September 22 is World Rhino Day! Just in time for the holiday, Elana Schwartz has completed a fantastical rhino sculpture in bronze. We’re donating 10% of the proceeds from the artwork’s sale to the International Rhino Foundation. Help save the rhinos, and add this stunning artwork to your collection.
“The Earth is on the verge of a mass extinction event,” said Schwartz. “Today, plants and animals on earth’s surface are becoming extinct at a faster rate than ever before. The corruption of earth’s shared natural resources informs us that humanity is inseparable from the rest the natural world and leads us the confront and thus act on the untimely impermanence of all existence.”
At the start of the 20th century, 500,000 rhinos roamed the earth. Today, only 29,500 rhinos survive in the wild. Learn more about the rhino crisis and how you can help here.
Santa Fe musicians Caitlin Brothers and Nathan Smerage, who perform as ppoacher ppoacher on the label Matron Records, kick off the band’s new tour with a concert at form & concept. The Fearsome Friend Tour Launch will feature new songs from ppoacher ppoacher and a performance of traditional Balkan music by Santa Fe’s Sevda Choir.
At a special event tonight, photographer Thomas Laird will tell stories of his long-in-the-making archive of Tibetan Buddhist murals. TASCHEN published the completed volume, Murals of Tibet, earlier this year in a SUMO-sized format with gilded pages and a rare signature from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The free talk is from 5-7 pm at form & concept, but make sure to arrive a bit early if you need a seat (or want an up-close look at the book). Michael Abatemarco of Pasatiempo covered the event in an article called “Tangible Blessings.” Here’s an excerpt:
After spending a solid month editing a photograph of a mural in Tibet — one of more than 200 murals he photographed — Thomas Laird began to see the faces of tantric deities from the mural in his dreams. Then, he saw the faces everywhere. “One day, I saw the face of Tara when I looked at my wife Jann Fenner,” he writes in the introduction to his new book. “ ‘You have now spent more time studying this image,’ I said to myself, ‘than anyone except the artists who painted it 500 years ago.’ ”
Read the rest of the piece here, and make sure to check out an accompanying story by Jennifer Levin about Santa Fe’s Tibetan community. This is a tidbit from her report, titled “The Neighborhood Association“:
Monday through Friday, Tashi Gyalkhar is a staff manager in the state of New Mexico’s Human Services Department. The fast-talking thirty-six-year-old spends Saturday mornings as an assistant teacher at the Tibetan Association of Santa Fe, helping children learn the Tibetan alphabet. Gyalkhar immigrated to Santa Fe from Dharamshala, India, when she was sixteen years old, as part of a resettlement project of 1,000 Tibetans that began in the early 1990s. Her mother came first, among the first couple of dozen Tibetans to move to Santa Fe, and Gyalkhar followed with her father and older brother a few years later.
“In each city, there was an American community helping out. Here in Santa Fe, [the sponsor program] was started by Project Tibet,” she said. “People got to choose where they wanted to go. Everyone who came to Santa Fe chose it.”
Read more from Levin here, and we’ll see you tonight at Murals of Tibet with Thomas Laird! This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.
There’s a brand new array of charming ceramics in the form & concept shop. Rachel Donner‘s mugs, platters, and vases come in an array of fun colors and geometric forms. Brian Gienewski is a Philadelphia-based artist with a knack for creating oozing, colorful drips of glaze on cups, tumblers, and vases. When she isn’t making porcelain blooms, Susan Beiner crafts unique, eye-catching mugs with striking color combinations. Browse some of our favorite pieces below, and click the images to see more.
Thomas Laird, the photographer behind the new TASCHEN book Murals of Tibet, will appear at form & concept this Friday at 5 pm for a special event. He’ll talk about his journey of over ten years to create this stunning archive of Tibetan Buddhist art, and offer visitors an intimate look at the SUMO-sized Collector’s Edition of the book. Murals of Tibet has been on display in the gallery’s atrium since early July, and Laird’s appearance marks its final day here.
