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
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm

Learn more about this exhibition.

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
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm

Learn more about this exhibition.

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
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm

Learn more about this exhibition.

Opening | Wookjae Maeng: BALANCE

It’s easy to forget that the world is experiencing a crisis in biodiversity, one that some scientists have called a “sixth extinction.” Humanity has grown ever more isolated from the rest of the animal kingdom, hiding away in climate controlled boxes and behind glowing screens. In his new solo exhibition at form & concept, Korean ceramicist Wookjae Maeng ushers animals out of the wild and into the spotlight. His detailed porcelain sculptures of deer, rhinos, lions, bighorn sheep and other creatures bring viewers back in touch with beings that are often pushed to the margins. Wookjae Maeng: BALANCE opens on Friday, October 27 from 5-7 pm.

Learn more about this exhibition.
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InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party

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For one wild evening in October, the InterPlanetary Project will ride David Bowie’s star-dusted coattails to the outer reaches of the imagination. The InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party lands at form & concept on Sunday, October 15 from 5-7 pm, on the weekend of InterPlanetary’s fall event series. Hosted by Creative Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Institute, the party is a free, RSVP-only event with a cash bar by Santa Fe Spirits and interstellar hors d’oeuvres by form & concept. Guests who wear David Bowie-themed costumes will be entered into a raffle for fun prizes.

View the InterPlanetary Project’s fall schedule.

Image: David Bowie & Thomas Ashcraft.

Call for Entries: Guns to Art Benefit Show

Guns to Art Benefit Show

Submission Deadline: Monday, October 9, 2017, 11:59 pm
Submit To: submissions@formandconcept.center
Click here to download the submission form.

form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico collaborates with Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and the non-partisan 501(c)3 organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) for this special exhibition. Silent and live auctions at the reception will feature artwork made from decommissioned firearms by faculty and students of SFCC’s Art Department, along with works reflecting on gun violence prevention by artists and jewelers from across the United States. Proceeds will benefit art and welding scholarships at SFCC, NMPGV and the participating artists. The Guns to Art Benefit Show will be on view from November 7 to 17, 2017, with a reception and live auction on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 4-7 pm. An online and in-gallery silent auction featuring a selection of the works will run for the duration of the exhibition, and end on the evening of the reception.

Artists are invited to enter up to three works, the submission form and a 250-word artist statement describing how each submission reflects on gun violence prevention. Please provide a high resolution image of each work. Entries can be artworks or jewelry of any size or medium, and don’t need to incorporate decommissioned gun parts to be considered. The submission deadline is October 9, after which a jury selected by form & concept will choose the works and notify the artists by October 20. Upon notification, the artists will receive a contract that they must sign, scan and email back to form & concept (submissions@formandconcept.center) before shipping their work. Selected artists are expected to cover the costs of shipping their work to the gallery, and to enclose a return shipping label from FedEx or UPS in the case of a work not selling.

The works will appear in an online and in-gallery silent auction that begins November 7 ends at the conclusion of the Guns to Art Benefit Show on November 17. Works that do not appear in the silent auction will be on the block in a live auction at the event. Participating artists will be notified before the Guns to Art Benefit Show opens whether their work will be in the silent or live auctions. 50% of each sale will go to the participating artist, 25% will go to NMPGV and the SFCC Art Department’s scholarship program, and 25% will go to form & concept gallery.

Please email high resolution images, a 250-word artist statement and the submission form to submissions@formandconcept.center by October 9 to be considered for the Guns to Art Benefit Show.

To Submit:

-Deadline for submissions is Monday, October 9 at 11:59 pm.
-Submissions should be sent to submissions@formandconcept.center.
-Artists must fill out the official submission form in order to be considered.
-Artists are invited to submit up to three works of art or jewelry. Please provide a high resolution image of each work. File size should be no larger than 6 MB per file, JPGs preferred.
-Entries can be artworks or jewelry of any size or medium, and do NOT need to incorporate decommissioned gun parts to be considered.
-Submissions should reflect on gun violence prevention. A 250-word artist statement must accompany the work(s), describing how the work(s) fit with the theme. Please provide only one artist statement, even if you submit multiple works.
-Artists will be notified if their work is selected by the jury by October 20, and will be expected to sign and return form & concept’s contract (submissions@formandconcept.center) before shipping the artwork.
-Artists are expected to cover the shipping costs of their work, and provide a FedEx or UPS shipping label for return shipping in case of an unsold work. Selected artworks may be hand-delivered to the gallery.

