Smitten Forum: Curator’s Talk

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Call it a mobile artist colony, a colorful social experiment or a crafty piece of performance art. Each year since 2014, Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz have invited a new group of pioneering jewelers and metalsmiths to work side-by-side in a communal studio for 7 days. The initiative is called Smitten Forum, and invitees range from emerging to well-established makers who employ a staggering array of mediums and techniques. This year’s participants are headed to Abiquiu, New Mexico in late December, but they’ll also leave their mark on the nearby art center of Santa Fe. The form & concept shop is excited to present the Smitten Forum exhibition, which features wearable artwork from all of this year’s artists. A curator’s talk featuring Brown, Saneholtz and 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf will take place on Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm.

The show opens on Friday, November 24 from 5-7 pm, in conjunction with the exhibitions Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon and MICROCOSMSmitten Forum runs through January 6, 2018.

Smitten Forum Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm— RSVP on Facebook

Curator’s Talk | Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm | Featuring Sara Brown, Marissa Saneholtz & 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf. RSVP on Facebook

Participating Artists: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman, Marissa Saneholtz, Sara Brown

Learn more about this exhibition.

Reckless Abandon: Performance

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At this holiday event, Thais Mather unites a number of to-be-announced feminist artists for a series of performances among the artworks of the Reckless Abandon exhibition. The gallery will accept a sliding scale donation of $5-$10 in support of the artists.

Reckless Abandon is Mather’s first major show in Santa Fe, though she hesitates to call it a solo exhibition—at least in a traditional sense. “I feel like the concept of the male genius artist, presenting his solo magnum opus is a Greenbergian farce. Everything you create is influenced by other artists, by your mentors, by your relationships, by the music and literature you adore.” she says.

Mather considers the participating performers—and gallery visitors—to be collaborators when they cross the show’s threshold. The exhibition will evolve through these contributions and interactions, inspiring community members to return multiple times and experience new surprises. Inspired by the art movement called magical realism, Mather aims to weave moments of transformation into everyday life.

Reckless Abandon Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

Part of the proceeds from Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon will benefit the ACLU of New Mexico and the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter

Gamelan Encantada: In Honor of Lou

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West Coast composer Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday party has been a yearlong, global affair. The Harrison House in Joshua Tree, California live streamed a 24-hour celebration, Bill Alves and Brett Campbell published a sweeping new biography, and renowned musicians have played tribute concerts from New York City to San Francisco. Harrison passed away in 2003 at age 85, but his influence as a composer, instrument builder, environmentalist, pacifist and gay rights activist is as resonant as ever.

This autumn, the party rolls into Santa Fe at an event presented by Albuquerque percussion ensemble Gamelan Encantada and LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Equality NM. In Honor of Lou features a concert of Harrison’s works for gamelan instruments, along with a screening of the biographical film Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create. The event is Saturday, December 2 from 4 to 6 pm at form & concept, with a $15 to $25 suggested donation. All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality NM.

Holiday Makers Workshop

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These days, seamless slabs of glass and metal are hot holiday gifts, but unique and hand-hewn objects are making a serious comeback. The makers who exhibit artworks and jewelry at form & concept are living proof of this phenomenon, and they’ll gather this holiday season to celebrate the traditional tools and techniques that bolster their contemporary creativity. The public is invited to sip cider, munch on gingerbread cookies and engage with form & concept artists at the Holiday Makers Workshop on Saturday, December 2 from 12-3 pm. form & concept will offer a special 10% holiday discount during the event. Holiday Makers Workshop also features the debut of the first-ever form & concept annual, a free publication that includes a first look at the gallery’s 2018 schedule, artist profiles and more. Participating artists include Robert Ebendorf, Aleta Braun, Rand Marco, Brian Fleetwood, Bunny Tobias, Leah Siegel, Debra Baxter and Matthew Mullins. The public is encouraged to come support local artists at this dynamic and colorful event.

