Artist Talk: Six Years Smitten

Six Years Smitten reunites a dynamic range of artists, with over 70 participants in a cumulative exhibition of wearable artworks.  This will be the first long-term exhibition of Smitten Forum participants, and will also reunite several members of this remarkable community.

 

Every year since 2014, Marissa Saneholtz and Sara Brown have invited a new group of jewelers and metalsmiths to work side-by-side in a communal studio for a week. Over six years, the forum expanded in numbers and geographic area to encompass over 70 artists in several states.

 

Call it a mobile artist colony, a colorful social experiment, or a crafty piece of performance art. Invitees range from emerging to well-established jewelers who employ a stunning array of mediums and techniques—including casting, computer aided design, found object assemblage, powder coating, tin construction, traditional silversmithing, and welding.

 

 

Demonstration | Erik Gellert

“My works are cause and effect relationships in material form,” says artist Erik Gellert. “Their hand rolled nature gives each coil a slight irregularity and a distinction which informs the overall shape and patterns that comprise each work.”

 

Using hundreds of hand-rolled coils of clay, Gellert carefully layers the ribbons atop each other, creating a thick slab of undulating clay which protrudes and recedes into coral-like forms. The tendrils are then coated with acrylic paint to capture more vivid, varied color schemes than traditional ceramic processes can achieve.

 

This July, Gellert unravels the techniques, inspirations, and meaning behind his sculptures in a three hour hands-on demonstration in the form & concept atrium. Audience members will interact with and assist Gellert as he manipulates clay cords to form his quintessential sculptures. Alicia Bailey’s workshop on Innovative Folded Book Forms will be presented simultaneously, among the works of Superscript.

 

Erik Gellert

 

Erik Gellert is a contemporary ceramicist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Inspired by contradictions, Gellert pairs slabs of clay formed into perfectly squared shapes with wild, rounded coils of clay which protrude and recede across smooth planes. The work’s hand-rolled nature creates a slight irregularity and a distinction which informs the overall shape and patterns that comprise each sculpture.

Opening: Summer Show

Every summer since its founding in 2016, form & concept has invited its dynamic team of represented artists to come together for a group exhibition of new works. Each show unites local and far-flung creative voices in a conversation about art, craft and design. form & concept seeks to examine the conceptual lines drawn between such broad categories, and how these distinctions reflect cultural attitudes toward gender, race, and class.  

 

The gallery, located in Santa Fe’s Railyard district, was voted “Best Gallery” by readers of the Santa Fe Reporter last year. In its short history, form & concept has curated a formidable array of exhibitions that aspire to give platforms to mediums and topics that have been largely overlooked or excluded by local and national art galleries. “The Summer Show is the singular exhibition where our ethos is most clearly on view,” Eddy says. “It’s the most diverse in terms of mediums, forms, and concepts. It’s bigger than just an exhibition. It’s our annual contribution to the contemporary art discourse of Santa Fe and beyond.”

 

The Summer Show is anchored by an immersive installation by Santa Fe artist Thais Mather. Large-scale watercolor figure paintings descend from the ceiling, cast with holographic prisms created by C. Alex Clark. The two mediums to bleed together, morphing what we believe into a suspensin of disbelief. “Perhaps the work is about a loss of perception of self; a melting,” Mather explains. “In this way, the transitional wave created by a prismatic breakdown of color works to dissolve perceived image. I felt somehow prismatic light was almost a breath, in it’s simplicity and utter complexity. What is light, what is breath?

 

Each represented artist will debut new works, including sculptures by Wesley Anderegg and Debra Baxter, as well as paintings by Heidi Brandow, Matthew Mullins, and Thais Mather.

Opening: Ryan Singer | Childhood Mythologies

Albuquerque artist Ryan Singer unveils a solo exhibition of acrylic paintings of Navajo Nation landscapes populated by cultural icons. The artist’s vivid imagery showcases original narratives inspired by dreams and childhood memories while interweaving subtle socio-political commentary.

“My older sister was really into sci-fi. If she wanted to see a movie, she had to drag me along,” says Albuquerque painter Ryan Singer. “I remember watching Star Wars, Godzilla, and old black-and-white movies like Frankenstein or The Mummy.” Pretty soon, the iconic beasts had traveled from the silver screen into the artist’s psyche—plaguing Singer with vivid nightmares of monsters standing outside his bedroom window or chasing him through his neighborhood. Years later, the artist still has intense dreams, but they’re a welcomed occurrence. “It keeps my mind focused,” Singer explains. “It feels like there’s a spirit or muse guiding me and influencing me.” In his solo exhibition Childhood Mythologies, opening Friday, March 29 from 5 to 7 pm, Singer presents vibrant acrylic paintings imbued with his own youthful legends: Navajo landscapes populated by characters from comic books and popular culture.

 

RSVP on Facebook.