If Selected:

-50% of each sale will go to the artist, 25% will go to New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence and the Santa Fe Community College Art Department’s scholarship program, and 25% will go to form & concept gallery.
-Work should arrive at form & concept gallery by no later than November 3 at 5:00 pm.
-The Guns to Art Benefit Show will be on view from November 7 to 17, 2017, with a reception and live auction on November 17, 2017 from 4-7 pm.
-An online and in-gallery silent auction featuring a display of selected works will run for the duration of the exhibition, and end on the evening of the reception.

Timeline:

Submission Deadline: Monday, October 9, 2017, 11:59 pm
Selected Artists Notified: Friday, October 20, 2017
Artwork Arrival Deadline: Friday, November 3, 2017, 5:00 pm
Exhibition Dates: November 7-17, 2017
Reception & Live Auction: Friday, November 17, 2017, 4-7 pm

New Artwork: Rebecca Rutstein

Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Lazaro Cardena Canyon, acrylic on panel, 10 x 30 x 2 in.

This summer, Rebecca Rutstein mounted a solo exhibition at form & concept called Fault Lines. The smallest paintings in the show measured 36 x 36 inches, and the largest canvas was 7.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. In a series of paintings and prints that just arrived at the gallery, the Philadelphia artist works in a more intimate scale. Many of the pieces are no taller than 10 inches. However, her subject matter—and vivid color palette—remains as vast as an ocean or mountain range.

In Rutstein’s case, we mean this quite literally. A series of long, narrow images reflects the undulating topography of the Pacific Ocean floor, drawn from her recent residencies at sea. Other works evoke rivers, volcanoes or continents, markers of the artist’s far-flung travels that have inspired her to envision geologic forms and phenomena as a highly personal symbol system. The work’s titles hint at events in her personal life that metaphorically align with the natural forces she studies. “The stories I tell about geology are always interwoven with my own personal psychology,” she tells us. “I’m [also] exploring formal abstract ideas.” Scroll down to browse Rutstein’s work, and check out our studio visit blog post for a video, interview and more.

Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, I Don’t Want to Lose You, acrylic on panel, 10 x 10 x 2.25 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Awful Bliss, archival pigment print, 10.75 x 21.88 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, In the Absence of Fear, acrylic on panel, 10 x 10 x 2.25 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Breathing Under Water, archival pigment print, 11 x 22 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Eclipse, acrylic on panel, 10 x 10 x 1.5 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Nicoles Caldera, acrylic on panel, 10 x 30 x 2 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Bold as Love, acrylic on panel, 24 x 24 x 2 in.

Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Blown Away, acrylic on panel, 20 x 20 x 2 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Galapagos I, archival pigment print, 10.75 x 21.63 in.

Click here to view all of Rebecca Rutstein’s artwork in the form & concept collection.

Artist Interview: Matthew Szösz

Matthew Szösz Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Szösz (right) creates one of the glass sculptures in his Inflatables series.

Seattle-based artist Matthew Szösz approaches materials with an innate impulse to alter, build and investigate. Using glass as his primary medium, he creates performance-based experiments that bring the material into a state of flux. His completed sculptures capture the dynamic lines of molten glass. Szösz harbors an enduring fascination for the “state change” of glass from solid to liquid (and back again), but producing the necessary conditions to successfully reshape the medium is a delicate process. A sculpture can shatter if just one of many variables tips in the wrong direction. “You can never really force glass,” he told us. “If it’s not happy, it just breaks and that’s that.”

Szösz says 75 to 80% of his artworks break, though working through the process is the real reward for him. He sets up the conditions for a state change, but nature is the ultimate decider. We spoke to Szösz about his path to becoming a glass artist and his penchant for unbridled experimentation:

Matthew Szösz Glass Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Szösz, Untitled (inflatable) no. 61b, fused and inflated glass, 17 x 8 x 2 in.

You started working with glass in graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design. What did you do before that? 

I got my undergraduate education in furniture design, but within the first couple of years after I graduated, I started working for glass sculptors in non-glass roles. I was a mold maker and a hardware person and a tool maker, and I just kept getting traded from one glass artist to another. I spent about 8 years between undergraduate and graduate making other peoples’ glass. 

I went to grad school kind of late. I was in my early 30’s. But that period between was actually really helpful. It gave me an idea of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I was ready to put a lot of work into it. 

What else did you learn from those years before graduate school? 

Working with multiple people, I really got a chance to see how artists structured their various practices so that they could keep making art. All of them had different ways of going about that: contract work and gallery work and teaching. It really gave me a chance to see a lot of different options.

