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

Preview | Guns to Art Benefit Show

Guns to Art Benefit Show- Auction Preview- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

We’re pleased to present this initial offering of artworks from the Guns to Art Benefit ShowThe exhibition features art made from decommissioned firearms by faculty and students from Santa Fe Community College, along with diverse works reflecting on gun violence prevention by artists from across the globe.

The preview is available until 5 pm on November 16. Any items not purchased here will appear in our silent auction at the reception on November 17. 50% of the proceeds go back to the artist, and 25% will support art and welding scholarships at Santa Fe Community College and the 501(c)3 non-partisan organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV).

Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Launch Party: Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Line | Laila Farcas-Ionescu

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It’s no mistake that Laila Farcas-Ionescu’s launch party for the Pussy Bites Back jewelry line falls just before the anniversary of last year’s presidential election. The series is filled with imagery of fierce felines, in reference to the Pussyhat phenomenon and the political scandal that incited it. Still, Ionescu would rather look forward than back. “It’s more than just a visceral reaction to the political situation, it’s a symbol of empowerment,” Farcas-Ionescu says. “At this party, everyone will have the chance to release some pent-up energy with a good, long roar.” The Pussy Bites Back launch party is on Saturday, October 28 from 5-7 pm. Ionescu will unveil rings, earrings, bracelets and pendants from the new series, along with a powerful manifesto and some fun surprises. The Pussy Bites Back jewelry line will be on view in the form & concept shop through December 23, 2017. 

Learn more about this form & concept shop exhibition.

Opening | Wookjae Maeng: BALANCE

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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. This exhibition runs through December 23, 2017.

Learn more about this exhibition.

Preview: Wookjae Maeng’s 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. Make sure to RSVP for the reception on Facebook, and scroll down to preview more works from the show.

Wookjae Maeng Ceramics- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Wookjae Maeng, Mule Deer series, porcelain, various dimensions.

“The theme of my work is to represent the complex, ambiguous and uncomfortable relationship between man and animal,” says Maeng. “The human is on the top of the ecological pyramid now and can manage all kinds of fellow creatures. However, the environmental situation continues to worsen and that tension is what I wish to explore.” Maeng’s animal portraits often bear evidence of human intervention. Some are presented like hunting trophies, with their disembodied heads mounted on wooden boards. Other sculptures highlight the invisibility of the animal world to the human eye, camouflaging the creatures on patterned panels. All of Maeng’s animals have one thing in common: golden eyes that confront the viewer with an unblinking ferocity.

Wookjae Maeng Ceramics- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Wookjae Maeng, Happy Pigs #1 (20 pigs), porcelain, 3.2 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches each.

Maeng lives in Seoul, South Korea, where he received his PhD in ceramic design from Kookmin University in 2015. He has lived in Sweden, and traveled extensively through Europe and North America. His encounters with animals in the United States and Canada helped inspire his artistic explorations of the natural world, a fixation that’s visible in his earliest work as a BFA student in Korea. The artist has exhibited in Santa Fe once before, in a 2015 group show at Peters Projects titled Trophies & Prey: A Contemporary Bestiary.

Wookjae Maeng Ceramics- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Wookjae Maeng, Adaptation- Nyala, porcelain, wood, 11.4 x 11 x 22 in.

Though Maeng’s work often highlights humanity’s negative impact on the animal kingdom, he seeks to inspire a new awareness in his viewers. “In order to thrive, [humanity’s relationship with animals] demands careful coexistence and balance between the urban and the natural… and empathy for less visible creatures,” Maeng says. “In my work I hope to provide an opportunity—however brief—for modern man to consider the realities of the environment in which he exists, even as he continues his daily existence indifferent to it.”

Learn more about this exhibition.
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Wookjae Maeng Ceramics- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Wookjae Maeng, Between- Hare, porcelain, 4.7 x 7 x 11.4 in.

Last Look: Broken Boxes

Broken Boxes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Our Broken Boxes group exhibition has had quite a few returning visitors, and there’s a good reason for that. Curator Ginger Dunnill worked with 40 activist artists who’ve appeared on her podcast to fill our upstairs galleries with over 50 artworks. A number of the pieces are interactive, and all of them feature intricate storytelling that takes time to fully absorb. One visitor spent a solid two hours poring over each and every piece, while others have worked their way through at events over the course of show’s run.

