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Posts Tagged ‘Independent Artists’



Collaborative Art Santa Fe: Part II

Interference, Wasteland Scene

If you caught Currents 2011, you likely remember the video installation Interference: a  rubble-strewn urban wasteland that shifted to lush forest when intersected with human presence. Interactives were a big draw at the Currents exhibition (I had particular fun playing with John Carpenter’s Dandelion Clock.) With Interference, cooperation yielded a greater payback: the more people clustered together, the more forest could be reclaimed.

That bonus-through-alliance was fitting for a piece that was itself a matrix of logistical, technical and professional harmony. The creation of three artists, Brian Bixby, Charles Buckingham and Mike Root, working cooperatively from three far-flung cities –Berlin, Portland, and Santa Fe—Interference is a monument to concord and methodical cooperation.  How the piece came together was nearly as fascinating to me as the result, so I pummeled Mike Root for answers he happily supplied.

What was your intention?

We wanted to make sure the interaction didn’t feel like a game. A lot of the best interactive work I’ve seen is basically a video game mechanic. I love video games but we didn’t want to create one. So we developed this concept of 3 layers in 3D space and began playing with the idea of allowing the audience to move around inside this augmented space of 3 dimensions. Our intention was to create an experience where the viewer’s presence immediately effected the scene, first mysteriously and abstractly, then as the viewer got closer the interaction became more concrete and a message emerged: “You effect your environment.”

How did you pick the team and choose your roles in the project?

The three of us share interests in similar digital art forms, musicians, film directors. We’ve known each other for about 10 years, in which time we’ve worked on video and music projects together, including collaborative work an online ambient video series (Snowflakes) as well as developing web applications, like the website for SITE Santa Fe’s 2010 Biennial, The Dissolve. To realize our idea for this piece was really a matter of matching what we know of each other’s strengths, both technically and creatively, to the tasks at hand.

Tell me about the mechanics of working together over a distance.  How did you communicate ideas and build the installation?

We held bi-monthly Skype meetings…during [which]…we critiqued each other’s work in the context of the direction of the overall piece. Much of the honing of the idea and execution happened during these exchanges… A great asset was the ability to share huge digital files via a shared server.  “Working” files in After Effects, Photoshop and Jitter were easy to view and “demo” once we each had the source footage and photography on our individual computers.

Who did What?

Charles and videographer Eric Macey shot several days of HD footage in scenic spots around Oregon. Charles also did the sound design, which fades between idyllic natural river sounds and haunting urban soundscapes.

The piece exploits infrared data captured by an Xbox Kinect unit.  Charles spent many hours exploring how to best interpret and utilize this three dimensional data to make the installation react in “human” ways to the viewers. He configured a Mac computer to access and control the Xbox Kinect, then created a Jitter patch which took infrared data from the Kinect and used it to manipulate the audio and video components of the installation.

Brian shot high resolution photography of urban rubble and construction sites in Berlin, which he assembled into large scale seamless panoramas in Photoshop.… Through careful and tedious use of effects he transformed the images into a post-apocalyptic scene, eventually adding animation of smoke and rain along with 3D lighting.

I sorted through the extensive Oregon footage, eventually settling on a panorama of a forest, with river foreground. [I then] stitched together a giant-scale video composite from six high definition camera angles, [and] added 3D lighting to bring out certain areas of the scene. Brian and I collaborated on fine-tuning the rain and lighting of the Berlin rubble heap.

I also coordinated and interfaced with Currents curators Frank Ragano and Mariannah Amster who really “got” the piece and afforded a perfect space within the exhibition for the piece.

How did it feel when you saw the installation on site?

What was most gratifying was seeing the people who attended the Currents exhibition react in unexpectedly profound ways with our piece. We witnessed people go through an experiential envelope from curiosity to puzzlement to elation after spending a few minutes interacting with our piece. The “take away” from this experience was a spark of inspiration to re-envision the polluted decay of urban landscape as something you can affect and reclaim.

People commented on it and interpreted it in very positive and inspiring ways. One of the highlights was watching viewers grab other people nearby and create a human wall, which reclaimed the entire scene from ruins to pure nature.

New direction or never again?  

This piece was the first time for us to work on something interactive as a team, so the resulting work is something new and unexpected for all three of us. We’re applying to other exhibitions with this piece and hope to install it on a larger scale.  We’re curious to see how people in other places respond.

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Interference, River Scene

If you missed Currents 2011, or are nostalgic for a revisit, check out this video documentation. It’s no substitute for the full experience, but it’s a great commercial.

