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.

 

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Artist News | March 2018

Heidi Brandow- Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Heidi Brandow, Low Tide, mixed media painting, 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 in.

Heidi Brandow has received two fellowships in the past few months. Story Maps is an initiative by Santa Fe Art Institute that mentors young, local, creative leaders of color in community engagement. Heidi also received an Artist in Business Leadership fellowship from the First Peoples Fund. Read a snippet from their mission statement below:

“When an individual artist is uplifted and supported, they impact their families, communities and the benefits can ripple out regionally and nationally. This inspires artists to fully honor their cultural creativity and frees them to embrace their Native identity and voice.”

Debra Baxter- Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Debra Baxter, Breastplate (Reveal), bronze, quartz crystal, 18 x 11 x 3 in.

“Baxter is an artist for one refreshingly honest reason. ‘If I didn’t make art, I would lose my mind.'” That’s the first line of Elysian’s recent profile on Debra Baxter. The article, much like Debra’s work, is a vulnerable and powerful examination of what it means to be a female artist. Read the full interview here. Debra’s Aqua Aura Knuckles appear on the cover of The Magazine’s February/March relaunch issue. Here’s an excerpt from Jenn Shapland’s cover story about Debra and her work:

Debra Baxter has just chucked something across her studio. A five-pointed throwing star sticks firmly into the opposite wall. She’s about to throw another, but first she shows it to me. It’s elegant lace made of metal. The tips have been sharpened.

Matthew Mullins- Painting- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Mullins, Chicoma, acrylic ink and watercolor on paper, 58 x 38 in.

Matthew Mullins will appear in the New American Paintings Special Alumni Issue this March. Pick up a copy to see his painting Chicoma in print. Matthew’s Ursa Major graced the cover of Pasatiempo in December, for their 2017 Writing Competition issue.

Rebecca Rutstein- Painting- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Slanted and Enchanted, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 60 in.

Rebecca Rutstein is taking Pennsylvania museums by storm! The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently acquired a 2017 painting by Rutstein for their public collection. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, which is the nation’s oldest art museum and art school, added two of her artworks to their collection.

Wesley Anderegg- Painting on Ceramic Tile- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Wesley Anderegg, Big Strawberry, ceramic, 11.25 x 11.25 x 1.5 in.

Wesley Anderegg‘s solo exhibition ARIZONA is coming up at form & concept. The opening reception is Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm, and Wes will conduct an artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm. Wes also appears with Ryan Meyers in the two-man exhibition About Face, opening in Bakersville, NC this April.

Click here to browse the complete form & concept collection.

Preview: Mirror Box | Strangers Collective

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 represents a network of early career creatives, starting in Santa Fe and spiraling across the nation. Its curatorial throughline presents a radical method for reflecting on place and identity through art objects. Mirror Box opens at form & concept on Friday, February 23 from 5 to 8 pm.

“The central mission of Strangers Collective has always been to pry open wall space for emerging artists in Santa Fe’s highly competitive market,” says Farrell. “Mirror Box is a culmination of our efforts.” Strangers Collective’s past pop-up group exhibitions, spanning summer 2014 through winter 2017, appeared in diverse venues including ART.i.factory Gallery, Santa Fe Community Gallery and Center for Contemporary Arts. “In spring of 2017, we founded No Land, which is a small space on the Plaza where we curate solo exhibitions for emerging artists,” says Strangers co-director Jordan Eddy. “We found ourselves in a solid place to make another big, definitive curatorial statement, but needed a bigger venue to do it.” form & concept, where Eddy works as marketing manager by day, offered up its sprawling top floor galleries for the show.

Kevin Bond Photography- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Kevin Bond, Reminiscences Safelight, photo transfer on safelight, 16.5 x 11.5 x 9 in., 2016.

