WORKING WITH KIN, CURATED BY HEIDI BRANDOW
Jamison Chās Banks, Heidi Brandow, Nigel Paul Conway, Eliza Naranjo Morse, Alex Peña
July 16–July 29, 2022
OPENING RECEPTION WITH THE ARTISTS
Friday, July 29, 5-7pm
(July 2022) Curated by Heidi Brandow, Working with Kin serves as a dimensional biography of the Santa Fe-based artist’s life and creative practice, uniting friends and mentors from early childhood to post-Institute of American Indian Arts graduation. Contemporary artists Jamison Chās Banks, Nigel Paul Conway, Eliza Naranjo Morse and Alex Peña are joined by Heidi Brandow herself. A special preview of the show will be on view Saturday, July 16 through July 29, with the opening reception scheduled on Friday, July 29, 5–7pm. Working with Kin will be on view through October 1, 2022.
form & concept favorite Heidi Brandow curates and contributes to this group exhibition, wherein conceptual and aesthetic influences ranging from commercial arts, illustration and animation to modernist abstraction flow in every direction, offering new context for each artist’s work. Naranjo Morse, a fellow UCross resident alongside Brandow, presents works started at UCross and finished this year, linking not only the childhood friends’ creative triumphs and trajectory but also their dedication and proliferation (Brandow, Naranjo Morse and Banks all present work finished this year).
Underscoring the sanctuary and safety of friends and family are also Banks’ hand-sewn and printed life vests and safety instructions, while his nostalgia-laden VHS tapes recall Brandow and Kahm’s use of line and color. Finally, Alex Peña’s delicate, fragile renderings in gold leaf and paint, some of which contain actual preserved flowers, create a beautifully beatific bridge between teacher and student, life and death and Brandow’s own ongoing reflection on the remains of the land in which many of the artists on view continue to explore.
“The artists I chose are asking a lot of the same questions, and not accepting the status quo of what art or Native art should be,” Brandow says. The exhibition serves as a tribute to Jeff Kahm, Brandow’s former professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts, who passed away in March 2021.
Jamison Chās Banks, Heidi Brandow. Nigel Paul Conway, Eliza Naranjo Morse, Alex Peña
Jamison Chās Banks is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates films, paintings, performances and installations. His works often explore the history of war and territorial expansion, both literal and psychological. Banks appropriates and alters symbols employed in propaganda and popular culture and redeploys them in contexts that subvert their original meanings. Banks is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the Studio Arts Department of Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, where he earned is BFA in 2012. He is a citizen of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma.
Heidi Brandow is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is commonly filled with whimsical characters and monsters, and 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, Brandow discovers and redefines personal identity by questioning authority and deconstructing mainstream assumptions of Native Americans. Brandow’s paintings are a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, NM; the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN; and the Luciano Benetton Collection in Italy. She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe; Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA; and Istanbul Technical University in Turkey.
Nigel Paul Conway is known for his abstract figurative paintings with their captivating voluminous features, specifically eyes and lips. Through his continued exploration of new subjects and media, Conway acclaimed self-taught style combines levity with a profound connection to the subjects he paints. His work is included in prominent public and private collections across the globe, including Bataan Memorial Building in Santa Fe. Conway currently lives and works in Santa Fe, NM, and is a represented artist of Ventana Fine Art in Santa Fe.
Eliza Naranjo Morse is from Kha’p’o Owingeh, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM. She has participated in creative activity individually, locally, nationally and internationally for more than 20 years. These efforts are centered around community relationships as well as cultural care. Her work has been featured globally including at The Center for Indigenous Arts, Veracruz, Mexico; SITE Santa Fe, NM; and IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM, among others. In 2007, she was awarded the Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM. In 2021, she was awarded the Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists at Ucross, WY. Naranjo Morse obtained a BS in art from Skidmore College in 2003 and currently lives and works in Northern New Mexico.
Alex Peña is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation in Oklahoma. He incorporates cultural knowledge, interpersonal relationships and the idea of beauty within his work. He relies heavily on the process and he allows the media to dictate, refine or enhance his statement of aesthetic worth. Peña’s work suggests place and emotion, with intentional elements of obscurity and uncertainty.
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