form & concept is in the Wall Street Journal this weekend! Pick up the Saturday/Sunday edition to read “A Cliche-Free Guide to Santa Fe” by Margot Dougherty, with recommendations by local luminaries such as Vince Kadlubek, Nellie Tischler and Tony Abeyta. Thanks to Vince for picking us, and to local photographer Jen Judge for stopping by last week to capture some amazing images of the space.
I was born and raised in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. Spending my childhood in Santa Fe cultivated my passion for creative processes and design. I later studied Architecture at the University of New Mexico, which allowed my appreciation for design to manifest into a functional practice. Drawing inspiration from the colorful landscape of my home state, my Father’s influence in woodwork, my Mom’s inherent craftiness and my architectural background I have consolidated these influences in contemporary lifestyle accessories.
Tania Larsson is of Gwich’in and Swedish descent and she was born and raised in France. At the age of fifteen, she moved to Canada with her family with the goal of reconnecting to her culture and her land. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus in digital arts and jewelry at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Tania is a founding member of Dene Nahjo, a non-profit organization that focuses on cultural revitalization projects. She constantly seeks out opportunities to learn traditional practices such as tanning hides on the land, making tools and sewing. To create her intricate jewelry works, she combines her traditional skills and contemporary arts education.
Click here to browse the complete form & concept shop collection.
New Mexico School for the Arts will soon break ground on renovations for their new Railyard location, and they’re wasting no time injecting fresh creative energy into the arts district. It starts with a special performance series at form & concept, showcasing outstanding student musicians, creative writers and poets of NMSA. Attend the inaugural performance on Thursday, March 1 at 5 pm, and mark your calendar for Young Masters performances the first Thursday of each month.
The first performance is hosted by NMSA faculty members Kurt Isaacson and Hakim Bellamy. “We would be irresponsible not to build connections with our new neighbors,” says Isaacson, the chair of NMSA’s Music Department. “Galleries and art institutions are the bedrock of the arts and culture economy in the Railyard. They’ll serve as strong foundations and anchors for the new school, and NMSA will in turn fertilize the creative environment in this district.”
Isaacson and Bellamy, NMSA’s Creative Writing Director, were on the hunt for a new venue for readings and performances—somewhere they could showcase contemporary and student-made work. They struck up a conversation with Sandy Zane, an avid supporter of NMSA who owns the Railyard’s form & concept gallery, and she offered up the space for a new event series.
The first performance features a 25-30 minute music program, with configurations including a string quartet, solo cello performance, and vocal performance with string duo accompaniment. Isaacson says the events will have a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, a mission that he hopes will leave its mark on the Railyard. “I want the new campus and the Railyard to be a hub for interdisciplinary work,” he says. “If the vision of the neighborhood is new and contemporary art, then the injection of NMSA into that community is essential. It’s a crossroads for so many art forms.”
Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill and Jordan Eddy, co-directors of Strangers Collective and the No Land art space, curate this exhibition of emerging artists and writers at form & concept. Mirror Box represents a network of early career creatives, starting in Santa Fe and spiraling across the nation. Its curatorial throughline presents a radical method for reflecting on place and identity through art objects. The show opens with a reception on Friday, February 23 from 5-8 pm, and runs through April 14, 2018.
The term “mirror box” originates in the medical field: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran invented the box with two back-to-back mirrors in the center to help amputees manage phantom limb pain. The patient places the “good” limb into one side, and the “residual” limb into the other, making mirrored movements that can trick the brain into believing that it’s moving the phantom limb. “It’s a tribute to the incredible power of grey matter,” says Eddy. “If our minds are capable of conjuring a nervous system from thin air, can we link up with people, places or things in the same visceral but invisible way?” The curatorial team realized that art, like the mirror box, can act as a conduit for this type of transcendent—but also highly tangible—experience.
“As we turned over the idea of a ‘mirror box’ in conversation, its meaning evolved to represent a sort of theoretical art object,” says Farrell. “If you imagine a cube made from mirrors floating in a landscape, it reflects you and your surroundings across six different planes. By peering into it, you begin view identity and place in novel ways.” The show’s participants interact with the world in a similar fashion, reflecting, filtering and distorting their varied contexts to create visions of the world that are requisitely imbued with their own experiences.
Photographer Emily Mason makes images of her surroundings, collages them onto sculptural props, and photographs the finished assemblages to create images that flicker between dimensionality and abstraction. Painter Nate Masse creates layered figurative compositions that compress visual details from multiple moments into a single, sensuous image. Sculptor Julie Slattery shapes talismanic objects—in this case, enormous bird skulls—that become emotional reliquaries for specific events in her life.
“The artworks and zines are mapping out this ‘complete picture’ of an experience,” says Gill. “We’re asserting that fully realized artistic expression can communicate something truer than, say, a hasty smartphone snapshot of a particular person or place.” In an increasingly polarized world, it’s a radical act of empathy to dive through the looking glass.
Opening Reception: Friday, 2/23, 5-8 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Curator & Artist Talk: Saturday, 3/17, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Zine Reading: Saturday, 4/7, 3-4 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Closing Performance by Emmaly Wiederholt: Saturday, 4/14, 7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
$5-$25 suggested donation for closing performance.