“I was excited to set the stage for this Strangers show, because I’ve seen the project expand and contract to fit so many spaces and compelling stories,” says form & concept Gallery Director Frank Rose. “form & concept often shows emerging artists, so it made perfect sense to align our efforts and strengthen the web.” Farrell, Eddy and Gill have been working on the show for over ten months, conducting in-person studio visits in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Denver, and virtual check-ins with artists in Arizona, California, Oregon, New York, Japan and South Korea. “The collective is New Mexico-based, but our geographic range has grown as people move around to other art communities across the country,” says Gill. “Reuniting everyone for this exhibition showed us that there are still remarkably strong links between the concepts the artists are exploring.”

The term “mirror box” originates in the medical field: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran invented the box with two back-to-back mirrors in the center to help amputees manage phantom limb pain. The patient places the “good” limb into one side, and the “residual” limb into the other, making mirrored movements that can trick the brain into believing that it’s moving the phantom limb. “It’s a tribute to the incredible power of grey matter,” says Eddy. “If our minds are capable of conjuring a nervous system from thin air, can we link up with people, places or things in the same visceral but invisible way?” The curatorial team realized that art, like the mirror box, can act as a conduit for this type of transcendent—but also highly tangible—experience.

Julie Slattery Sculpture- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Julie Slattery, Bird Skull series, bronze, 5 x 2.5 x3 in. (large), 3.5 x 2 x 2 in. (small), 2018.

“As we turned over the idea of a ‘mirror box’ in conversation, its meaning evolved to represent a sort of theoretical art object,” says Farrell. “If you imagine a cube made from mirrors floating in a landscape, it reflects you and your surroundings across six different planes. By peering into it, you begin view identity and place in novel ways.” The show’s participants interact with the world in a similar fashion, reflecting, filtering and distorting their varied contexts to create visions of the world that are requisitely imbued with their own experiences.

“The artworks and zines are mapping out this ‘complete picture’ of an experience,” says Gill. “We’re asserting that fully realized artistic expression can communicate something truer than, say, a hasty smartphone snapshot of a particular person or place.” In an increasingly polarized world, it’s a radical act of empathy to dive through the looking glass.

Follow Strangers Collective on Instagram and Facebook for behind-the-scenes photos and stories from the curatorial process, and RSVP for Mirror Box at the link below.

Learn more about this exhibition.
RSVP on Facebook.

Alicia Piller Artwork- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alicia Piller, Heart Flow, mixed media, 82 x 12 x 2.5 in., 2015.

Art

Kevin Bond, Derek Chan, Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill, Erin Gould, Julia Haywood, Chaz John, Kat Kinnick, Shannon Latham, Ariana Lombardi, Emily Mason, Nate Masse, Drew MC, David O’Brien, Josh Palmeri, Sarah Palmeri, Alicia Piller, Julie Slattery, Stephanie Thompson, Dion Valdez, Emmaly Wiederholt, Ona Yopack

Zines

Liz Brindley, Caryn Crimmel, Melissa Dow, Jordan Eddy, Juro Gagne, Jess Haring, Katie Johnson, Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, Amanda Malloy & David McCarty, Erin Mickelson, Erica Nguyen, Yvette Serrano, Bucket Siler, Stephanie Thompson, Charlotte Thurman, Emmaly Wiederholt, Rachelle Woods, Michael Wilson

Derek Chan Artwork- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Derek Chan, Mercury in Retrograde, acrylic, silver leaf and collage on panel, 72 x 48 in., 2013. Photo by Jose Rivera.

Announcing Strangers Collective’s Mirror Box.

Nate Masse Painter- Strangers Collective- Mirror Box Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Nate Masse, On Polyamory (detail), mixed media, 57.5 x 55″, 2013-2018

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form & concept and Strangers Collective occupy far-flung domains in Santa Fe’s art community. The former is a nearly 10,000-square-foot gallery in the city’s Railyard District, the latter is an emerging arts group that operates the three-room experimental art space No Land on the Santa Fe Plaza. From opposite ends of the scene, these two organizations have worked in complementary ways to elevate local, emerging artists.

