Artist Talk: Ryan Singer | Childhood Mythologies

Ryan Singer hosts an artist talk for his solo exhibition, Childhood Mythologies on Saturday, March 30 from 2 to 3 pm. Childhood Mythologies showcases original narratives inspired by dreams and childhood memories while interweaving subtle sociopolitical commentary.

For Singer, the exhibition is an opportunity to showcase his paintings on a larger scale. Although the theme of Childhood Mythologies offered Singer the opportunity to touch on social issues, the artist is purposefully withholding commentary or explanation. “The paintings are different parts of my life, and I put them together like a puzzle,” the artist explains. “I think if I say too much it ruins it, so I leave it up to interpretation. I want other people to weave their own stories into it as well.”

 

RSVP for this event.

Learn more about the opening reception.

 

 

Opening: Ryan Singer | Childhood Mythologies

Albuquerque artist Ryan Singer unveils a solo exhibition of acrylic paintings of Navajo Nation landscapes populated by cultural icons. The artist’s vivid imagery showcases original narratives inspired by dreams and childhood memories while interweaving subtle socio-political commentary.

“My older sister was really into sci-fi. If she wanted to see a movie, she had to drag me along,” says Albuquerque painter Ryan Singer. “I remember watching Star Wars, Godzilla, and old black-and-white movies like Frankenstein or The Mummy.” Pretty soon, the iconic beasts had traveled from the silver screen into the artist’s psyche—plaguing Singer with vivid nightmares of monsters standing outside his bedroom window or chasing him through his neighborhood. Years later, the artist still has intense dreams, but they’re a welcomed occurrence. “It keeps my mind focused,” Singer explains. “It feels like there’s a spirit or muse guiding me and influencing me.” In his solo exhibition Childhood Mythologies, opening Friday, March 29 from 5 to 7 pm, Singer presents vibrant acrylic paintings imbued with his own youthful legends: Navajo landscapes populated by characters from comic books and popular culture.

 

RSVP on Facebook.

Armond Lara on KUNM.

Armond Lara- Flying Blue Buffalo Installation- Behind the Scenes- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Armond Lara spoke about his Flying Blue Buffalo Installation with Spencer Beckwith of KUNM! Here’s an excerpt from the station’s write-up on their conversation:

Suspended from the ceiling is a herd of blue buffalo, seventy-five of them, flying on wings.  The buffalo tell the story of thousands of Native American children who, from the 17th Century through the 19th, were abducted from their families and enslaved on ranches and in homes across the Southwest. The Flying Blue Buffalo installation is the creation of veteran Santa Fe artist Armond Lara, and it’s on view starting August 17 at the Santa Fe gallery, form & concept.

You can listen to two versions of the radio segment on the KUNM website— one that’s 4 minutes and one’s that 7 minutes. Both stories include this gorgeous quote from Armond:

I decided that all I would see was a cloud of blue. I thought it would be a beautiful presentation. That’s the whole philosophy for Navajo people. Walk In Beauty. It has to be in a beautiful way. It doesn’t have to be ugly, even though it is ugly. We can take the pride and the endurance of still being here. Like the buffalo.

Meanwhile, we’re deep in the installation process for Armond’s show. You can see the grid system we’re using in the photo above, which will support all of the sculptures in the piece. Come see it on opening weekend, August 16-18!

Learn more about the exhibition.
RSVP for the opening on Facebook.

Erin Gould: Strangers Collective | Mirror Box

“I’m acutely aware of my own physical fragility and my own evolving relationship with my body.”

Erin Gould sculpts ethereal works that investigate the weakness and fragility of the body. To do so, she works with her materials in a tactile, intimate way, often leaving her studio covered in beeswax, essential oils, and polyurethane.

 

Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill and Jordan Eddy, co-directors of Strangers Collective and the No Land art space, curate this exhibition of emerging artists and writers at form & concept. The show engages a network of early career creatives, anchored in Santa Fe and spiraling across the nation. Its curatorial throughline presents a radical method for reflecting on place and identity through art objects. 