Matthew Szösz Glass Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Szösz, Untitled (inflatable) no. 46p, fused and inflated glass, 11 x 13 x 14 in.

What was it about glass that drew you to work with the material? 

The thing that’s kept me with it is that it’s incredibly versatile material. It has a lot of different behaviors, and a lot of different states. You’re always working with it when it’s in state change, changing from a liquid to a solid. It’s a very strange material, there’s a lot of problem-solving with it, and it has a very good idea of what it likes to do and what it doesn’t like to do. I spend a lot of my time just experimenting with it.

There’s an element of performance to your art making. What’s more important, the process or the finished object? 

I make objects, and I’m invested in making quality objects, with a very strong craft background. But the things that I really enjoy are the moments when things work or don’t work, and the experimenting that I do trying out new things and seeing if they fail. There’s a certain amount of suspense and surprise. When it actually does work, you get the idea that you’re working as a team with the material, kind of a partnership rather than just imposing your idea on something else. There’s a response from the material that’s not necessarily predictable.

Matthew Szösz Glass Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Szösz, Untitled (inflatable) no. 23, fused and inflated glass, 18 x 7 x 9 in.

How is working with glass different from your previous design work with wood, metal and other materials? 

It’s definitely different from ceramics or woodworking or metalworking in that there is an enormous number of variables, from the base chemistry to the temperature. Everything’s in the air at once.

There’s a lot of times where I’ll make something, and make it the same way 3 or 4 times, and get different results, just because of differences in temperature or circumstance. Sometimes the humidity in the room affects it. It’s a lot more like working with a partner than working with a material. A lot of them do fail, even with processes that I’ve been doing for almost ten years now. 

Is that frustrating? Gratifying?

I used to have a professor that said “no surprise for the artist, no surprise for the audience.” I think that’s very true. If I wasn’t being surprised, I would get bored and probably stop playing around with it. That surprise, and that thing where you create something that’s independent of you a little bit, where it’s as much a product of the material and circumstance that you set up as well as your own vision, that’s the thing that’s kind of exciting for me.

Matthew Szösz Glass Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Szösz, Untitled (inflatable) no. 47c, fused and inflated glass, 24 x 11 x 10 in.

What type of glass do you use in your sculptures? 

Typically I use window glass for them. There’s two reasons for that. One is that it’s free, usually. I just use recycled windows. Then there are certain things about the material that I really like. It adds in a couple of behaviors that add extra variables, which are usually good.

Window glass is different from blowing glass or casting glass or fusing glass that you usually see in glass pieces. It’s got a very narrow range of malleability, temperature-wise. Blowing glass is engineered to give you a very long window of time to work with it. It stays stretchy and elastic but doesn’t get gloopy. Window glass is made to go through machinery and cool off as quickly as possible so you can maximize your output. I heat it up, pull it out and it freezes very quickly. It also doesn’t deal with heat very well, especially the older glass, especially the salvage windows. You’ll get a bunch of different glass types from old windows, and most of the glass is not as well honed. The chemistry is not as fine-tuned.

How do you create the inflated glass sculptures that are on view at form & concept? 

You can think of them as a series of envelopes that are connected. There are these chambers that are created flat inside the glass and share this common area. I do that by putting one piece of glass over the other with a ceramic paper. When you heat it up to fusing, it all heats up and fuses together, and that ceramic paper creates areas that don’t fuse. Somewhere in there I’ll add a little brass tube, and that puts the air inside of it. They’re a little bit like pool inflatables, but there is more of a limit in the shapes that you make because the glass starts out flat.

Do you envision the sculptures in three dimensions as you’re building them out of flat pieces of glass? 

I typically start out with an idea of what it’s going to look like when it’s three-dimensional. I can get pretty close most of the time with that. The best ones are still the ones that are most surprising, though. I want to get the most material-influenced shapes. I’m looking to end up with these things that I don’t think of when I’m starting out. 

Click here to browse all of Szösz’s artwork in the form & concept collection.

Heather Bradley’s Innominate Series

After injuring her neck in an accident, Heather Bradley decided to reflect on rupture and healing in a new installation of ceramic sculptures titled innominate. We visited the artist’s Santa Fe studio to discuss her art and massage practices, both of which have helped her to recover—and create. Read the full interview below, and come see Bradley’s monumental innominate installation on a 30-foot stretch of wall at form & concept.

Heather Bradley Ceramics- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Heather Bradley, Spinal #3, stoneware, 12.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 in.