Ahead of the event, check out this incredible video series by TASCHEN about the creation of Murals of Tibet. Above, TASCHEN introduces the book in spectacular fashion. Here’s an excerpt from the narration:
For centuries, Tibet has been seen as an island in the sky. A remote land, close to the lights, beyond the mountains. A mysterious land, where monks practiced rituals and yoga that led to wisdom and power. What if, even in our age of increased accessibility, a great treasure still remained—hidden all of these centuries? Visions from another world. Visions created to inspire, as Tibetans say, liberation upon seeing.
Over the course of five expeditions, and using multi-image capture and render technology, Thomas Laird amassed the first catalog of life-size images of more than 200 Buddhist mural masterpieces—including the oldest and most important painted during the past 1,000 years.
In this “making of” video, the editorial team discusses the design process. Managing Editor Florian Kobel says:
The murals can now be appreciated much better than on site. They have never been explored to the extent as they have been now, because the walls are 9 meters high, the lighting is terrible. You never were able to look up and study the faces.
Frank Goerhardt, TASCHEN’s global publishing director, continues:
You cannot get the picture with one photograph. It is a sum of pictures taken digitally and stitched together.
Laird sat down with Richard Gere at the Explorers Club in New York for a conversation about the making of the book. Here’s what he had to say:
I spend the day shooting hundreds of images. That’s a lovely day in Tibet, in a dark room. […] You see the Buddha when you’re done that day, but you also have a headache. Then you bring that home, and you sit down in front of a computer, and your wife puts up with you for a month or six weeks. Then you say to her, ‘It’s very nice, but it’s not proper… so I need to go back to Tibet to recapture this.
Come meet Laird and learn more about Murals of Tibet on Saturday. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited so make sure to arrive early.
From Spanish and Mexican silversmiths to Navajo and Zuni jewelry makers, New Mexico has gained a reputation for finely wrought baubles. But the blending of cultures and their traditions didn’t stop there. By tracking the evolution from the 1870s to the 21st century, visitors to the Albuquerque Museum exhibit, American Jewelry from New Mexico can essentially trace the history of the state. “There is so much jewelry being created here that’s never been shown as New Mexico jewelry,” says curator Andrew Connors.
Other pieces lean more toward the outrageous. Santa Fe artist Debra Baxter created a set of silver and crystal brass knuckles from quartz and silver-plated bronze. The internationally known artist recently completed a show at Washington, D.C.’s Renwick Gallery. “It’s much more of a conceptual piece,” Connors said. “It’s about power and authority and the idea of protecting yourself.”
More recently, Grace Parazzoli covered the exhibition for Santa Fe New Mexican and also mentioned Debra’s work:
The modern pieces, like those earliest in the exhibition, are materially innovative, from Debra Baxter’s brass knuckles crowned with aqua aura quartz (2017) to Kristin Diener’s New Orleans and Alabama/Mississippi Gulf Coast Love Story: Loss and Lament: Fertility Reliquary II (2005), a reliquary that sits upon a mannequin as though it were a chastity belt. The piece’s 23 materials include toy scissors, a Route 66 guitar pick, a candy wrapper, and vintage nude photographs. (Baxter and Diener live in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, respectively; both are from the Midwest.)
It’s safe to say that the Brea Foley Art Program is one-of-a-kind. The initiative, by Washington, D.C. and Arizona-based nonprofit Soul of Nations, vaults teens from Southwestern Indigenous communities into the upper echelons of the art world. This year’s program had hundreds of applicants and 15 finalists, all between the ages of 15 and 18. Three winners jetted off to Manhattan for a residency at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Later in the summer, all of the finalists will exhibit together at form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, on the weekend of this year’s SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market.
The Soul of Nations group exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, August 17, 5 to 7 pm, followed by an artist talk on Saturday, August 18, 1 to 2 pm. Inspired by the theme “Honor the Earth,” the participants offer fresh perspectives on Indigenous identity, contemporary culture and the state of the environment.