Broken Boxes comes to a close on Sunday, but there’s one last chance to take it all in. Stop by form & concept this Saturday, October 21 from 1-3 pm for an interactive walk-through with Dunnill. She’ll talk about the process of putting the show together, and answer questions about the artists and their work. The Broken Boxes catalog, launched at an event last month, will be available for sale.

Among the show’s recurring guests was Alicia Inez Guzmán, who wrote a great review of Broken Boxes in this month’s issue of THE Magazine. Here’s an excerpt:

I felt as if the space had been successfully engaged; there were intimate works that pulled me in but also art that cascaded from the ceiling, attached itself to walls like barnacles, settled into the corners, brought the outside in, and celebrated the booty in grand scale. It was as if the envelope of the gallery (another kind of box) was slowly being pulled apart, at least stretched to bear the voices of those compelled to break the box.

Guzmán’s piece inspired the form & concept staff to sound off on some of our favorite artworks from the exhibition. Scroll down for meditations on several pieces that you need to see before the show closes on Sunday.

Valentina Gonzalez Artwork- Broken Boxes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Valentina Gonzalez, Free Time – 10 Years of Paint, acrylic, latex and spray paint epoxy, aluminum screws, brass cabinet pull, 10 x 2.5 x 2.5 in. (right) 

Frank Rose, our director, writes:

It’s hard to choose, but I love Valentina Gonzalez’ Free Time – 10 Years of Paint. I’m a big fan of what I call “material inversions”: using materials in a way that masks their true nature creating a moment of surprise for the viewer. The way Gonzalez has taken a wall slathered with 10 years of paint and turned it into a spray can is delightful.

Nani Chacon Artwork- Broken Boxes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Nanibah ‘Nani’ Chacon, Between a Black Cloud and a White Cloud He Found Her, broken boxes, black and white charcoal, paint. (center)

Clara Holiday, our sales manager, writes:

Nanibah ‘Nani’ Chacon’s work really resonates with me. The expression is at the same time fierce and strong and yet it is also joyous and irreverent. There is a beautiful resilience to the piece.

Chip Thomas Artwork- Broken Boxes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Chip Thomas, Meditation on a Cloth Signifier, inkjet print/regular bond paper with wallpaper paste, inkjet print on cotton/silk voil. (center)

Jonathan Meade, our sales associate, writes:

There’s a sweet and sinister element to this work. It’s the innocent expression of the child on the side of the bead shack, the tattered American flag the child gazes upon, and the dust-filled and desolate canyon landscape where the shop sits. The way these elements express a hope-filled aspiration amidst deprivation, feelings all too common to indigenous populations across the country – under-served and oftentimes overlooked by the colonial patriotic government that perpetrated these impoverished conditions upon the native people, and yet has been apathetic to respond to their needs or to come to a resolution for the injustices endured in their survival. We’re left contemplating what the future of this country means staring in the eyes of the little child who searches for meaning in that tattered American flag, where we to find ourselves wondering what end it serves…

Kate Martin, our sales & marketing assistant, writes:

My favorite work in Broken Boxes is Meditation on a Cloth Signifier by Chip Thomas. Every time I look at Meditation I feel like I’m seeing it for the first time. There are so many details to stop and consider. I could spend hours looking at it.

Maria Hupfield Artwork- Broken Boxes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Maria Hupfield, In Case of Emergency, found objects and industrial felt, 11.75 x 18.5 x 3.25 in. (left)

Jordan Eddy, our marketing manager, writes:

Maria Hupfield compiles a survival kit for the modern protester, complete with a Sharpie paint pen, a silver emergency blanket and bandages made from grey felt. It’s a neatly organized reminder of a messy, never-ending struggle for justice. This is one of just a few intact boxes in the show, but it was made to be broken. Brilliant!

Click here to learn more about Broken Boxes, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook for Ginger Dunnill’s final walk-through on Saturday.