Smitten Forum: Curator’s Talk

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Call it a mobile artist colony, a colorful social experiment or a crafty piece of performance art. Each year since 2014, Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz have invited a new group of pioneering jewelers and metalsmiths to work side-by-side in a communal studio for 7 days. The initiative is called Smitten Forum, and invitees range from emerging to well-established makers who employ a staggering array of mediums and techniques. This year’s participants are headed to Abiquiu, New Mexico in late December, but they’ll also leave their mark on the nearby art center of Santa Fe. The form & concept shop is excited to present the Smitten Forum exhibition, which features wearable artwork from all of this year’s artists. A curator’s talk featuring Brown, Saneholtz and 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf will take place on Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm.

The show opens on Friday, November 24 from 5-7 pm, in conjunction with the exhibitions Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon and MICROCOSMSmitten Forum runs through January 6, 2018.

Smitten Forum Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm— RSVP on Facebook

Curator’s Talk | Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm | Featuring Sara Brown, Marissa Saneholtz & 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf. RSVP on Facebook

Participating Artists: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman, Marissa Saneholtz, Sara Brown

Learn more about this exhibition.

December Railyard Art Walk

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Santa Fe’s leading contemporary art galleries are located seven blocks southwest of the downtown Plaza in the historic Railyard District. On the last Friday in December, come explore form & concept and our neighboring spaces Blue Rain Gallery, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Evoke Contemporary, LewAllen Galleries, photo-eye Gallery, Tai Modern, William Siegal Gallery and SITE Santa Fe. Thais Mather’s solo exhibition Reckless Abandon, the Smitten Forum wearable art exhibition, and Wookjae Maeng’s new body of work BALANCE will be on view at form & concept.

Reckless Abandon: Performance

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The gallery will accept a sliding scale donation of $5-$10 in support of the artists.

Thais Mather unites activist and feminist artists for this special holiday event. Todd Ryan White, David Mcmaster, Tim Reed, Ekalos Reed and Niomi Fawn will join Mather to present a series of performance vignettes among the artworks of Reckless Abandon.

Reckless Abandon is Mather’s first major show in Santa Fe, though she hesitates to call it a solo exhibition—at least in a traditional sense. “I feel like the concept of the male genius artist, presenting his solo magnum opus is a Greenbergian farce. Everything you create is influenced by other artists, by your mentors, by your relationships, by the music and literature you adore.” she says.

Mather considers the participating performers—and gallery visitors—to be collaborators when they cross the show’s threshold. The exhibition will evolve through these contributions and interactions, inspiring community members to return multiple times and experience new surprises. Inspired by the art movement called magical realism, Mather aims to weave moments of transformation into everyday life.

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

The Tara and Rhonda Show!

 

When it comes to musical genres, Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor hold nothing sacred. “When you start getting into nitty gritty definitions, it just gets so messy,” says Khozein. “I’m a big fan of the metal solution to this problem, which is just thousands of subgenres. Every band has their own genre.” That could certainly be true of Khozein and Taylor’s latest collaboration. Their improvisational performance alchemically melds instrumentals, vocals and gestures. Until a new genre is born, it can only be described as daringly contemporary. Khozein and Taylor present THE TARA AND RHONDA SHOW! Fully Clothed and Highly Introverted at form & concept this Saturday from 7 to 8:30 pm.

Khozein is a soprano, actor, director and theatre-maker living in Santa Fe. Taylor is a renowned saxophonist, and the College Associate Professor of Saxophone and Music Theory at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces. They met in 2006 when Taylor was Khozein’s professor at NMSU, and quickly found a creative connection. In 2015, they appeared together for the first time as part of the Lyric Concrete performance series at Radical Abacus in Santa Fe. They conceived of THE TARA AND RHONDA SHOW! as kitschy and approachable, but also a serious extension of their individual work with improvisational performance.

Tara Khozein performs at Meow Wolf- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“Rhonda is thinking a lot about storytelling, and weaving overlapping storylines into a work,” says Khozein. “I’m working with physical gesture, and how gesture can lead sound.” Each artist will write a score for the performance, taking cues from the innovative work of American composer Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016). “Oliveros would write descriptions and rules, and sometimes make graphic representations for the piece. The performers then improvise within those parameters,” Khozein explains. “We’re taking that as a cue for writing these different pieces, but the content will of course be ours.”