Their paths intersect this winter with the debut of Mirror Box, an exhibition of artists and writers curated by Strangers Collective’s co-directors Alex Gill, Kyle Farrell and Jordan Eddy, and hosted by 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. Mirror Box opens at form & concept on Friday, February 23 from 5 to 8 pm, with a curator and artist talk on March 17 and a closing performance titled “Don’t You Want to Dance?” by Emmaly Wiederholt on April 14.

Emily Mason Photographer- Strangers Collective- Mirror Box Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery
Emily Mason, cannonball, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 in., 2015.

The term “mirror box” originates in the medical field: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran invented the box with two back-to-back mirrors in the center to help amputees manage phantom limb pain. The patient places the “good” limb into one side, and the “residual” limb into the other, making mirrored movements that can trick the brain into believing that it’s moving the phantom limb. “It’s a tribute to the incredible power of grey matter,” says Eddy. “If our minds are capable of conjuring a nervous system from thin air, can we link up with people, places or things in the same visceral but invisible way?” The curatorial team realized that art, like the mirror box, can act as a conduit for this type of transcendent—but also highly tangible—experience.

“As we turned over the idea of a ‘mirror box’ in conversation, its meaning evolved to represent a sort of theoretical art object,” says Farrell. “If you imagine a cube made from mirrors floating in a landscape, it reflects you and your surroundings across six different planes. By peering into it, you begin view identity and place in novel ways.” The show’s participants interact with the world in a similar fashion, reflecting, filtering and distorting their varied contexts to create visions of the world that are requisitely imbued with their own experiences.

Kevin Bond Photography- Mirror Box Exhibition- Strangers Collective- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Kevin Bond, Lumen Test #6, gelatin silver paper exposed to nature for 1 month, 5 x 7 in., 2017.

Photographer Emily Mason makes images of her surroundings, collages them onto sculptural props, and photographs the finished assemblages to create images that flicker between dimensionality and abstraction. Painter Nate Masse creates layered figurative compositions that compress visual details from multiple moments into a single, sensuous image. Sculptor Julie Slattery shapes talismanic objects—in this case, enormous bird skulls—that become emotional reliquaries for specific events in her life.

“The artworks and zines are mapping out this ‘complete picture’ of an experience,” says Gill. “We’re asserting that fully realized artistic expression can communicate something truer than, say, a hasty smartphone snapshot of a particular person or place.” In an increasingly polarized world, it’s a radical act of empathy to dive through the looking glass.

Learn more about this exhibition.
RSVP on Facebook.

Participating Artists

Kevin Bond, Derek Chan, Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill, Erin Gould, Julia Haywood, Kat Kinnick, Shannon Latham, Emily Mason, Nate Masse, Drew MC, David O’Brien, Sarah Palmeri, Alicia Piller, Julie Slattery, Stephanie Thompson, Dion Valdez, Emmaly Wiederholt, Ona Yopack

Participating Writers

Caryn Crimmel, Melissa Dow, Jordan Eddy, Juro Gagne, Jess Haring, Katie Johnson, Shannon Latham, Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, Erica Nguyen, Yvette Serrano, Bucket Siler, Stephanie Thompson, Charlotte Thurman, Emmaly Wiederholt, Rachelle Woods, Michael Wilson, Liz Brindley

Last Look: Rebecca Rutstein & Jared Weiss

It’s the final week of Rebecca Rutstein: Fault Lines and Jared Weiss: He’s Either Dead Or It Was His Birthday, two painting exhibitions that fill adjoining galleries on form & concept’s second floor. The shows are markedly different at first glance—Rutstein’s work is abstract, Weiss paints figures—but their conceptual frameworks have started to enmesh over the past 6 weeks. Michael Abatemarco discovered compelling links between them in his July 7th Pasatiempo article on both shows:

Two exhibits now on view at form & concept — Rebecca Rutstein: Fault Lines and Jared Weiss: He’s Either Dead or It Was His Birthday — explore internal and external worlds through a lens of abstraction. Basing her work on scientific data and observances, Rutstein takes elements of her research and recontextualizes them in paintings that explore motion, line, color, and form. Jared Weiss works from memory, or rather the lack thereof, exploring the phenomena of screen memories in a vibrant exhibition of paintings of scenes of daily life, much of it autobiographical, where not everything that’s happening is as it seems.