What does the title of your new series, innominate, mean? 

The series is innominate, which is a Latin word that means “unnamed.” It’s what they were calling the pelvic bone for a while, because it’s so mysterious. It was also what my massage school class chose to name itself.

It’s a special word for me in that it encompasses a lot of mystery and the unknown. I was having a really hard time titling the piece because it was such a wide range of subjects for me. I like the title innominate because it feels like it didn’t classify it too much.

You’re weaving together several personal stories in this series. Tell us about the different threads. 

One thing that always goes into my work is whatever my heart is going through, what’s really happening in my personal life. Personal stories always go into it, but I try to encrypt that somewhat. I want there to be a sense when you look at the work that this person has put her heart and soul into the work in some kind of intimate way, but I don’t want it to be totally revealing.

I made this work while I was in massage school, but also I was nursing a whiplash injury. It’s about healing and really feeling my body and my bones and my skin and my muscles. I was learning the insides of bodies and feeling that connection between my own experience of giving massage and healing from my whiplash injury.

Heather Bradley Ceramicist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Heather Bradley, Arterial #12, stoneware, 4 x 4 x 4 in.

What drew you to massage school? 

I decided to go to massage school because I’ve always loved to work with my hands. I’ve also wanted other people to feel comfortable in their own skin. I wanted to be of service to people. It was a six-month program. A month in, I had a pretty serious car accident. I got rear ended and I found myself with whiplash, and in desperate need of massage. So during massage school I really felt how important it is for someone to heal.

When I first had my car accident I was told by my chiropractor and the neurologist that I really needed to stop clay work. I started seeing a chiropractor three times a week and massage therapist once or twice a week. The car accident changed the curve of my sine. I felt like I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about my spine or the vertabrae and how everything fits together.

How did the experience of injuring yourself and healing manifest in the innominate series?

I feel like the necks of my pots have always been pretty prominent. It’s kind of a signature thing. When I started working on the necks this time, there was a special sensitivity in my fingers that I didn’t have before.

The necks of the pots started reminding me of my own neck, and how when you’re working on someone’s neck you can really feel the individual vertebra. It’s really important for the therapist to have that sensitivity in their fingers because the neck is so delicate. It just felt so similar to me, to create the vertebral column in the clay after my own vertebral column had been adjusted.

Heather Bradley Ceramicist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Heather Bradley, Handheld II, ceramic.

What are some other similarities that you’ve discovered between your art practice and massage?

In school we took a class called The Healing Power of Touch. It wasn’t so much about special techniques with your fingers. It was about the importance of going into a massage with the right mindset and intention for that person and yourself. You have to go in with clean energy. 

I related that right away to the way I make art. I’ve always thought that whatever I’m feeling when I go into the studio comes out into the clay. The clay feels that and the clay sees that.

What about the actual technique of shaping clay versus moving the body?

When you first learn to close a vessel when you’re doing in pottery, you learn that your inside finger is important in relation to what your outside finger is doing. Finger coordination in massage felt really similar in that way.

The main thing is the actual physical sensation of the wet clay on your hands and the way it responds to your fingers. That’s really similar when you’re working on a body. It’ll first feel like there’s no response, and then eventually your fingers start to feel the details.

Heather Bradley Ceramicist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Heather Bradley, Spinal #7, porcelain, 13 x 6.5 x 6.5 in.

Describe the compositional decisions that went into creating the innominate installation.

One thing that was really important to me from the beginning was the color red. There had to be red pieces that felt like blood. I wanted it to be like a vein through the installation. So I started with the red.

And then there’s the white porcelain pots that I made. All of them have necks that are like spines, with black lines on them. Music has always been a big influence on my work, so I wanted to put the white pots on the wall in a way that mimics sheet music.

How did you decide to put text directly on the wall?

Once I put the pots together it felt like there was some element missing. I’ve always been a writer. When I went to India I spent 6 months writing a book. I write, write, write.

One of the elements of the show is journal pieces that I made out of porcelain slabs. I shook them out and made them thin so they’d kind of echo paper. And then I literally wrote my journal entries on them. They’re personal about my relationship or dramas that went on at the time. But I though they worked with the show. The writing element just tied it all together. I think of the journal pages and the writing on the wall as just one piece. The verbal part of the show.

Heather Bradley Ceramicist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Heather Bradley, Arterial #6, stoneware, 4 x 4 x 4 in.

So, despite being told not to massage or work with clay, they’re the things that helped you heal? 