Khozein and Taylor will present versions of THE TARA AND RHONDA SHOW! in both of their home cities. Each performance will be based on the same scores, but will inevitably be different due to their improvisational nature. “We’re excited to help bridge the creative communities of Las Cruces and Santa Fe by hosting this performance,” says Frank Rose, gallery director at form & concept. “It will also be interesting to see how the events differ, based on Tara and Rhonda’s organic reactions to the two settings.”

For the show at form & concept, Khozein and Taylor will perform among the artworks of Thais Mather’s solo exhibition Reckless Abandon in the gallery’s atrium. “We’ll be reacting to each other, but also to the space and art,” says Khozein. “I don’t see how we couldn’t.”

The venues will accept a sliding scale donation of $5-$25 in support of the artists.

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Reckless Abandon’s Evolution.

Thais Mather- 200,000- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, 200,000, stoneware, 3 x 3 in. each.

Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon is not an exhibition that you would call “on view,” in a passive sense. In fact, it’s a show that views you in many cases. It unfolds and evolves, pulling viewers and other artists into its orbit in compelling ways. For example, gallery visitors are free to interact with the ceramic masks in Mather’s installation 200,000During the opening reception, there were audible gasps in the crowd as people reached across the platform and plucked faces from the vast field of sculptures. If a visitor decided to acquire a mask, they were allowed to take it with them that evening, leaving a gap in the grid. In this sense, the arrangement of artworks in Reckless Abandon has changed every day since it debuted late last month.

The exhibition will transform yet again on Friday, December 15, when Mather unites feminist and activist artists for a series of performances among the artworks. Todd Ryan White, David Mcmaster, Tim Reed, Ekalos Reed and Niomi Fawn will each add their artistic voices to the show. “I feel like the concept of the male genius artist presenting his solo magnum opus is a Greenbergian farce,” Mather explains. “Everything you create is influenced by other artists, by your mentors, by your relationships, by the music and literature you adore.”

Thais Mather- Thaumaturge- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Thaumaturge (detail), shou sugi ban, 16 x 21 x 8 in.

This new paradigm could also redefine the role of the storytellers who have reflected on Reckless Abandon since its opening. Perhaps they too should be considered collaborators, directing channels of the show’s conceptual river in fresh directions. In her review of Reckless Abandon for Pasatiempo, Iris McLister analyzed the show’s sweeping scale and individualized impact:

Feminist and universal, political and primitive, ancient and hyper-contemporary. Alchemical. These are just a handful of words that aptly describe artist Thais Mather’s exhibition Reckless Abandon, now on view at Form & Concept. Though the entirety of the gallery’s cavernous downstairs is filled with her work, the art’s intentionality never seems compromised by its quantity. During a recent tour of the show, Mather said, “I want to make art that will last. It feels really important to me to have the discipline to make things that endure.”

Comprising sculpture, drawing, video art, printmaking, and more, Reckless Abandon could feel sprawling, but instead it’s immersive and intimate. Describing a central theme for the show, Mather wrote in her artist statement, “I’m really contemplating humanity: how culture began, where we are now, and where that might evolve.”

McLister also touched on the show’s highly collaborative ethos:

Mather is transparent about relying on the knowledge and help of others in making this show a reality. Friends and peers, including local artists Sandra Wang, Ron Pokrasso, and Chris Collins, were instrumental in helping Mather learn and execute new techniques. This must partially inform why she doesn’t like what she has called the “farce of the solo show.” For her, the experience of art — whether making it or viewing it — is most rewarding when it’s collaborative in nature.

Thais Mather- My Own Two Eyes- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, My Own Two Eyes (detail), porcelain, 1 x 1 in. each.

Mather spoke with John Shannon of KSFR about the importance of empowering her audience:

I’m trying really hard… to not give too much information, because I really think that what viewers perceive in the work is a really valuable asset to the work itself. The one thing that I will say about it is that I deeply researched feminism, and that’s where my background comes from in terms of the theoretical aspect of what I’m interested in.

Kathryn Davis also interviewed Thais, for THE Magazine‘s online feature about Reckless Abandon. She talked about her hopes for the ultimate impact of her work:

 I find social change important in work, trying to change and challenge my audience and myself… We are learning, we are failing, and sometimes we get it right. Mostly I hope we can think about the rest of the world—not just humanity, but the planet. 200,000 years is a short time within a four-billion-year-old process. I just keep looking and asking, and knowing very little in return. It feels good, so I just keep doing it.