Artist Talk: Nika Feldman | Spirits in the Material World

Nika Feldman hosts an artist talk for her solo exhibition Spirits in the Material World on Saturday, January 26 from 2 to 3 pm. Spirits in the Material World is an exploration of the coded language of garments, within Feldman’s native cultural context. The show’s title holds multiple references, one being as Feldman explains, “The belief that the spirits of both the maker and the wearer are held within a garment.” Another reference is to a song with the same name by The Police from the 1981 album Ghost in the Machine, which one could argue describes the unfortunate state of realities today. The underlying message within the song that resonates for Feldman is the description of a material culture, which is void of sacredness.

Learn more about this exhibition.

 

EVENTS

Opening Reception: Friday, January 25, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 26, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Tees & Tabs Workshop: Saturday, March 16, 1-5 pm | Register

Opening: Nika Feldman | Spirits in the Material World

Nika Feldman unveils a series of seven garment-like works along with accompanying objects of adornment, made from recycled t-shirt parts and salvaged aluminum can pull-tabs. Representing over 2,000 hours of handwork by the Nova Scotia artist, the intricate pieces are inspired by the coded language of clothing. “It’s an attempt to create a new dialect,” Feldman says. “In today’s world what does contemporary clothing say about North American culture?” 

Spirits in the Material World debuts with a special reception on Friday, January 25 from 5 to 7 pm. Feldman will host an artist talk on Saturday, January 26 from 2 to 3 pm and a workshop on Saturday, March 16 from 1 to 5 pm.

Learn more about this exhibition.

EVENTS

Opening Reception: Friday, January 25, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 26, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Tees & Tabs Workshop: Saturday, March 16, 1-5 pm | Register

Press Roundup: Nika Feldman | Spirits in the Material World

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Nika Feldman’s solo exhibition Spirits in the Material World opens Saturday, January 25 from 5-7 pm, coinciding with our sister gallery Zane Bennett Contemporary Art’s Stitched Ink. Both exhibitions deal with textiles, but with largely different implications.

“A culture’s clothing has its own language,” begins Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal’s write-up of Nika. “What that language is, or how cultural identities and values are reflected in garments, is what drives Nika Feldman’s work.” Bennett interviewed Feldman early this winter, excerpted here:

The pieces are intentionally made to be “garment-like” rather than actual clothing items, said Feldman, with the exception of an XXL black T-shirt she didn’t want to cut apart, and instead decorated with tabs and fringe tassles made from other shirts.

“When it’s artwork, people have to investigative, people have to go deeper into those narratives,” she said. “If it’s a wearable garment, it doesn’t go any farther than that. People see it as fashion, they want to know if it comes in their size, they want to know how much it is.”

 

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Emily Van Cleve covered Spirits in the Material World in a feature on the Santa Fe Arts Journal. Here’s an excerpt:

 

“All around the world, people wear t-shirts,” says Feldman, a Santa Fe artist who moved to town from Nova Scotia at the end of 2017. “T-shirts were originally an undergarment. But now, through their logos, they inform others about the specific groups, companies, rock bands and organizations we like.” Feldman liked the idea of putting pull-tabs in her work for the same reasons she was drawn to t-shirts. They’re readily available. There’s an abundant supply of them. They’re also an integral part of Western culture.

 

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The Santa Fean also covered Spirits in the Material World for their Holiday Issue. Here’s an excerpt:

Nika Feldman describes herself as a textile artist, rag picker, and costume stenographer, and her job history includes stints in fashion design, social work, and sorting through clothing in a thrift store. Feldman weaves these disparate threads into a whole in the eight pieces displayed in Spirits in the Material World.

 

Spirits in the Material World opens January 25 and runs through March 23. Nika Feldman will conduct an Artist Talk on January 26 at 2 pm.

The Play Issue | Print Release Party & Fashion Show

Good Mood Studio, formerly known as 1905 Magazine, hosts a release party and fashion show for their winter release, The Play Issue. Directed by Keynan Johnson, the fashion show will echo the varied aesthetics and collaborative energy that has become synonymous with Good Mood Studio.

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Debra Baxter | Elegant Experimentation

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Debra Baxter photographed in her studio by Suzanna Finley.

 

“Even though I am interested in very traditional materials within the history of sculpture, I don’t want to be boring and stuck in that history.” Debra Baxter said in an interview with One 2 Three’s Practice Practice. “I want to mix them in a way that no one has.”

 

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Breastplate (Reveal), bronze and quartz crystal, 18 x 11 x 3 in

 

As a master of material inversion, Debra transforms dense materials into light and flowing sculptures, or fragile mediums into resilient structures.

 

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The end result is elegant – but dangerous – as seen in her Lace Throwing Star, which gives the delicate textile an edge.

 

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Unapologetic Glory 

Debra received her MFA in Sculpture from Bard College. Her wearable sculpture Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty) is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. She debuted her solo show, Tooth & Nail, at form & concept this past spring.

Click here to view more of Debra’s work in our collection. To view pieces from Debra’s jewelry line, db/cb, click here.

To learn more about Debra, please inquire or contact us at 505-216-1256