Special Discussion: Andrew Connors | History of Adornment

To kick off The Bench | Southwest Makers Symposium, Andrew Connors leads a special public presentation on the history of adornment in New Mexico.

A Southwest native, Connors studied Art History and Architecture at Yale University. He went on to serve as a curator at several national museums. After being appointed as director of Albuquerque Museum, Connors has curated several stunning exhibitions, including American Jewelry from New Mexico. The exhibition showcased over 300 wearable artworks from prehistory to the present.

Metalsmith Rachel Shimpock will introduce Connors, as well as contemporary jeweler Robert Ebendorf. As an award-winning jeweler and founder of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, Ebedorf brings over fifty years of experience to this special presentation. He will discuss how the railway introduced the richness of the crafts in the Southwest to the world beyond.


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note G | Live Performance by New Mexico Dance Project

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PLEASE NOTE: Doors open at 6 pm, performances are at 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. The gallery will ask for a $10-$25 donation at the door in support of the artists.

“I wanted to challenge myself to construct a machine using two human bodies. I wanted to visually demonstrate what a morphing, a weaving, a coding, even a glitch can look like through movement “ says Scarlett Wynne, the choreographer behind “note G,” a live performance installation exploring the relationship between artificial and organic capacity.

The dance work happens in tandem with form & concept’s Beyond Punch Cards exhibition, which offers unexpected perspectives on the links between technology and textiles. Wynne and her husband, Erik Sampson––the team behind New Mexico Dance Project––perform the 15-minute “note G” twice on July 19, along with a special video installation projected after each performance and an artist Q&A rounding out the evening.

Wynne and Sampson founded New Mexico Dance Project in January of this year. Since launching their project, Wynne and Sampson have taken every opportunity to perform. Open rehearsals and audience talk-backs allow them to connect with the larger community. “The dance industry has maintained a certain separation from its audience, and we wanted to press into that and find opportunities for exploring dance in unique environments that provided more access to our audience,” Sampson explains.

Wynne and Sampson met while studying dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. They soon found that Sampson’s cautious and practical approach to dance balanced Wynne’s tendencies towards creative risk-taking. After graduating, Wynne danced for the Georgia Ballet.
The two then danced for the same company, Uptown Dance Company, in Houston, where they married. They then moved on to Denver, where Wynne danced for Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet and Wonderbound and Sampson worked as an educator. After a short stint in Saint Louis, the pair moved to Santa Fe in late 2018.

New Mexico Dance Project innovatively takes storytelling elements from classical ballet and combines them with raw, experimental forms of human expression found in modern and contemporary dance. In terms of choreography, Wynne sees “note G” as an opportunity for personal growth. “During my choreographic process, I create work specifically to be identifiable, to be human, and to be raw. Note G was a way of stretching myself by exploring material outside my comfort zone and looking at movement from a different perspective.”

Learn more about New Mexico Dance Project.

The Bench | Workshops

The Bench | Southwest Makers Symposium

July 26 – July 29

Are you ready to master the art of soft circuits? Maybe you’re in need of business coaching, photography tips, or insight on the possibilities of reclaimed materials.

Beginning July 26th, The Bench: Southwest Makers Symposium offers workshops and over a dozen lectures by prominent names in the field of jewelry and metalsmithing.

We’ve re-opened registration to The Bench  and its exclusive workshops. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today!

From RAW to Refined: Documenting 2D and 3D artwork with a DSLR

July 25 & July 26, 9 am – 4 pm

This intensive 2-day workshop covers the fundamentals of photographic documentation using a DSLR camera for both 2D and 3D media.

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Soft Circuit Dolls 

July 27, 9 am – 12 pm

Experience the satisfying feeling of creating an electric circuit using conductive threads and fabric that will put a sparkle in someone’s eyes. Led by Nicole Jacquard, participants create an interactive doll using conductive threads and fabrics.


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Sustainable Belt Buckles

July 29 & July 30, 10 am – 4 pm

Learn how to make a unisex piece of jewelry that looks good while holding your pants up! Custom findings appropriate for recycled material buckles will be provided allowing us to incorporate found and recycled materials.

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Business Coaching for Makers

July 29, 9 am – 1 pm

Heidi Lowe provides tools for you to have the most successful year to date. Covers mind reframing techniques, including meditation and visualization, as well as logistics so that you can put into motion the things you want to attract.


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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.


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Workshop: Lisa Klakulak | Felt Form

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop is sold out. Please email us at info [at] formandconcept.center to be added to the waiting list.

Felt Form: Sculpting by way of Shrinkage

February 23-24, 2019

Workshop Hours: 9 am-4 pm, with a one-hour lunch break.

Fees: $300 registration / $15 materials

In conjunction with the exhibition Since Taos, featuring a collection of felt-based work created between 2001 and the present day, Lisa Klakulak will offer a 2-day course focusing on wet felting techniques to develop three-dimensional forms. Participants will explore the use of resists to build hollow forms while the placement of different weights of wool within the layout preparation determine the concave and convex areas of the form, a method Klakulak terms “extreme differential shrinkage.” Working with a limited palette of wool, the emphasis will be on exploring a plethora of small-scale forms, the relationship of pressure and directional agitation to the felting process, and—of course—enjoying the feel of this humble material.

This class is limited to ten participants, so make sure to register early! The $300 registration fee reserves your spot, while the $15 registration fee is due at the start of the workshop.

Since Taos Events

Preview Artist Talk: Friday, February 22, 4-5 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Opening Reception: Friday, February 22, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Felting Workshop: Feb. 23-24, $315 | SOLD OUT.

Preview Artist Talk: Lisa Klakulak

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Lisa Klakulak appears at this special preview of Since Taos: Contraction of Mass, Concision of Thought, directly preceding the opening reception of the solo exhibition. The series of 13 felt-based sculptures was created over a period of nearly two decades, since the freewheeling artist moved away from Taos, New Mexico in 2001. Klakulak thinks of her life since that moment in distinct phases. “The works are all related to these leaps of faith that I have taken,” she says. “I want to think about, or articulate what I’m thinking about, in a manner that I can translate into a physical form.” Join her for an interactive tour of the show, just before its official debut.

Learn more about this exhibition.


Preview Artist Talk: Friday, February 22, 4-5 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Opening Reception: Friday, February 22, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Felting Workshop: Feb. 23-24, $315 | SOLD OUT.

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.



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.


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.