Collaborative Art Santa Fe, Pt. I

Michael Rohner/Gwen A.P.: Collaboration in Process

Collaborative Art: What springs to mind?  The Dadaists of Cabaret Voltaire? Andy Warhol’s Factory? Jeff Koon’s Studio? (or any number of less famous examples.) I’m used to the idea of collaboration in the workplace, or in improvisational theater, where good work can become great work when spontaneous sharing reigns and egos take a back seat. But co-production of an art piece opens the door to a crowd of questions: Who owns the work? Who’s the author (of particular concern where one talent has the idea which another talent executes)? Where is the work made?  Your place or mine?  Same time or consecutively?

Mark Dunhill and Tamiko O’Brien reflect thoughtfully on issues central to the process of artistic collaboration in their blog Collaborative Arts: Conversations on Collaborative Arts Practise  And truly, there are no static, definitive answers. There is, however, rich potential.  Two outstanding local examples are Meow Wolf’s Due Return, showing through August 21st at the CCA and Interference: an interactive video environment created by Brian Bixby, Charles Buckingham and Mike Root, featured at Currents 2011 in June. Watch for reviews of both productions in upcoming posts.

Bonnaroo Tree, Michael Rohner/Gwen A.P., On Site Collaboration

This weekend, delight yourself with a first hand look at spontaneous co-creation at the 39th Annual Girl’s Inc. Arts and Crafts Show on The Plaza. Look for Booth G-18, near the intersection of Old Santa Fe Trail and San Francisco. Santa Fe Emerging Artist, Mike Rohner will be painting with Gwen AP, of Pittsburg PA. The pair met in Tennessee, at the Bonnaroo music festival. “Our artistic vibes clicked,” says Michael,”and we began immediately collaborating on paintings, taking turns working at the canvas in front of the main stage and thousands of music fans.” After each went home, they started a long-distance venture, where one of them would begin painting a canvas and the other would finish it up. To the right is a sample of what happened in Tennessee, since sold. Below are the fruits of the pair’s long-distance efforts. You’ll have your chance to pick up a Santa Fe spawned collaboration tomorrow and meet the gracious and ever-amiable Rohner in the bargain.

Calvin Tree, Michael Rohner/Gwen A.P., via long distance collaboration

Changing Gallery Presents “Practical Nonsense”

a Mercantile of the Bizarre and Unusual in the Spirit of Dadaism and Mad Humor

Victorian Skateboard

On April 16th, from 4-8 PM, Changing Gallery hosts the Opening for “Practical Nonsense: a mercantile of the bizarre and unusual.” This solo exhibition by artist Esteban Bojorquez features “assemblage and readymades in the spirit of dadaism and mad humor.” Many pieces were crafted specifically to play off the special character of Changing Gallery’s current venue, The Palace Grocery Store.

Practical Nonsense is a Mom & Pop convenience store in the Twilight Zone, an emporium of delightful oddities and witty wonders. Look for the * Alien Space Helmet and Assorted Ray Guns * The Dutch Disco Shoe * Expired Goods –100% off! * Money Hungry Bank (with teeth!) * Golf Ball on the Moon (a victim of extraterrestrial forces) * The Do-it-Yourself Series, including * “You Can Be a Space Cowboy * the Vampire Kit (complete with mirror, mallet and silver tipped bullets.) * and an unforgettable freezer display, “Joe the Butcher and His Calvacade of Meat.” All this plus, The Frolic Room….

HOURS:

Saturday, April 16th, 4:00-8:00 PM

Sunday, April 17th, 1:00-4:00 PM

Saturdays, April 23rd and April 30th, 1:00-4:00 PM, and By Appointment.

As Changing Gallery, real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography and music of local, independent and emerging creative talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale.

Vampire Kit by Esteban Bojorquez

Check out this short Video of the Show

 

The Art of Upcycling

Sunrise, by Esteban Bojorquez

Upcycling is “the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value,” says Wikipedia.  Where recycling converts plastic bottles into microfiber jackets, upcycling turns newsprint into notebooks, or broken skateboards into hip, colorful benches. For the smartest elucidation of the difference I’ve run across, read this post on Intercon.

Trazzlers’ Turning Trash into Visionary Art is a fun tour of “the mind-boggling things people make with junk.”  From an oceanside pipe organ made of cemetery detrius to the tire, bottle, can and scrap metal-composed Earthships of Taos, the article celebrates extraordinary eventualities that come about when trash falls into the hands of manic humans with vision.

