Curious Creations: Susan Aaron-Taylor

susan aaron taylor, fetch
Fetch, handmade felt, shell, beads, wood, 15 x 13 x 6 in

Fantastical creatures appear to Susan Aaron-Taylor in her dreams. In the waking hours, the Michigan artist brings them to life, stitching together a hide of handmade felt and an array of natural materials.

 

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Pug, handmade felt, agate, wood, 9 x 11 x 15 in

 

Unified by Jungian philosophy,  Aaron-Taylor’s curious creations metamorphose animal forms with archetypal meaning.

The mixed-media sculptures simultaneously evoke universal and deeply personal themes, which Aaron-Taylor states, “chronicles the retrieval of these broken pieces of the Soul.”

 

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Cat, handmade felt, porcupine quills, wood, 7 x 14 x 14 in

 

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Tiger Teapot, felt, wood, geodes, porcupine quills, 12 x 19 x 10 in

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.

 

EVENTS

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.

EVENTS

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.

The Play Issue | Print Release Party & Fashion Show

Good Mood Studio, formerly known as 1905 Magazine, hosts a release party and fashion show for their winter release, The Play Issue. Directed by Keynan Johnson, the fashion show will echo the varied aesthetics and collaborative energy that has become synonymous with Good Mood Studio.

read more

Artist Spotlight: Heidi Brandow

 

 

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Heidi Brandow, Margins, mixed media on panel, 18 x 24 in

 

“I knew from an early age that our native identity is so rich that we shouldn’t just hold it to a specific ceremony or spiritual practice,” Heidi Brandow said during a studio visit in 2016. “In my eyes, art is a tool that helps mark history, time, place and memory. Who’s to say pop culture are not equally as important as star sticks?”

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Brandow’s works often feature whimsical monsters and characters against vividly colorful backdrops and paper collages she collects on her international travels.

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Brandow was recently awarded the third Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists.

“As an artist with an active arts practice, a full-time commitment to the Institute of American Indian Arts, and a family,” says Heidi. “I am grateful for Ucross’ support in granting me the time, space, and resources to enhance my craft and create in such a beautiful setting.”

 

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Low Tide, mixed media painting, 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 in

 

To learn more about Heidi, please inquire or call us at (505) 216-1256.

Click here to view more works by Heidi Brandow in our collection.

Scroll below to read excerpts from our 2016 studio interview.

 

Do the monsters have names, or story lines? 

For me personally, they don’t have names, and there’s no story behind any of them. I try not to put too much of my own self into them. I don’t want to over personalize it. These are a nice outlet for me to create work that is lighthearted, that is easy. It’s very fluid. I feel like when people see it, they get it immediately. Whether you like it or you don’t like it, it’s a visceral thing. It’s not too theory-based.

I want my work to reach everyone. I don’t come from a community or people that are heavy academicians. In fact, I would argue that the art world has largely blocked out people of color from participating in art to a large extent.

On the other hand, I think a lot of the work I do is a little heavier. This is a nice outlet, where I can just make work that is more lighthearted and fun.

 

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Floating, mixed-media on panel, 5 x 5 x 3 in

 

How does your own cultural heritage figure into your work? 

I never entered the art scene on the basis of promoting myself or my work as Native art. Not because I was shying away from it, but because my idea of Native art was a lot of very cultural referenced work, such as very specific tribal motifs and designs. The stuff that I was doing wasn’t like that. I never felt weird about it, because I always felt like my Native identity is already in this work, whether or not there’s symbols or direct references to cultural place. The simple fact that I’m Native and that this is the work that I’m making, there’s no way of denying my heritage and my experience, or saying that it’s not implicitly in the work. I don’t believe it has to have direct references to culture and place.

Culturally Native people are so diverse and our experience is so diverse. If you look at someone like myself, being Native Hawaiian and Navajo or Dinè, they’re two entirely different cultures. They’re both Native, but it’s ocean and desert people. That’s only the first difference, right? Of course we have a lot of similar cultural values, but it’s like night and day in a lot of ways.

 

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Fences (diptych) mixed media painting, 5.5 x 11 x 1.5 in

 

Do the monsters have names, or story lines? 

For me personally, they don’t have names, and there’s no story behind any of them. I try not to put too much of my own self into them. I don’t want to over personalize it. These are a nice outlet for me to create work that is lighthearted, that is easy. It’s very fluid. I feel like when people see it, they get it immediately. Whether you like it or you don’t like it, it’s a visceral thing. It’s not too theory-based.

I want my work to reach everyone. I don’t come from a community or people that are heavy academicians. In fact, I would argue that the art world has largely blocked out people of color from participating in art to a large extent.