Yeah, I think so. When I first got into the studio, I had so much pain and numbness in my neck and shoulders. My ego got crazy and I thought, I’m gonna make the biggest pieces I’ve ever made. And I tried to muscle through making these gigantic pieces, but they had no grace. They just went back into the slop pile. When I started to slow down and think about what would be an honest thing for me to make in this situation, they got smaller and more intimate.

Click here to view all of Heather Bradley’s work in the form & concept collection.

Heather Bradley- innominate ceramics installation- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Introducing Lisa Klakulak

Lisa Klakulak Artist Portrait- American Craft Magazine- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak. Photo by Michael Mauney for American Craft Magazine.

Lisa Klakulak first exhibited at form & concept this winter in Shifting Landscapes, our juried show with Surface Design Association. She’s a longtime member of the organization, and her work was a perfect fit for the place-themed show. Klakulak has traveled the world studying the textiles of diverse cultures, from Appalachia to India, West Africa and Spain. On her far-flung travels, she also takes in the flora, fauna and geography that surrounds her in search of inspiration. Her contribution to Shifting Landscapes captured the dynamism of glacial formations in a series of vivid blue necklaces:

Lisa Klakulak- Felt Necklaces- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Now Klakulak is one of our newest represented artists, and she draws inspiration from lava flows in a fresh series of wearable artworks. We’ve been eagerly learning about her travels and their impact on her work. It came as no surprise that she was featured in American Craft Magazine, in a lovely profile about her inclination for globe-trotting:

Travel is a crucial artistic resource for Klakulak. And yet art is not what compels her to leave home. “The places I’ve chosen to go are dramatically different from the world I live in. Travel turns my world upside down and challenges me,” she says. “My artwork is how I process these visual and emotional experiences. I wouldn’t say that I travel to make art; I make art because I travel.”

Klakulak has been artistic since she was very young, growing up in the suburbs of Detroit. Her interest in culturally diverse travel emerged in her teens. On one trip to the Caribbean with her father, she recalls being more intrigued by the people working at the resort than by the other guests. Then there was the eye-opening class trip to Nicaragua during her college years at Colorado State University, where she earned a degree in fiber arts in 1997. But it was two years after graduation, on a six-month spiritual and artistic quest with a boyfriend through India, Nepal, and Thailand, that she began to meld art and travel.

“It was the most monumental trip of my life,” she says. Forgoing the beaten path in favor of rural villages rife with textile traditions – once traveling a week by camel – she was taken by the “magnificence of work made with the simplest of materials. The poverty of materials and resources but the richness of the forms was totally inspiring,” she recalls. She gravitated to the highly ornamented Rajasthani embroidery of northwestern India and natural dye processes, as well as patterns in the landscape, and returned to the United States eager to expand her knowledge of fiber arts.

From there, Klakulak worked as a teaching assistant at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, where she took up the medium of felt in 2000. She went on to complete a two-year residency at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee. She taught felting and other textile techniques to public schoolchildren through the center’s outreach program, an experience that kickstarted her ongoing teaching work and advocacy for fiber art as an important component of the visual art curriculum. Now residing in a cabin in Asheville, North Carolina, she continues to create wearable textiles, accessories and non-functional sculpture. She also teaches workshops around the world, of course. “For me, the medium is life,” she told American Craft. “That’s the art; it’s what you do with your life.”

Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Tuff Ring Necklace, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton rope , cotton thread, found stones at Kalbarri Nat Park Western Australia, nylon netting wet felted, free-motion machine stitched, $900.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Intertwined Hoop Earrings, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton thread, found beach glass, sterling silver hoops, needle and wet felting, free-motion machine embroidered, $460.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Bracelet with 3D Tabs, merino wool fiber, cotton thread, waxed linen thread, stainless steel armature, leather, wet felting, naturally dyed with cochineal and osage, free-motion machine embroidered, hand stitched, $260.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Circuitous Path Choker, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton thread, found beach glass, wet felted, free-motion machine stitched, $1200.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Trampoline Earrings, merino wool fiber, metallic silk organza, tulle fabric, cotton thread, found beach glass, sterling silver hoops, needle and wet feling, naturally dyed with madder, free-motion machine embroidered, $430.
Lisa Klakulak Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Lisa Klakulak, Wool Bracelet, merino wool fiber, cotton thread, waxed linen thread, stainless steel armature, leather, wet felting, free-motion machine embroidered, hand stitched, $240.

Click here to browse all of Klakulak’s work on the form & concept website, and make sure to read the rest of Melissa Reardon’s profile of the artist in American Craft.