“Art is its own language,” says Ernest Hill, cofounder of Soul of Nations. “People might not want to hear what you have to say about your own plight, but you could look at a canvas and that could ignite a discussion.” That was the founding philosophy for Soul of Nations, which Hill dreamed up with his childhood friend Brea Foley. Hill and Foley grew up in Denver but had strong connections to Navajo Nation in the Four Corners region: Foley’s heritage was Navajo, and Hill’s family conducted missionary work on Native reservations when he was young. They were both interested in addressing the extreme poverty divide between Indigenous communities and the rest of the Southwest.
“There was this drastic disconnect between on-reservation life and off-reservation life,” Hill says. “I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t go back unless I could do something about it.” Foley passed away in 2014 from breast cancer, but Hill carried on their mission and officially incorporated Soul of Nations as a 501(c)3 the following year. The organization has a broad charter, seeking to uplift the vast numbers of displaced Indigenous communities throughout the Americas.
Hill created the Brea Foley Art Program as a tribute to his late collaborator, with the more targeted mission of providing art world opportunities to Native teens from the Southwest. “At the beginning, we had a focus group and asked students, ‘What are you most interested in doing?’” says Hill. “About 80% of the students said that they were really interested in the arts as a career path. We wanted to show them ways to be successful.”
The Brea Foley Art Program has grown and evolved in the three years since its founding. Hill says awareness of the initiative has grown significantly, with 253 applicants for this year’s program. In addition to the residency at Tisch School of the Arts, this year’s winners—Maiyah King of Albuquerque, Bailey Pete of Gallup, and Christine Garcia of Santa Fe—participated in a special reception at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. “Last year we did a series of college tours and museum tours, but we wanted to find a school that was dedicated to investing in youth at a larger level,” says Hill. “NYU really stepped up to the plate.”
Hill also wanted to build a bridge to the commercial art world for the program’s participants. That’s how form & concept came into the picture. “It’s a whole new realm for us in terms of education,” says Hill. “We want to teach them how to work with a marketing team, but also how to market yourself in the commercial art scene. Being an artist is like having a sole proprietorship.” All 15 of this year’s finalists will contribute an artwork to the Soul of Nations group exhibition at form & concept. They hail from 11 different tribal communities throughout the Southwest.
Their work will debut at the gallery on the weekend of the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, which attracts over 100,000 visitors to buy art directly from 1,000 artists who represent more than 200 federally recognized tribes from the U.S. and Canada. The show’s opening reception also features the debut of an art installation by Armond Lara, an internationally renowned artist with Navajo heritage.
form & concept’s Annual Exhibition 2018 opens tonight from 5-7 pm! The show features work by all ten of our represented artists, including two new pieces from Mark Newport‘s Sweatermen series (above). “The Sweatermen are heroes of my own invention,” he says. “In each of these works I forge a link between childhood experience and my adult exploration of protection, masculinity, and heroism.” Michael Abatemarco of Pasatiempo covered the Annual Exhibition in this week’s Exhibitionism section. Here’s an excerpt:
Each summer in July, Form & Concept presents its Annual Exhibition featuring works by its represented artists including Heidi Brandow, Debra Baxter, and Wesley Anderegg. “From the beginning, we were interested in reimagining what an art gallery could be,” gallery director Frank Rose said. “The natural starting point was asking, ‘What’s been exhibited, and what or who has been excluded?’ ” The gallery’s roster includes artists whose works explore the diaphanous borders between art, craft, and design.
Click here to read more, and we’ll see you at the opening tonight!
form & concept’s represented artists come together for this dynamic group exhibition. form & concept Annual Exhibition 2018 is a showcase for each artist’s latest work, and a collective expression of the gallery’s overarching mission. Since its founding in May 2016, form & concept has added ten artists to its official roster. They maintain cross-disciplinary practices that contribute to the gallery’s creative conversation about the intersections between art, craft and design. form & concept Annual Exhibition 2018 opens Friday, July 27, 5-7 pm, and runs through September 15, 2018. A number of the featured artists will conduct a gallery talk on Saturday, August 25 from 2 to 3 pm.