 

Learn more about the exhibition.

View the full Strangers Collective | Mirror box artist series.

RSVP for the Closing Performance & Reception.

Summer Artist Talk: Armond Lara

RSVP on Facebook.

Painter and sculptor Armond Lara continues form & concept’s Summer Artist Talks series, and reveals plans for a monumental sculpture project he will complete in collaboration with numerous artists over the coming year. The talk takes place during form & concept’s One-Year Anniversary Exhibition, featuring new artwork from all of the gallery’s represented artists.

Biography

Armond Lara was born in 1939 in Denver, Colorado and raised in Walsenburg, a coal mining town in southeastern Colorado. His mother was of Navajo descent and his father was Mexican. He was educated at the Colorado Institute of Art and Glendale College in California and also attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he was influenced by Japanese master paper artist, Paul Horuechi. He also worked with Mexican muralist Pablo O’Higgins, Richard Diebenkorn and Helen Frankenthaler.

Lara’s paintings and drawings often incorporate handmade paper, found objects and mixed media including traditional Navajo beadwork that has been sewn on to the canvas. His carved marionettes of historical cultural figures such as Crazy Horse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Man Ray and Billy the Kid, among others, are created in the spirit of the Koshare, the sacred clown that participates in the religious dances of the Rio Grande Pueblo People. Known as a mischief maker, the Koshare clown helps maintain harmony in the community by reminding people of acceptable standards of behavior. Through this vehicle, Lara is able to portray the humor, tragedy, frustration and beauty of what it means to be human.

After years of working in the aerospace industry in Seattle and then in arts administration, Lara helped to establish the 1% for the ARTS Program in Seattle, Washington in 1973, which was one of the first cities in the US to adopt funding for public art. When Lara relocated to Santa Fe in the 1980s, he participated in his first Indian Market where Georgia O’Keeffe purchased two of his works, one of which was gifted to the Smithsonian. In 1996 Lara founded the Santa Fe Artist Emergency Medical Fund which has been one of the many factors contributing to his reputation as a leader in the arts not only for Native Peoples but for all artists. Armond Lara is in museum collections worldwide.

Click here to browse Armond’s artwork.

Summer Artist Talks Schedule

In its first year, form & concept has emphasized powerful and diverse storytelling through its exhibition schedule and programs. The gallery’s roster of represented artists has been steadily growing, making for a dynamic One-Year Anniversary Exhibition (May 26-October 22, 2017). The majority of form & concept’s represented artists will speak, along with several guest artists.

Matthew Mullins & Wesley Anderegg | 5/27/17, 2-3 pm
Heidi Brandow | 6/3/17, 2-3 pm
Heather Bradley | 6/10/17, 2-3 pm
NoiseFold | 6/17/17, 2-3 pm*
Rebecca Rutstein | 7/1/17, 2-3 pm
Elana Schwartz | 7/8/17, 2-3 pm
Debra Baxter | 7/15/17, 2-3 pm
Jared Weiss | 7/22/17, 2-3 pm*
Robert Ebendorf | 8/12/17, 2-4 pm
Armond Lara | 8/20/17, 2-3 pm
Broken Boxes Artists & Curators Panel Discussion | 8/20/17, 3-4 pm*


*Guest artists. All other participants are form & concept represented artists.

Summer Artist Talk: Jared Weiss

Jared Weiss has forgotten much of his subject matter. Or rather, the scenes that he paints are often buried somewhere deep in his unconscious. Reviving suppressed memories can be a dangerous game, but the Santa Fe artist has some heavy hitters on his side: Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek. Weiss draws inspiration from the famous line of psychoanalysts in his new solo exhibition at form & concept, He’s Either Dead or It Was His Birthday. Opening Friday, June 30, the show conjures a strange sense of déjà vu. Weiss’s figurative images—which resemble warped photographs from a massive theater production—are sure to lodge in the back of your mind.

Weiss will appear at a gallery talk on Saturday, July 22 from 2-3 pm.