Abatemarco’s headline, “In the Abstract,” makes for an excellent bridge between the shows. Rutstein observes the landscape and paints abstract representations of the often invisible forces that shape it, while Weiss intentionally abstracts his figures and landscapes to drum up tension between the familiar and the alien. Both artists use scholarly research to guide their voyages through these ambiguous worlds, surfacing with imagery that’s striking in its originality.

Come see Weiss and Rutstein’s shows before they close on August 12, and click here to read Abatemarco’s piece. Our special exhibition Stefani Courtois: A Retrospective also closes this week, on August 11. Mark your calendar for the opening weekend of our next exhibition, Broken Boxes, starting Friday, August 18.  

Rebecca Rutstein Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Contagious, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in.
Jared Weiss Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Jared Weiss, If We Want to, If it Matters to Us, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Fantasy Obscured, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in.
Jared Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Jared Weiss, This Is Only a Little Of It, oil on canvas, 18 x 14 in.
Rebecca Rutstein Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Never Going Back Again, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in.
Jared Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Jared Weiss, Islands Are Not Forever, oil on canvas, 12 x 12 in.

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.

Summer Artist Talk: Heidi Brandow

Multi-disciplinary artist Heidi Brandow continues form & concept’s Summer Artist Talks series. She will speak about her artwork on Saturday, June 3, 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.

RSVP on Facebook.

Biography

“Heidi K. Brandow likes to explore the juxtaposition of things that are familiar and safe with those that might make us feel less comfortable, reflecting the mix of the positive and negative that appears in everyone’s life.” says the Albuquerque Journal North. Brandow is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is commonly filled with whimsical characters and monsters that are often combined with words of poetry, stories, and personal reflections. Hailing from a long line of Native Hawaiian singers, musicians and performers on her mother’s side and Diné storytellers and medicine people on her father’s side, she finds that her pursuit of an artistic career came natural. Drawing her inspiration from everyday life, Brandow’s work concerns discovering, defining, and redefining personal identity by questioning authority and deconstructing mainstream assumptions of Native Americans. Brandow’s work engages personal, cultural, and historical experiences while incorporating perspectives of critical theory.

Brandow is a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chatanooga, Tennessee, and the Luciano Benetton Collection in Italy. She is a featured artist in the School of Advanced Research (SAR) publication “Art in Our Lives: Native Artist Women in Dialogue. Heidi K. Brandow is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA and has studied design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Browse Heidi’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.

Shifting Landscapes: Dolores S. Slowinski

Dolores S. Slowinski has lived in Detroit for over 60 years. She received her BFA in weaving and ceramics from Wayne State University. After more than 40 years as an art writer and arts administrator, she returned to her studio practice in 1999. She’s found great success since then, showing her work in numerous exhibitions in Detroit and beyond.

Dolores’ artwork explores the use of thread as line, in the form of hand-stitched drawings on paper. Recently, she started applying these drawings to recycled, industrial-grade corrugate to create architectural statements about neighborhoods, urban decay, and gentrification. Archipoptosis, her artwork in our Shifting Landscapes show with Surface Design Association, is one such piece. We interviewed Dolores about her life in Detroit and how it has influenced her artwork. Watch the video above, and scroll down for the full interview.

Dolores Slowinski Artist- Shifting Landscapes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery
Dolores Slowinski, Archipoptosis, thread, beads and felt on paper.

Inquire about this Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Have you always lived in Detroit?

Except for two years, yes. I went to college there, at Wayne State University.

And when you were growing up, the auto industry was—

Booming, yeah.

