“Everybody that lives in New Mexico goes to Arizona every once in awhile,” says Wesley Anderegg. “That’s the only reason Arizona exists, is to drive through to go to California.” It’s a particularly sacrilegious statement for a born-and-raised Arizonan, but Anderegg hasn’t lived there for decades. He’s also never directly revisited his wild childhood through his figurative ceramics—until now. “As you get older, you kind of get reminiscing,” says the California-based artist. “It’s like, oh man, I’m on the downslope these days. Time to look back.”
In a new series of diminutive ceramic tiles, Anderegg flattens his tragicomic sculptural figures with a playful nod to Pop Art paintings and comic book panels. The painted compositions evoke Anderegg’s experience growing up in the sun-drenched and lawless Sonoran Desert.Wesley Anderegg:ARIZONA debuts at form & concept on Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm. Anderegg recognizes the humor of mounting a show called ARIZONA one state to the east, but it’s a simple matter of personal preference. “I thought about actually having it in Arizona, but I like you guys better,” he says with a grin.
Wesley Anderegg:ARIZONA debuts at form & concept on Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm, with an artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm. The show runs through May 19, 2018.
Heidi Brandow has received two fellowships in the past few months. Story Maps is an initiative by Santa Fe Art Institute that mentors young, local, creative leaders of color in community engagement. Heidi also received an Artist in Business Leadership fellowship from the First Peoples Fund. Read a snippet from their mission statement below:
“When an individual artist is uplifted and supported, they impact their families, communities and the benefits can ripple out regionally and nationally. This inspires artists to fully honor their cultural creativity and frees them to embrace their Native identity and voice.”
“Baxter is an artist for one refreshingly honest reason. ‘If I didn’t make art, I would lose my mind.'” That’s the first line of Elysian’s recent profile on Debra Baxter. The article, much like Debra’s work, is a vulnerable and powerful examination of what it means to be a female artist. Read the full interview here. Debra’s Aqua Aura Knuckles appear on the cover of The Magazine’s February/March relaunch issue. Here’s an excerpt from Jenn Shapland’s cover story about Debra and her work:
Debra Baxter has just chucked something across her studio. A five-pointed throwing star sticks firmly into the opposite wall. She’s about to throw another, but first she shows it to me. It’s elegant lace made of metal. The tips have been sharpened.
Matthew Mullins will appear in the New American Paintings Special Alumni Issue this March. Pick up a copy to see his painting Chicoma in print. Matthew’s Ursa Major graced the cover of Pasatiempo in December,for their 2017 Writing Competition issue.
Rebecca Rutstein is taking Pennsylvania museums by storm! The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently acquired a 2017 painting by Rutstein for their public collection. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, which is the nation’s oldest art museum and art school, added two of her artworks to their collection.
Wesley Anderegg‘s solo exhibition ARIZONAis coming up at form & concept. The opening reception is Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm, and Wes will conduct an artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm. Wes also appears with Ryan Meyers in the two-man exhibition About Face, opening in Bakersville, NC this April.
Click here to browse the complete form & concept collection.
Strangers Collective‘s Mirror Box exhibition at form & concept features 35 artists and writers. Curators Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill and Jordan Eddy convene a number of the show’s contributors for an interactive walkthrough of the exhibition at this event on Saturday, March 17 from 2 to 3 pm.
“75% of the women were labeled ‘unidentified.’ And that just struck a chord with me, how these lives and labors were lost.”
Unidentified Women made its debut in Santa Fe on January 26th. Fiber artist Jodi Colella appeared at the gallery for the opening reception and artist talk. Afterwards, she sat down with us to discuss the inspiration for her moving exhibition.
It started somewhere among the vast archives of the Historic Northampton Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts. Jodi Colella was working on an art project inspired by the museum’s headwear collection, and she stumbled upon a series of daguerreotype portraits. “They were like little 19th century selfies,” Colella says. “I noticed that all the men in the images had every single detail of their life listed in the catalog. About 80% of the women were labeled ‘unidentified.’” The artist was fascinated by these forgotten, female faces, and the contrast between the women’s fleeting social visibility and their invisibility to history. After hunting down similar portraits in flea markets and antique shops, Colella stitched intricate embroideries across the images, further obscuring the women’s identities.
We’re pleased to introduce our newest represented artist, Laritza Garcia. Here’s the story of her Still Life collection, in her own words:
This collection explores nature as a subject for jewelry. The growth patterns featured in the work draw inspiration from the botanical prints of the Hortus Eystettensis, a 15th century codex of the Garden of Eichstatt. My jewelry arrangements, similar to the prints, are composed with aesthetic considerations above botanical taxonomy. The collection is reflective upon natural aspects that are skewed by human intervention. The static jewelry compositions appear in full bloom, linked to parallel perceptions of what is natural and what is artificial in our surroundings. Each piece is made from hand pierced brass sheets. The surfaces are powder coated with layers of bold colors reminiscent of urban culture.
Lisa Klakulak debuts a series of deep blue, wearable artworks. She discusses why she works in wool fiber, and the adventure that inspired the new work:
I’m a visual artist who has found a strong affinity for working with wool fiber, and in particular the felting process. Attracted by its protective and nurturing qualities, I found wool fiber a relevant to use in my work that’s related to concepts of human vulnerability and security. I attribute the sense of contentment and calm that I feel when I’m working in the studio to the constant touch involved in the process, as well as bringing an idea into fruition. You need that idea, that inspiration. What is it that you want to say and communicate in your work? I have to schedule in time to adventure, to look, to think, not just to make. In my life and in my art, I have to find balance between the routine and the spontaneous. I do that by taking any opportunity to adventure wildly into the unknown, encountering other cultural systems, places, phenomena. One of the things that I’ve been most grateful for in my life is the opportunity to travel abroad to teach. I recently got to travel into southern Chile and seek some glaciers for the first time, and that’s what’s been inspiring all of the blue work, and all of the angular, structural forms.
Click here to browse the complete form & concept shop collection.
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.”
“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.”
This special event coincides with the opening reception for Strangers Collective’s Mirror Box group exhibition. Click here to learn more about both events.
“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. The Magazine just published a fantastic review of the show by Diane Armitage in their February/March relaunch issue. Here’s an excerpt:
There are many threads to follow in Reckless Abandon: from images of Stone Age fertility goddesses; to the Walpurgisnacht, or Witches’ Sabbath, a performance of hellish and deafening heavy metal music played in a cave-like room and accompanying a video of fire projected on a large bowl of water; to the life-size wooden figure of a woman burnt from head to toe. This latter sculpture, Mine and Thine, along with the charred bust Thaumaturge, (a miracle worker or a magician), are the two most powerful works in Mather’s exhibition. The presence of the blackened figure, laid out as if on a burial slab, sucks all the energy out of the room it was installed in, just as it was intended to do. It’s a timeless reminder that women, along with men, are due for a ritual funeral pyre whereby the darkest aspects of our collective history are dematerialized and transformed into a more enlightened chapter of human behavior in the evolution of consciousness. How else can the phoenix rise from the oppressive ashes of history and say, “I can just leave you… Now I can just fly away”?
Read the rest of the review here, and come see Reckless Abandon at the closing reception tonight. The exhibition officially ends on February 10.