12:00-1:30 pm: Bunny Tobias, Rand Marco, Brian Fleetwood, Matthew Mullins

1:30-3:00 pm: Robert Ebendorf, Aleta Braun, Leah Siegel, Debra Baxter

Robert Ebendorf

Robert Ebendorf was born in 1938 in Topeka, KS. He received his BFA in 1960 and his MFA in 1962, both from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Following graduation, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the State School of Applied Arts and Crafts in Norway. He has taught at the University of Georgia (1967- 71) and State University of New York at New Paltz (1971-88). Ebendorf received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant in 1966/67. In 1995, he was awarded the American Craft Council Fellowship for his achievement in craft and commitment to the craft movement. He is a co-founder and past president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG).

Ebendorf’s conceptual approach to jewelry questions the nature of adornment itself and explores alternative materials and ideas about the preciousness of jewelry. The creativity of his jewelry lies not only in the intellectual repositioning of familiar objects, but more in the physical transformations of materials that astonish the viewer. It is exactly this sense of astonishment that gives his pieces their value. The profound incongruity between what his pieces are made from, and what they become in his hands, engages the imagination.

View Ebendorf’s artwork.

Aleta Braun

Aleta Braun is a mixed media artist whose work is based in drawing, painting and collage, often focused on the sustained use of sketchbooks and journals. Her work explores the ostensibly simple language of geometric shapes and elemental forms – circles, dots, lines – as well as the layering of colour transparencies and delicate textures.

Rand Marco

Rand Marco is a third generation metal craftsman who has carried on his family tradition of innovation in metal. Function meets elegance with his bold designs and brilliant use of color.    Rand combines artistic integrity with contemporary form enhancing grand and modest architectural spaces. Made in his Santa Fe studio: – each piece is handcrafted and signed by the artist. Rand visualizes a simple, geometric principle, and then transformed it into a clean, sophisticated series of work.

View Marco’s artwork.

Brian Fleetwood

Brian Fleetwood is a Santa Fe based jewelry artist whose work is currently addressing ideas involving the connections between knowledge and the act of making, and the ways we can use making as a way of knowing. His work explores scientific themes, especially relating to biology and ecology, systems, and taxonomy. His contemporary jewelry designs reflect the diversity of forms found in nature and invite us to adorn ourselves with its beauty. Brian holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

View Fleetwood’s artwork.

Bunny Tobias

Bunny Tobias was born in Brooklyn, New York and is a graduate of the New York School of Visual Arts. While developing her career as a multi-media artist, she lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and in San Francisco until moving to Santa Fe, NM, in 1972. Along with her husband, artist, Charles Greeley, she made her studio outside of Santa Fe on their mountain property in the Glorieta Pass. For the past forty years Bunny Tobias has continued to create cutting edge ceramic art, paintings, mixed-media collages and to design and fabricate jewelry using the same eclectic imagery. Recent work includes sculpture using recycled material and hand fabricated bronze jewelry.
View Tobias’ artwork.

Leah Siegel

SHADOWLANDS DESIGN, created by artist/photographer Leah Siegel and based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, makes striking wearable art and functional items. Timeless, ageless and size-less, SHADOWLANDS DESIGN’s art-to-wear and home décor are fashion as well as lifestyle accessories for everyone in all seasons. You can immediately alter the ordinary, transform a mood, change an outfit or a room, make a powerful statement with drama and flair or a subtle one with restraint and elegance. You can buy them for yourself and easily give them as gifts to friends, colleagues and relatives – to men and women alike. SHADOWLANDS DESIGN’s creations are always collectible.

SHADOWLANDS DESIGN grew out of Leah’s desire to expand her portfolio so that more people might enjoy her artwork. Inspired by her investigations in digital technology and her explorations in the remote badlands of the American Southwest, Leah imagined the abstract irregular patterns in her contemporary digital work as interesting textile art. She experimented with altering some of her images and digitally printed them on silk.The fabric results were extraordinary, and SHADOWLANDS DESIGN was born!

View Siegel’s artwork.

Debra Baxter

Debra Baxter is a sculptor and jewelry designer who combines carved alabaster with crystals, minerals, metals, and found objects. She received her MFA in Sculpture from Bard College in 2008 and her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1996. She also studied at Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. Baxter’s work is rooted craft, honoring the materials that express her ideas. Of form & concept, Debra says “with the marriage of craft, design & fine art, it makes alot of sense to show there.” Her contemporary jewelry designs are all about the minerals and crystals, showcasing their raw beauty.