Kevin Bond, Derek Chan, Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill, Erin Gould, Julia Haywood, Chaz John, Kat Kinnick, Shannon Latham, Ariana Lombardi, Emily Mason, Nate Massé, Drew MC, David O’Brien, Josh Palmeri, Sarah Palmeri, Alicia Piller, Julie Slattery, Dion Valdez, Emmaly Wiederholt, Ona Yopack
Liz Brindley, Caryn Crimmel, Jordan Eddy, Pascal Emmer, Jess Haring, Katie Johnson, Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, Amanda Malloy & David McCarty, Erin Mickelson, Erica Nguyen, Yvette Serrano & Ryan Dennison, Bucket Siler, Emmaly Wiederholt, Rachelle Woods, Michael Wilson
Featured Image: Nate Masse, On Polyamory (detail), mixed media, 57.5 x 55″, 2013-2018
“The conversation is in every piece,” says David Forlano. “The input is the journey.” He and Steven Ford have collaborated for nearly four decades under the moniker Ford / Forlano, creating wearable artworks from polymer clay, sterling silver, gold leaf and many other materials. Over the years, their designs have undergone a spectacular evolution—as has the nature of their working relationship. Forlano moved to Santa Fe in 2005, putting almost 2,000 miles between the longtime collaborators. “It has actually made the work more dynamic, with an even bigger range,” Ford says. form & concept presents Introducing Ford / Forlano, featuring the artistic duo’s latest work, on Friday, February 23 from 5 to 8 pm.
Ford and Forlano met in Rome, where they were both in a study abroad program through Philadelphia’s Tyler School of Art. “We had studios next to each other, but our styles of painting and thinking about art were worlds apart,” says Forlano. “I had never met someone like him.” Forlano had a passion for color theory and aesthetics, while Ford was more focused on structure and materials. After returning from Italy, they moved into a big house with some college friends. “I think because we were in art school and hungry, we were fascinated with the opposites,” Forlano says. “It opened both of our worlds to looking at things from the perspective of the other.”
Not long after they graduated, a friend of Ford’s sparked his interest in polymer clay as an artistic medium. At the time, the material was widely considered a toy for children. Ford had studied glass art early in his college career, and was interested in applying that skill set to polymer clay artworks. He and Forlano set about experimenting with the material, using a technique called caning (known in the glass world as millefiori) to create and scale patterns in the clay. “In the beginning, we really promoted the work as ‘hey, look at this interesting material and what we can do with it.’” says Ford.
They built a successful business teaching workshops and selling polymer clay jewelry to shops and galleries across the nation. “Eventually, we found that our work was not evolving because we were teaching the same things over and over again,” Ford explains. The artistic use of polymer clay had also become more popular—in large part due to Ford and Forlano’s work—and they were looking to distinguish themselves in the burgeoning market. “We stopped teaching, which was scary,” says Ford. “But our work took off then and got really interesting.”
In 1999, Ford / Forlano began working with a metalsmith to incorporate sterling silver and other precious metals into their polymer clay designs. The move vaulted them into the world of fine jewelry. “The best galleries, the ones we had watched at craft shows for years, stopped at our booth,” says Forlano. “They said they’d been hoping we would do that for years.” Their transition from wholesale to high-end was successful, and the duo zeroed in on a signature aesthetic. “In particular, the way we use color is a voice. That’s something that I feel like kind of secures a little corner for us,” Forlano says. “I think that’s how we got to be who we are.”
Both artists like to compare their use of color to mixing paint on a palette. “Ultimately, polymer should be like paint, it’s just a material for expression,” says Ford. “I want to think about color, line and texture—all of the things that a painter thinks about.” Towards the beginning of their careers, when they’d just left art school, the duo took this quite literally. “At that time, we really had no idea what jewelry was or meant,” Forlano says. “We just made basically little paintings.”
Then came Forlano’s big move. In 2005, he decided to resettle in Santa Fe to live with his partner, actress Debrianna Mansini. “Frankly, I thought we were doomed when he did that,” says Ford. “We’d been working literally side-by-side up until that point.” Forlano cleared out his workstation in their Philadelphia studio, a building that filled an entire downtown city block, and headed Southwest.
Ford and Forlano’s ability to provide instant feedback to each other was replaced by phone calls, emails and the U.S. Postal Service. It slowed the pace of production, but took their work in compelling new directions. “When Dave moved to Santa Fe, I noticed that his colors got really desert-like and dusty,” says Ford. “I wanted cool, bright gem tones and he would send me these sandstone-looking things.”
Ford has since left their old space for a smaller studio nearby, and Forlano married Mansini not long after his move. Through transitions large and small, their collaboration has endured. “We have lots of battles, we’re kind of like an old married couple,” says Ford. “But when he says something, I understand it in a way that I don’t think many people would.” Forlano adds, “As artists, we of course bring our egos to the table. We have a voice, we want to be heard. In a really healthy collaboration, that’s not going to get pushed under the table or pushed aside. It’s going to enhance the other person’s vision.”
