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

Opening: MICROCOSM Small Works Invitational

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“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together,” said Vincent Van Gogh. form & concept takes this thought to its logical conclusion in MICROCOSM, a holiday exhibition of small works by contributors to the gallery’s previous exhibitions. Over 20 artists, craftspeople and designers return with diminutive and dynamic offerings that measure 8 x 10 inches or smaller. The show fills the gallery’s stairwell and atrium, forming a charming microcosm of the space’s history—and representing a new chapter in each contributor’s story. MICROCOSM opens on Friday, November 24 from 5-7 pm, in conjunction with the exhibitions Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon and Smitten Forum.  

Participating Artists:

Nicola Heindl, Bunny Tobias, Charles Greeley, Mandy Cano Villalobos, Vanessa Michel, Susan Beiner, Wesley Anderegg, Priscilla Dobler, Jason Villegas, Garth Amundson + Pierre Gour, Jonathan Nelson, Lisa Klakulak, Katie Craney, Rena Detrixhe, Robert Ebendorf, Matthew Mullins, Aleta Braun, Heidi Brandow, Mark Newport, Ryan Singer, Brian Fleetwood

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.

Reception & Live Auction: Guns to Art Benefit Show

NOTICE: The Guns to Art Benefit Show Live Auction begins on Friday, November 17 at 5:30 pm.

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. This fall, the art will appear at a special reception, live auction and silent auction in support of art and welding scholarships at SFCC and the 501(c)3 non-partisan organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV), along with juried works by artists from across the world that reflect on gun violence prevention. The Guns to Art Benefit Show runs November 7-17 at form & concept, with a reception and live auction on Friday, November 17 from 4 to 7 pm. The live auction begins at 5:30 pm sharp.

Learn more on the exhibition page.
Enter the Guns to Art juried show.

Image: Corey Pickett, Rimfire 4, 2017, wood, foam, fabric.

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.

Preview: Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Launch

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, Farcas-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.

Laila Farcas-Ionescu- Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Line- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rings from Pussy Bites Back.

“There’s something cathartic about Laila’s new line that inspired us,” says Clara Holiday, Sales Director at form & concept. “The work has a serious bite to it, but there’s also a genuine sense of humor there that’s been missing from much of the national discourse over the past year.” The launch party lands on the Friday before Halloween, and though it’s not a costume party, cat-inspired decorations, hors d’oeuvres and performers will create a festive atmosphere. Ionescu will hand out free Pussy Bites Back merch, including stickers and temporary tattoos with a bold, hot pink logo of a snarling cat. She’ll also display her Pussy Bites Back manifesto, which you can preview above.

Laila Farcas-Ionescu- Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Line- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Pendants from Pussy Bites Back.

Farcas-Ionescu employs a palette of hot pink, gold and silver in the Pussy Bites Back line. Snarling cat heads and gleaming claws feature prominently. It’s a departure from Ionescu’s collaborative work with her husband, Ion. Under the moniker Ionescu Designs, the duo creates opulent jewelry with 18 and 22 karat gold, platinum, high quality pearls and a multitude of precious and semi-precious gems. The New York Times Style Magazine has hailed them as “style-makers,” and they’ve received a number of other accolades and awards, including the first place AGTA award for “Evening Wear” and the 2014 “Fashion Forward” award among many others.

Laila Farcas-Ionescy- Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Line- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rings from Pussy Bites Back.

Originally from Transylvania, Farcas-Ionescu arrived in the New York City by way of Romania in the 1970’s. In addition to her work with fine jewelry, she is also a sculptor with degrees in fine art from Hunter College and the Pratt Institute. Now a resident of Santa Fe, she continues to weave fantastical and deeply personal stories and characters into her sculptures and jewelry.

“Laila is a world-class artist and designer, and this launch party is definitely up to her standards of fabulous,” says Holiday. “She has a few tricks up her sleeve that are sure to surprise and delight our visitors.”

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