Could you talk about your experience of that history?

One of the things you did in Detroit, when you had friends or relatives from out of town, you took them to the Ford Rouge Plant for the factory tours. It’s not the sanitized version you get now. I remember they took you along the catwalks through the foundry area, so I saw the blast furnaces being emptied.

I saw this big ladle of molten metal, which was so hot I thought my shoes and my tights were going to melt. I started crying. And finally, my father or an uncle picked me up, and I saw it being poured into the carts that took the molten metal over to be cast into ingots, which where then flattened into steel. I saw those slabs of steel in the rolling mill, rolling back and forth, and they were still red hot. I don’t remember much of the rest of the tour because that made such an impact. 

When I was in school, there weren’t field trips to the art museum, but I knew I liked art. My school was run by nuns who had background in art, and they let us paint murals on the blackboards during the holidays. I thought that was wonderful.

When I was 13, my best friend and I decided to take two buses downtown and got to the Art Institute on our own. We walked into the Great Hall, which is where they have the Diego Rivera murals. It was like PTSD. I had immediate flashbacks to those tours of the Ford Rouge Plant.

Right, because those Rivera murals were commissioned by Ford.

Right. There was a blast furnace at the top of one of the murals, and you could see how hot it was. There was an assembly line on another wall, and one of the men looked like my father.

I just started sobbing and went crying out of the room into the ancient galleries. My girlfriend said, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘I can smell it, I can see it, I can feel the heat. I can’t go in there.’

That taught me the power of art. It made me want to become an artist even more.

Dolores Slowinski Artwork- Shifting Landscapes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery
Dolores Slowinski, Archipoptosis, thread, beads and felt on paper.

What happened next?

Well, I went to a parochial high school that had no art program. I started college at the University of Detroit, studying biology and chemistry. In 1967, my classes were interrupted because of the Detroit rebellion. I wanted to attend the Art School at the Detroit Society for Arts and Crafts, but they didn’t offer a degree. They had an art department at Wayne State, so I just walked across the street and registered to study weaving and ceramics.

After graduation, I wasn’t able to do much with ceramics because in the city you’d have to get permits to build a kiln outside. So I bought a $200 loom from a farmer’s wife who used it to weave rag rugs, and set it up in my bedroom.

Then I got a job on Art Train, which had me travel all over the state. I eventually moved to a one-room school in Cass City and set up a studio there, which is where I met my husband.

Let’s leap forward to today. Detroit is a very different place. How did you come up with the title of your Shifting Landscapes artwork, Archipoptosis?

I would drive around Detroit from one place to another, and see these abandoned strip malls. I consider the strip mall to be the death of American architecture. Apoptosis is the term used to identify an event that triggers the death of a cell. With the proliferation of strip malls, I saw that as architectural apoptosis. Thus, Archipoptosis.

Human displacement, whether voluntary or involuntary, is what triggered the decay. You had loss of customers, businesses closed and were vandalized. Scrappers came in and stripped the copper out of buildings. You’d see shattered windows, and security gates that were pried open. It was a real devastation there. It was like the lifeblood of a neighborhood literally seeped out. That’s why there’s all that red bead work on the piece.

Did you see hope there as well?

If you’re a gardener, you know that anything that dies can go in the compost pile, and compost is a source of tremendous nutrients. At the same time that the decay was there, there was also great opportunity.

It’s the human beings that are restoring the city, using their own ingenuity. Sometimes it takes a big influx of money, sometimes it’s a lot of sweat equity. That’s why the little hand is on top of the piece, because humans are bringing it back. It’ll take a long time, it won’t look the same, it won’t be the same, but it’s coming back.

This piece tells a pretty complex story. How does that come together?

It comes from the experiences you have. When you live in a place for over 60 years, you’ve seen all these changes. You’ve thought about the children that walk to and from school past these empty buildings and wondered how they feel, and then you hear about the school closing and kids being shuffled around to schools far from their neighborhood.