View Baxter’s artwork.

Matthew Mullins

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.” Mullins has been working consistently as a serious artist for 15 years. Originally from the Bay Area of California, he received his MFA from University of California Berkeley. Here, he began his career with his Artifacts & Archives paintings, a series of photo-realistic watercolors that replicate the archival environments and materials he had access to during his graduate studies. Having always been drawn to pattern play as an experimental process that allowed for more risk and ambiguity, Mullins eventually transitioned from his comfortable illustrative style to the excitement of abstraction. This shift coincided with his move to New Mexico in 2011, where the high desert and nearby mountains continue to inspire him. His work now consists of paintings, works on paper and collage, with an encompassing theme of our innate connection to and harmony within the forces of nature.

View Mullins’ artwork.

Reckless Abandon: A Reading

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At this special event, Thais Mather will read excerpts from writings that span two years of her creative process, which culminated in the body of work for Reckless Abandon.

“I’m really contemplating humanity: how culture began, where we are now, and where that might evolve,” says Mather. Reckless Abandon comprises hundreds of artworks that will fill form & concept’s ground floor, tracing thousands of years of natural and human history.

Reckless Abandon opens at form & concept on Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm, and runs through February 18, 2018.

Reckless Abandon Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

Part of the proceeds from Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon will benefit the ACLU of New Mexico and the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter

Small Business Saturday @ form & concept

Small Business Saturday is an annual shopping tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, it’s celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, you can get out and support the places you love with the people you love on Nov 25.

For this tribute to local entrepreneurship and ingenuity, we’re offering 10% off everything in the form & concept gallery and shop on November 24 & 25. 

Opening | Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon

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“I think people are getting these catastrophic feelings, that this is the end,” says Thais Mather. “I don’t believe in that. I think this is a beginning.” The feminist artist’s new exhibition, Reckless Abandon, comes at a time of cultural, political and environmental upheaval. It’s an ideal moment to examine human history from a revolutionary stance—and present urgent questions that can reveal a new path forward. Through a monumental art installation and an interconnected series of performances and events, Mather will challenge viewers to abandon patriarchal structures in favor of a transcendent vision for humanity. Reckless Abandon opens at form & concept on Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm, and runs through February 18, 2018.

Reckless Abandon Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

Part of the proceeds from Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon will benefit the ACLU of New Mexico and the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter

Opening: Smitten Forum

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Call it a mobile artist colony, a colorful social experiment or a crafty piece of performance art. Each year since 2014, Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz have invited a new group of pioneering jewelers and metalsmiths to work side-by-side in a communal studio for 7 days. The initiative is called Smitten Forum, and invitees range from emerging to well-established makers who employ a staggering array of mediums and techniques. This year’s participants are headed to Abiquiu, New Mexico in late December, but they’ll also leave their mark on the nearby art center of Santa Fe. The form & concept shop is excited to present the Smitten Forum exhibition, which features wearable artwork from all of this year’s artists. The show opens on Friday, November 24 from 5-7 pm, in conjunction with the exhibitions Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon and MICROCOSM. A curator’s talk featuring Brown, Saneholtz and 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf will take place on Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm. Smitten Forum runs through January 6, 2018. 

Participating Artists: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman, Marissa Saneholtz, Sara Brown

Smitten Forum Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm— RSVP on Facebook

Curator’s Talk | Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm | Featuring Sara Brown, Marissa Saneholtz & 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf. RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

TONIGHT | Guns to Art Benefit Show

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:

Martin Helldorfer Artwork- Guns to Art Benefit Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Martin Helldorfer, Six Shooter, steel, ceramic, aloe vera, dirt, 14 x 14 x 11 in

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:

Corey Pickett Artwork- Guns to Art Benefit Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Corey Pickett, Rimfire 2, wood, foam, fabric, 45 x 20 x 7 in.

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.”

Learn more about the exhibition here, and check out this preview of the artwork. Make sure to RSVP on Facebook for more updates!

Don Redman Artwork- Guns to Art Benefit Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Don Redman, October One, steel, 9 x 7 x 15 in.