On a similar note, Eliza Lutz of Matron Records talked about the show’s ability to inspire across mediums and disciplines in the record label’s December newsletter:

Though Matron Records is clearly an entity with music front and center, we are constantly exploring the many ties between various disciplines and perspectives, ranging in everything from sound and design to performance art and printmaking to storytelling and feminism. Reckless Abandon, the multi-discipline exhibition by Mather featuring hundreds of artworks, navigates the space between these ideas, dismantling traditional & patriarchal art narratives to create a show that re-imagines human history and what it might become.

[…]

Given the current political climate, with a recent resurgence of the #MeToo campaign setting the tone for a radical cultural shift in many male-dominated fields, Reckless Abandon could not come at a better time. The immense body of work and interconnected series of performances and events tackle the full weight of the past and present while still offering a magic and radical vision for the future. “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.”

Join us for Reckless Abandon: Performance this Friday, and return on Saturday for an improvisational performance by Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor in the exhibition.

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Thais Mather- Mine and Thine- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Mine and Thine, shou sugi ban, 20 x 63 x 10 in.

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.

Opening: Smitten Forum

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Call it a mobile artist colony, a colorful social experiment or a crafty piece of performance art. Each year since 2014, Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz have invited a new group of pioneering jewelers and metalsmiths to work side-by-side in a communal studio for 7 days. The initiative is called Smitten Forum, and invitees range from emerging to well-established makers who employ a staggering array of mediums and techniques. This year’s participants are headed to Abiquiu, New Mexico in late December, but they’ll also leave their mark on the nearby art center of Santa Fe. The form & concept shop is excited to present the Smitten Forum exhibition, which features wearable artwork from all of this year’s artists. The show opens on Friday, November 24 from 5-7 pm, in conjunction with the exhibitions Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon and MICROCOSM. A curator’s talk featuring Brown, Saneholtz and 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf will take place on Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm. Smitten Forum runs through January 6, 2018. 

Participating Artists: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman, Marissa Saneholtz, Sara Brown

Smitten Forum Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm— RSVP on Facebook

Curator’s Talk | Wednesday, January 3 from 2-3 pm | Featuring Sara Brown, Marissa Saneholtz & 2014 Smitten Forum participant Robert Ebendorf. RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

Press | Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon

Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon opens TONIGHT from 5-7 pm—with a reading from 2-3 pm on Saturday—and the artist has been hard at work installing the show and engaging the press in a conversation about art, history and feminism. Watch the latest clip from our video preview series above, and check out links to press about Reckless Abandon below.

Thais Mather Artist- Reckless Abandon- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Mine and Thine (detail), 2017, 5′ 3″ x 20″ x 10″, Shou Sugi Ban.

Alex De Vore of Santa Fe Reporter talked to Thais for this week’s Three Questions feature. From his intro:

It’s not every day that a gallery as spacious as the Railyard’s form & concept opens up an entire floor to just one artist, but Santa Fe’s Thais Mather has a massive body of multi-disciplinary work and a whole hell of a lot to say. With Reckless Abandon, Mather examines the ideas of humanity, feminism, activism, the end of days and so much more through visual works, collaborative performance pieces and readings.

Thais Mather Artist- Reckless Abandon- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, 200,000, 2017, ceramic, ~ 3 x 3 in. each.

Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal North wrote an awesome preview of the exhibition. A little excerpt:

[Mather’s] mixed-media work, inspired by mankind’s evolution over time, with its art and symbols, ranges from resembling something that could have been made by cave people to more modern conceptual pieces. All of it, she says, is meant to encourage the audience to reflect on what’s worth holding on to and what’s not.

“There’s a point we’re coming to as Americans that our privileges are going to run out,” said Mather. “It just doesn’t matter any more. It’s a globalized world, and there’s going to have to be some complete reimagining with how the culture functions and how the global culture functions if we really plan to survive.”

Kathryn Davis interviewed Thais among the artworks of Reckless Abandon for her media platform ArtBeat Santa Fe:

Emily Van Cleve of Santa Fe Arts Journal wrote up the show earlier this week in an article aptly title A Vision for Humanity. Here’s a blurb:

Mather describes the process of making art as her product. “The show was birthed as an exploration of material and self, with the self as material and the material as self,” she adds. “I pushed the limits of what I knew but tried not to manipulate any material beyond what it was teaching me. So I worked with clay and let the clay converse with me. I worked in watercolor and we talked and didn’t fight. I just spent time and got lost and found in the process.”