Learn more about this show.
RSVP for the opening reception.

Summer Artist Talks Schedule

In its first year, form & concept has emphasized powerful and diverse storytelling through its exhibition schedule and programs. The gallery’s roster of represented artists has been steadily growing, making for a dynamic One-Year Anniversary Exhibition (May 26-October 22, 2017). The majority of form & concept’s represented artists will speak, along with several guest artists.

Matthew Mullins & Wesley Anderegg | 5/27/17, 2-3 pm
Heidi Brandow | 6/3/17, 2-3 pm
Heather Bradley | 6/10/17, 2-3 pm
NoiseFold | 6/17/17, 2-3 pm*
Rebecca Rutstein | 7/1/17, 2-3 pm
Elana Schwartz | 7/8/17, 2-3 pm
Debra Baxter | 7/15/17, 2-3 pm
Jared Weiss | 7/22/17, 2-3 pm*
Armond Lara | 8/20/17, 2-3 pm
Broken Boxes Artists & Curators Panel Discussion | 8/20/17, 3-4 pm*

*Guest artists. All other participants are form & concept represented artists.

Summer Artist Talk: Debra Baxter

Sculptor and jewelry designer Debra Baxter continues form & concept’s Summer Artist Talks series. She will speak about her artwork on Saturday, July 15, 2-3 pm. The talk takes place during form & concept’s One-Year Anniversary Exhibition, featuring new artwork from all of the gallery’s represented artists.

Biography

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.

Click here to browse Debra’s artwork.

Summer Artist Talks Schedule

In its first year, form & concept has emphasized powerful and diverse storytelling through its exhibition schedule and programs. The gallery’s roster of represented artists has been steadily growing, making for a dynamic One-Year Anniversary Exhibition (May 26-October 22, 2017). The majority of form & concept’s represented artists will speak, along with several guest artists.

Matthew Mullins & Wesley Anderegg | 5/27/17, 2-3 pm
Heidi Brandow | 6/3/17, 2-3 pm
Heather Bradley | 6/10/17, 2-3 pm
NoiseFold | 6/17/17, 2-3 pm*
Rebecca Rutstein | 7/1/17, 2-3 pm
Elana Schwartz | 7/8/17, 2-3 pm
Debra Baxter | 7/15/17, 2-3 pm
Jared Weiss | 7/22/17, 2-3 pm*
Armond Lara | 8/20/17, 2-3 pm
Broken Boxes Artists & Curators Panel Discussion | 8/20/17, 3-4 pm*

*Guest artists. All other participants are form & concept represented artists.

Summer Artist Talk: Elana Schwartz

Sculptor Elana Schwartz continues form & concept’s Summer Artist Talks series. She will speak about her artwork on Saturday, July 8, 2-3 pm. The talk takes place during form & concept’s One-Year Anniversary Exhibition, featuring new artwork from all of the gallery’s represented artists.

Biography

Elana Schwartz is a wood sculptor from New Mexico. She has been drawn to the use of statuary as a conduit between the physical and metaphysical; concrete objects transcend the inherent limitations of the physical and provide a channel through which hidden meaning is unlocked. Wood is the perfect medium to explore concepts of the cyclical nature of life, containing within each piece a living history and future all its own. The recreation of wood into sculpture captures the transformative spirit of our own life cycles, and has the capacity to make any space sacred.

Click here to browse Elana’s artwork.

Full Schedule

Summer Artist Talks Schedule

In its first year, form & concept has emphasized powerful and diverse storytelling through its exhibition schedule and programs. The gallery’s roster of represented artists has been steadily growing, making for a dynamic One-Year Anniversary Exhibition (May 26-October 22, 2017). The majority of form & concept’s represented artists will speak, along with several guest artists.