On the other hand, I think a lot of the work I do is a little heavier. This is a nice outlet, where I can just make work that is more lighthearted and fun.

 

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Altin, mixed-media, 5.5 x 12 x 1 in

Debra Baxter | Elegant Experimentation

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Debra Baxter photographed in her studio by Suzanna Finley.

 

“Even though I am interested in very traditional materials within the history of sculpture, I don’t want to be boring and stuck in that history.” Debra Baxter said in an interview with One 2 Three’s Practice Practice. “I want to mix them in a way that no one has.”

 

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Breastplate (Reveal), bronze and quartz crystal, 18 x 11 x 3 in

 

As a master of material inversion, Debra transforms dense materials into light and flowing sculptures, or fragile mediums into resilient structures.

 

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The end result is elegant – but dangerous – as seen in her Lace Throwing Star, which gives the delicate textile an edge.

 

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Unapologetic Glory 

Debra received her MFA in Sculpture from Bard College. Her wearable sculpture Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty) is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. She debuted her solo show, Tooth & Nail, at form & concept this past spring.

Click here to view more of Debra’s work in our collection. To view pieces from Debra’s jewelry line, db/cb, click here.

To learn more about Debra, please inquire or contact us at 505-216-1256

Tania Larsson: Traditional Meets Contemporary

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Tania Larsson starts with the land. Her materials are harvested from nature, then combined with silver, gold, and precious stones. The combination of traditional craft with a contemporary education results in striking, intricate adornment.

“My heritage is an integral part of who I am and my work,” said Tania Larsson in an interview with UNUM Magazine. “I wanted to present myself as a Gwich’in woman and needed cultural indicators that could be worn anywhere.”

Larsson maintains a studio in Yellowknife, but she hand delivers her jewelry works to our gallery shop. View some of our favorites below.

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Long Muskox Horn and Sterling Silver Earrings
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Long Bison Horn and Sterling Silver Earrings
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Etched Caribou Horn and Sterling Silver Necklace
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Bison Horn and Sterling Silver Necklace
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Triangle Muskox Horn and Sterling Silver Earrings
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Porcupine Claw and Sterling Silver Earrings

 

 

Design Spotlights & Introductions!

Lisa Klakulak

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Lisa Klakulak is an avid traveler, and often draws inspiration from far-flung landscapes to create stunning fiber artworks. In the past, she’s crafted wearables that evoke lava flows and glaciers. This fall, Lisa debuts a series that draws from the vernacular of the human body. The new works reflect the soft textures and hues of hair and skin.

“Attracted by its protective and nurturing qualities, I found wool fiber a relevant material to use in my work that’s related to concepts of human vulnerability and security,” Lisa says. “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.”

 

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Lisa Klakulak, Untitled Bracelet, felt mixed media
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Lisa Klakulak, Tail, merino wool, cotton thread, vintage hot roller pins

Oaxacan Ceramics

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Oaxacan Ceramics, Tall Bartolo Vase, ceramic

Made by hand in Oaxaca, these ceramics are as functional as they are elegant. From spice jars to vases, Oaxacan ceramics adapt to contemporary lifestyles while maintaining Mexican traditions.

Introductions!

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Jordan Eddy is the new Gallery Director of form & concept and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art! Originally from Oregon, Jordan moved to Santa Fe in 2012 and quickly found himself immersed in the gallery community. He performed marketing and public relations work for galleries and museums in every Santa Fe arts district before landing at form & concept as Marketing Director. After two years in that role, he’s excited to take the helm at both galleries. Jordan also writes for a number of arts publications including The MagazineSanta Fe Reporter, and New Mexico Magazine.

 

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Savannah Sakry is our new Sales Manager at form & concept, while our beloved Sales Manager Clara Holiday will continue to spearhead sales for the Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection! Originally from Evergreen, CO, Savannah moved to New York City where she received a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts. Relocating to Santa Fe in 2015, she began her experience with fine art sales working for the internationally acclaimed photo bookstore and contemporary photography gallery, photo-eye. While photography is Savannah’s first love she is just as enthusiastic about other mediums, and shares form & concept’s mission to challenge traditional distinctions between art, craft, and design.

Design Spotlight: Kat Cole

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Kat Cole, Red Folded Pendant, steel & enamel

When it comes to inspiration, Kat Cole looks to city skylines. Cole studies the constructed environment of her surroundings and replicates the steel structures at an intimate, wearable scale. Her steel and enamel creations are new arrivals to our gallery shop — in dazzling shades of red, yellow, and blue.

 

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Kat Cole, Red Open Oval Earrings, steel, enamel, & sterling silver
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Kat Cole, Red Dangle Hoop Earrings, steel, enamel, & sterling silver