other bodies of work that she produced throughout her lifetime.
Courtois grew up in Northern California, and always had a strong creative drive. She maintained collections of small, beautiful objects and always took art classes at school. This passion carried into her adult life. “Stefani was almost always enrolled in an art or jewelry class at the community college,” says Marin. Early in her artistic career, Courtois made a series of papier-mâché masks while visiting the Greek island of Cypress. “She had a show, which was a great success,” Marin recalls.
After exploring many different artistic techniques and mediums, Courtois leapt headfirst into jewelry design as a primary pursuit in 2006. For a number of years, she maintained a small workshop in a former nun’s convent that had been converted into artist studios. The space housed a formidable library of her sketchbooks. “She’d see things and then sketch them, and from there the idea was conceptualized,” says Marin. “She had dozens of sketchbooks with tons of ideas inside of them.”
Stefani Courtois: A Retrospective will reveal the many different ways Courtois brought her ideas into reality. The exhibition will feature a number of paintings, drawings and prints, along with a display of jewelry designs by Courtois. “Stefani could catch a glimpse of a bird in flight, and distill its graceful motion into wearable artworks made from precious metals and gemstones,” says Clara Holiday, Sales Director at form & concept. “This special exhibition is a celebration of an artist who inspired so many.”