Matthew Mullins & Wesley Anderegg | 5/27/17, 2-3 pm
Heidi Brandow | 6/3/17, 2-3 pm
Heather Bradley | 6/10/17, 2-3 pm
NoiseFold | 6/17/17, 2-3 pm*
Rebecca Rutstein | 7/1/17, 2-3 pm
Elana Schwartz | 7/8/17, 2-3 pm
Debra Baxter | 7/15/17, 2-3 pm
Jared Weiss | 7/22/17, 2-3 pm*
Armond Lara | 8/20/17, 2-3 pm
Broken Boxes Artists & Curators Panel Discussion | 8/20/17, 3-4 pm*

*Guest artists. All other participants are form & concept represented artists.

Artist Interview: Nina Elder

Nina Elder- New Mexico Artist- form and concept gallery
Nina Elder, Abandoned Hand Dug Mine Shaft, Northern New Mexico IV, graphite and dirt on paper, 8″ x 8″

Nina Elder is currently taking part in a residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast, and there’s an old growth forest just outside her studio. The New Mexico artist has mounted several wilderness walkabouts in her time there, a ritual that is an essential part of her process. Elder’s drawing series that will soon appear in the form & concept atrium was inspired by similar expeditions in New Mexico, Nevada and Wyoming. “[They’re based on] photographs of mine shafts that I’ve come across while I’m hiking,” says Elder. “There are mines all over the place that go under our radar, and they’re often in really beautiful places or on public land.”

These encounters with deep, partially obscured scars in the earth inspire mixed feelings in the artist. “I get excited, because I’ve found this place where a human being endeavored so hard and pulled something valuable out of the ground,” she says. “At the same time, this is a hole in the ground. This disrupted nature.” Elder seeks to expose our dependence on natural resources, and illuminate a path to more thoughtful and less exploitative interactions with the environment. Her artworks were a fitting addition to a new array of form & concept shows that open on Friday, November 25 from 5-7 pm. The Radical Jewelry Makeover Artist Project, Elegance of Mutation by Bunny Tobias, and Kin by Amy Weiks & Gabriel Craig all present a radical solution to the environmental devastation caused by mining: recycling. These repurposed gems reside at the end of a long process, while Elder’s drawings expose the gritty reality at the beginning. We spoke with Nina over Skype about her artwork and activism:

Nina Elder- New Mexico artist- form & concept gallery
Nina Elder, Abandoned Hand Dug Mine Shaft, Northern New Mexico VI, graphite and dirt on paper, 8″ x 8″

Tell us about the series of drawings that will appear in the form & concept atrium.

Something that’s really interesting about the work that’s in the show at form & concept is those are all from photographs of mine shafts that I’ve come across while I’m hiking in places that don’t even really mention that there’s a history of mining. It’s not what it’s known for, you just happen to come across a mine shaft. It’s kind of camouflaged in the landscape and not contextualized. And then with the piles it’s sort of the same thing. There are mines all over the place that go under our radar, and they’re often in really beautiful places or on public land. I’ve come across all of those while hiking, and I’m shocked by how much we interact with mining but how we don’t recognize it so often.

It’s probably a conflicting moment when you find one of those mines.

It is, and that’s part of what I’m trying to show. I get excited, because I’ve found this place where a human being endeavored so hard and pulled something valuable out of the ground. The things they found became something that had use value to someone else, or symbolic value if we’re talking about jewelry. At the same time, this is a hole in the ground. This disrupted nature. I always come back to this question: are these environmental disasters, or are they monuments to human productivity? I think it’s a really important thing to question.

I’m always one to point out, when I have a gallery show, that the lights would not turn on without mining, and the drywall that is behind these pieces of art would not exist without mining. The internet that we’re talking through right now would not exist without mining. I’m really excited to illuminate that absolute dependence. I want it to become more co-dependence.

Nina Elder- New Mexico Artist- form & concept gallery
Nina Elder, Gypsum Pile, near Beatty, Nevada, graphite and dirt on paper, 16″ x 24″

It’s interesting that most progress in human history is somehow tied to mining.