And so, it’s all there. If you live in a place long enough, all those experiences are there and you just need the opportunity to give them voice or vision or form.

Dolores Slowinski Artwork- Shifting Landscapes Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery
Dolores Slowinski, Archipoptosis, thread, beads, and felt on paper.

See Dolores Slowinski’s Archipoptosis in form & concept’s Shifting Landscapes exhibition, which has been extended through June 10.

Upcoming Event: Jewelry Artist Talks

In Process Jewelry Artist Talk- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

In the form & concept shop, paintings appear beside jewelry designs and sculptures mingle with hand-painted ceramics. The space, which adjoins form & concept’s ground-floor exhibition rooms, is a powerful expression of the gallery’s mission: to blur the lines between art, craft, and design. This weekend, form & concept teams up with local jewelers to celebrate jewelry design as its own exquisite art form. IN PROCESS: Jewelry Artist Talks will feature special demonstrations from a number of jewelry artists represented by the form & concept shop. Participating jewelers include Bunny Tobias, Charles Greeley, Brian Fleetwood, Debra Baxter, Danny Hart and Victor Atyas.

Debra Baxter Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
DB/CB by Debra Baxter, Crystal Quartz in Bronze Necklace, 2″ x 3 ¼” x 1 ¼”, $245

Debra Baxter is a sculptor and jewelry designer who combines hand formed bronze with crystals & minerals. Baxter’s work is rooted in craft, honoring the materials that express her ideas. Her wearable sculpture piece Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty) is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian.

Bunny Tobias Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Bunny Tobias, Bronze Swarovski Hinged Pendant Necklace, 3 ½” x 2 ¼” x ½”, $1125

For the past forty years, Bunny Tobias has created cutting edge ceramic art, paintings, mixed-media collages. She designs and fabricates jewelry using the same eclectic imagery. Recent work includes hand fabricated bronze jewelry set with a vast array of crystal and gems.

Brian Fleetwood Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Brian Fleetwood, Cloth and Rubber Spore Brooch, 2 ½” x 2 ½” x ½”, $140

Brian Fleetwood is a Santa Fe-based jewelry artist whose work addresses 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.

Charles Greeley Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Charles Greeley, Japanese Paper & Balsa Wood Earrings, 3 ½” x 1 3/4″, $40

Charles Greeley attended the New York School of Visual Arts, and moved to San Francisco in 1967 where he is in the permanent collection at SFMOMA. He uses the spiritualization of nature, the fantastic, the dream, psychedelics, and the study of Eastern religions as themes in his collages and jewelry.

Danny Hart Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Danny Hart, Walnut Bluegrass Green Acrylic Sterling Silver Feather Pendant, 3 ½” x 1 1/8″, $65

Danny Hart was born and raised in New Mexico. Hart’s childhood in Santa Fe cultivated his passion for creative processes and design. In his jewelry design work, he draws inspiration from the colorful landscape of his home state, his father’s woodwork, his mother’s inherent craftiness and his background in architecture.

Victor Atyas Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico
Victor Atyas, Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet, 2 ½” x 2 ¾” x ¾”, $1050

Victor Atyas was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, grew up in Italy, and at age 20 immigrated to the United States. Now a long-time Santa Fean, Atyas is well-known for his signature three-dimensional constructed gold and silver pieces, suited to be worn or framed and hung on a wall. His metalsmithing ability is reflected in the fine craftsmanship of the refined and elegant jewelry designs.

Click here to learn more about IN PROCESS: Jewelry Artist Talks, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook. If you’re coming to see a particular jeweler, here’s the speaking schedule. All of the artists will be in the gallery from 1-3 pm.

Schedule:
Bunny Tobias | 1:00 pm
Debra Baxter | 1:20 pm
Charles Greeley | 1:40 pm
Danny Hart | 2:00 pm
Brian Fleetwood | 2:20 pm
Victor Atyas | 2:40 pm