February 23 – April 14, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, February 23, 5-8 pm
Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill and Jordan Eddy, co-directors of Strangers Collective and the No Land art space, curate this exhibition of emerging artists and writers. The term “mirror box” originates in the medical field: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran invented the box with two back-to-back mirrors in the center to help amputees manage phantom limb pain. The patient places the “good” limb into one side, and the “residual” limb into the other, making mirrored movements that can trick the brain into believing that it’s moving the phantom limb. “It’s a tribute to the incredible power of grey matter,” says Eddy. “If our minds are capable of conjuring a nervous system from thin air, can we link up with people, places or things in the same visceral but invisible way?” The curatorial team realized that art, like the mirror box, can act as a conduit for this type of transcendent—but also highly tangible—experience.
Introducing Ford / Forlano
Friday, February 23, 5-8 pm
“The conversation is in every piece,” says David Forlano. “The input is the journey.” He and Steven Ford have collaborated for nearly four decades under the moniker Ford / Forlano, creating wearable artworks from polymer clay, sterling silver, gold leaf and many other materials. Over the years, their designs have undergone a spectacular evolution—as has the nature of their working relationship. Forlano moved to Santa Fe in 2005, putting almost 2,000 miles between the longtime collaborators. “It has actually made the work more dynamic, with an even bigger range,” Ford says. form & concept presents Introducing Ford / Forlano, featuring the artistic duo’s latest work.
“Somehow in my mind, in my being, I felt I needed permission.”
Before carving the original Flying Blue Buffalo, Armond journeyed to Colorado to find a herd in the wild. His encounter with the buffalo gave him the inspiration to begin the ambitious installation and storytelling project.
The Flying Blue Buffalo Project will feature 75 cast resin sculptures crafted under Armond’s supervision. The Installation will debut this August. Support our Kickstarter campaign to learn more about the project and collect exclusive Flying Blue Buffalo artwork.
On Saturday, February 17 at 3 pm, Lara will conduct a panel discussion with Moises Gonzales, Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Sunny Dooley, Kim Trujillo, Joseph Riggs, and Weston Brownlee.
As Thais Mather’s critically acclaimed solo exhibition Reckless Abandon approaches its closing date, join her for a final public engagement on Friday, February 2 from 5 to 7 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Reckless Abandon runs through February 10, 2018.
“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 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
A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance | Saturday, January 20, 7 am-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Closing Reception | Friday, February 2, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
“A herd of anything has much more impact than one.” -Armond Lara
The fundraiser will go towards the creation of a monumental installation of cast resin Flying Blue Buffalo sculptures in the gallery’s atrium, based on a series of wood carvings by Lara. Inspired by the Santa Fe artist’s family history, this project tells the centuries-long story of enslaved Native American children. It’s a topic that hit the front page of the New York Times this weekend, in an article by Simon Romero. Here’s an excerpt:
Lenny Trujillo made a startling discovery when he began researching his descent from one of New Mexico’s pioneering Hispanic families: One of his ancestors was a slave.
“I didn’t know about New Mexico’s slave trade, so I was just stunned,” said Mr. Trujillo, 66, a retired postal worker who lives in Los Angeles. “Then I discovered how slavery was a defining feature of my family’s history.”
Mr. Trujillo is one of many Latinos who are finding ancestral connections to a flourishing slave trade on the blood-soaked frontier now known as the American Southwest. Their captive forebears were Native Americans — slaves frequently known as Genízaros (pronounced heh-NEE-sah-ros) who were sold to Hispanic families when the region was under Spanish control from the 16th to 19th centuries. Many Indian slaves remained in bondage when Mexico and later the United States governed New Mexico.
The revelations have prompted some painful personal reckonings over identity and heritage. But they have also fueled a larger, politically charged debate on what it means to be Hispanic and Native American.
Lara’s studies of this little-told history lead to the conception of the Flying Blue Buffalo, a new symbol of Indigenous survival and resilience. The Flying Blue Buffalo Project Kickstarter campaign launched on January 26 and runs through February 28. Mock-ups of the buffalo sculptures will appear at a February 17 open house event, and Lara will convene a panel of history experts to discuss the project and its themes. The installation will debut in form & concept’s atrium on August 17, 2018, and run through November 2018.
Click here to browse Armond Lara’s artwork.
form & concept presents a Kickstarter campaign, anchored by an open house and panel discussion event, in support of Armond Lara’s Flying Blue Buffalo Project. The fundraiser will go towards the creation of a monumental installation of cast resin winged buffalo sculptures, based on a series of wood carvings by Lara. Inspired by the Santa Fe artist’s family history, this project tells the centuries-long story of enslaved Native American children. The Flying Blue Buffalo Kickstarter campaign launches at form & concept on Friday, January 26 from 5-7 pm and runs through February 28.
The installation will debut in form & concept’s atrium on August 17, 2018. Mock-ups of the buffalo sculptures will appear at a February 17 open house event, and Lara will convene a panel of history experts to discuss the project and its themes.
Kickstarter Launch: Friday, January 26, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Kickstarter Campaign: January 26-February 28, 2018
Open House & Panel Discussion: Saturday, February 17, 2-5 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Exhibition: August 17-November 17, 2018