There’s nothing synthetic on this planet. Even if we made something out of thin air, that would still be made from molecules that we’re removing from a natural environment. Every single thing is made from something that comes from nature. There’s nothing that’s not. It blows my mind to think about that. I hope to monumentalize our dependence on nature.

Several of the works are titled “hand dug mine.” It’s pretty mind boggling that people could come out West and dig wherever they wanted.

On a conceptual level, I think there’s so many metaphors behind that early prospector mining. These guys were going out with a shovel and maybe a map, and were trying to find something that was of immense value. It would make them valuable in society, and they could literally prove upon that claim to other people and make that valuable. There’s so many rich metaphors between that kind of mining and being an artist. We dig deep, and we don’t have a lot of tools sometimes. We’re searching for something that will be valued by society.

Tell us about the materials you’re using in the series.

I’m drawing using graphite and dirt and rock powder. A big part of that for me is that I physically go to these impacted sites, and by collecting those materials, there’s a sense of interaction and reverence. I’m taking the camouflage off and recognizing them as real places. I take photographs, and I take little sample bags out with me. There’s always a plastic bag in my pocket, and I’m constantly picking up powdery rocks from these sites, and then drawing from photographs and rubbing the dirt powder into the drawing.

The mines that I work with in Alaska, they’re mining into a glacier. Glacial silt is this matte, bluish grey color that is almost identical in its materiality to graphite. It’s really fascinating to be working with something that becomes, just like mining, incredibly invisible. It’s so camouflaged in the final product. There’s no color to it.  I think a lot of people look at my work, and are like, ‘Where’s the rock powder? Where’s the dirt?’ It becomes part of the piece again, but it references the fact that I do go to all of these sites and physically interact with them. It’s a big part of the process for me.

Unlike jewelry, where it’s kind of this polished end piece that is in denial of mining, my entire process is pointing back to the physical existence of the mines.

Nina Elder- New Mexico Artist- form & concept gallery
Nina Elder, Abandoned Hand Dug Mine Shaft, Northern New Mexico VII, graphite and dirt on paper, 8″ x 8″

Your process seems quite journalistic.

Yeah, I’m very much a researcher. Some of the drawings at form & concept were used as illustrations in a mining journal, which is a great compliment to my work. Every time I go somewhere, I try to find out who actually mines that place, and what the story is. I want to understand how that moment of a person making contact with mineral becomes an economic system, and how that economic system becomes a useful object, or something that is dislocated from its cycle of production.

With all those hand dug mine shafts, I would geo map them and then look at historic mine claim maps. I’d try to find out who had actually dug that hole. Usually it was so quickly subsumed by a bank that you lose that personal dialogue very quickly. I’m very interested in that. These guys would go out and wander around in the desert for years, strike their claim, and then lose their personal relationship to it almost immediately.

Do you consider yourself an activist?

I’ve always been very curious and aware of the political potency of what I do. I hold myself to creating beautiful objects, because I think people will spend more time looking at them, and then open themselves to the dialogue of environmental degradation and the need for conservation. I haven’t always called myself an activist, but I’ve always had very strong political and personal underpinnings in my work.

[Recently], I’m really seeing that there might be an opportunity for people to understand the world more deeply by looking at my drawings. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how all cultural expressions can act as data and information for further investigation. I think with showing mining, it might spark peoples’ interest into looking at how they consume and the impact that has on land.

I truly believe that artists are barometers, and we’re amplifiers. We’re part of very sensitive networks of information. Everything that happens in the world ends up in the artistic realm. We know how to be sensitive, and we know how to amplify. It’s really inspiring. If we’re talking about my end goal as an environmentalist, it would be an understanding that we’re impacting the landscape—and that we have to nurture and foster it, and not be so voracious and exploitative and exhausting in our relationship.

Come see Nina Elder’s work at the opening reception for the Radical Jewelry Makeover Artist Project, Elegance of Mutation, and Kin on Friday, November 25 from 5-7 pm. Click here to RSVP on Facebook and show your support. Elder’s artwork is on view courtesy of Central Features in Albuquerque, New Mexico.