Click here to learn more about Reckless Abandon, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook for updates. We’ll see you tonight from 5-7 pm! Our shows Smitten Forum and MICROCOSM Small Works Invitational also debut this evening.

Thais Mather Artist- Reckless Abandon- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Mine and Thine, watercolor and pen and ink, 33 x 53 in.

TONIGHT | Guns to Art Benefit Show

Decommissioned firearms aren’t the most pliable artistic medium, but that hasn’t stopped faculty and students at Santa Fe Community College from reshaping them into stunning artworks. They’ve been hard at work bending, slicing, shredding and melting old guns into sculptures, jewelry and even apparel. Tonight, the art will appear at a special reception, live auction and silent auction, along with juried works by artists from across the world that reflect on gun violence prevention. Part of the proceeds from the Guns to Art Benefit Show go to the artists, art and welding scholarships at SFCC, and the 501(c)3 non-partisan organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. Come to the event tonight (Friday, 11/17) from 4-7 pm. The live auction starts at 5:30 pm sharp!

Sara Yingling of KRQE News 13 drove up from Albuquerque to report on the exhibition in a segment that debuted today (embedded above), and we’ve appeared on the Richard Eeds Show and The Big Show with Honey Harris to talk it up. Santa Fe Reporter featured the show in their calendar last week, and Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal North penned a preview of the show. Here’s a tidbit from her piece:

Martin Helldorfer Artwork- Guns to Art Benefit Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Martin Helldorfer, Six Shooter, steel, ceramic, aloe vera, dirt, 14 x 14 x 11 in

When told that his art class at Santa Fe Community College would be using guns as work material, Marty Helldorfer said it at first felt “overwhelming and threatening.”

“My initial reaction was what could you possibly do … What in God’s name can you do to turn this into art?” Helldorfer said.

A retired hospital administrator who now spends most of his time making ceramics and steelwork, Helldorfer said the gun material is very different from the mild steel most artists work with. It’s difficult to forge and takes more time to change its original form. But in his “Forging for the Artist” course this spring, he manipulated three gun barrels to resemble aloe leaves and placed them alongside an actual potted plant.

[…]

Helldorfer, his classmates and dozens of other students at the community college over the last year were given decommissioned guns to turn into art as part of the New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence’s gun buyback program. Selected student works, along with a juried show of art commenting on gun violence, will be shown and auctioned off at form & concept gallery starting Tuesday.

To top it all off, Jennifer Levin of Pasatiempo wrote a beautiful report on the show in this week’s issue. Here’s an excerpt:

Corey Pickett Artwork- Guns to Art Benefit Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Corey Pickett, Rimfire 2, wood, foam, fabric, 45 x 20 x 7 in.

NMPGV obtained the guns that got turned into art at SFCC by holding gun buyback events around the state, at which they gave food and gas cards to members of the public who turned in unwanted guns. Each gun was checked by law enforcement to make sure that it wasn’t loaded or stolen, and hadn’t been used in a crime. “We’ve never actually gotten a crime gun,” said Miranda Viscoli, co-president of NMPGV, which was founded in 2013 in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. “Once the guns go through that process, we hand them off to be cut in half, according to ATF standards, so that they can never be used again.”

Jeremy Thomas, a sculptor and SFCC faculty member, started working with NMPGV a year ago when his students began using the decommissioned gun parts as raw materials. As one of the show’s juried artists, he used stainless-steel gun parts to make inflated and deflated forms that fit in with his larger body of work. Thomas, himself a gun owner, now privately volunteers to decommission guns that NMPGV buys from the public.

“There is a big difference between owning a firearm and being responsible for it, and allowing an excess of firearms into society,” he said. “There’s been a real shift of focus over the past 30 years — from guns being a tool used in ranching and hunting or things like that, to a tool that is used in self-defense, or claimed to be used in self-defense. I own guns personally because of my family, my history — and that also brings about the idea that gun culture is passed down generation to generation. It’s not like it’s a brand-new thing. Culturally, I’m involved in that, whether I like it or not.”

Learn more about the exhibition here, and check out this preview of the artwork. Make sure to RSVP on Facebook for more updates!

Don Redman Artwork- Guns to Art Benefit Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Don Redman, October One, steel, 9 x 7 x 15 in.