I found the post, Fabulous Furniture Made of Unusual Upcycled Objects on the sharp-minded culture-sifter BrainPickings, the blog committed to “curating eclectic interestingness from culture’s collective brain.” If the idea of a coffin couch gives you the creeps, how ’bout one made through a marriage of old-style leather car seats and vintage refrigerators?

Recently, we were introduced to the work of independent artist Esteban Bojorquez who “[collects] and [reconstructs] the discarded refuse of our throwaway society” into dynamic, tactile delights. Bojorquez’ studio is a brilliant fun house chock-a-block with cheerful, burnished castoffs carefully conjoined into visually pleasing, balanced compositions.  (Watch for a future studio visit.)

Alien Skull, by Esteban Bojorquez

The piece that hooked my interest was “Alien skull:” a metal doppleganger of that overworked Western icon, The Cow Skull. His guitars made of 5 gallon gas cans and other found materials dazzle with wit and whimsical appeal. Bojorquez’ work seemed a perfect match for Changing Gallery’s current venue, the old Palace Grocery Store, near the heart of downtown Santa Fe, so we were thrilled when he consented to a show. If you’re in town on April 16th, come see Bojorquez transform the Palace into, in his words, “an environmental installation, a mercantile of the bizarre and unusual, incorporating [his] assemblage art and creating new products in the spirit of dadaism and mad humor.”

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The art of Esteban Bojorquez was featured on CNN’s My City, My Secret.  Professional Skateboarder Terry Kennedy shared his favorite haunts in the San Fernando Valley, including a trip to Cal State Northridge art museum. Watch the video here.

Wee OK: Documentary Photographs of New Orleans

Wee OK, by Grace Berge

Sprayed across the door and siding of a home abandoned after Katrina is the message, “Wee OK” plus three names and a phone number. The extra “e” is blurred, perhaps half erased, perhaps just a burp of the spraycan, an unconscious error and unwitting double entrendre. “Wee OK.” Not fully or grandly okay. Just a wee little bit okay, but enough. Don’t worry. Here’s our number. You can call.

Katrina remains New Orleans’ indelible shadow, the top note and backbeat to any discussion of the city. But New Orleans is a city of deep, rich, dimensional culture, and a wellspring of American music. Changing Gallery’s next exhibition offers two photographic perspectives on life in New Orleans: the dark destruction post Katrina and the enveloping joy of the music scene.

Grace Berge’s documentary photographs of post-Katrina devastation will be projected within an installation that mimics the environments in which they were shot.

Marc Malin, photographer, musician and long time contributor to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic (NOMC), will show photographs of musicians and musical events in New Orleans. Malin describes his work as “impressionist documents:” uncontrived, “captured moments” shot documentary style, but using equipment and processing techniques that “[convey] the feeling; and or energy present.” Head to Main’s website to see the astounding gallery of musical talents– Dr. John, Buddy Guy, The Neville Brothers, Toni Bennett, Brownie McGhee and so many more– Malin has captured on film. A portion of proceeds from the sale of prints and cards will be donated to NOMC.

Social Aid & Pleasure Club Parade, by Marc Malin

Musicians Marc Malin, Mike Handler, Larry Diaz, Janice Mohr-Nelson, Vin Kelly and Arne Bey –The Country Blues Revue– will play a set. Read more about the band, on the bill for this summer’s Thirsty Ear Festival, at their Facebook page, Marc and Mike’s Country Blues Revue

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As Changing Gallery, real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography and music of local, independent and emerging creative talents.  Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale.

 

 

Polymorphic Polymediac: Artist RosS Hamlin

things i’d love to do: …play kick-the-can with the pharcyde and pooh sticks with tom waits…. –RosS Hamlin on MySpace

When I approached RosS Hamlin, musician, artist and director of Little Wing Performance Space, to ask if he was game for an interview, his response came through Facebook mobile as four vertical quadrangles. I thought it might be an artist thing. Turns out, it was and it wasn’t. RosS wrote “game” upside down which flummoxed my App. But RosS isn’t a vanity artist, posturing obscurity to emphasize originality. Thoughtful, articulate, polite and professional, RosS knows that to get all that wild-minded, perspective-changing creative brilliance before the world, you have to be functional, albeit with a flourish.

“Santa Fe’s newest and most open-minded music and art space,” Little Wing is a bonanza for emerging and independent artists and musicians.  We hear nothing but love for this place and much of that because of the man behind the shows. When I asked RosS how he attracts those who want to use the space, he said, “I don’t have a set criteria. Bands of every genre are welcome here, as are any workshops, clinics or classes that want to rent the space out. If they have the money, they can do whatever they want here,” citing just one incident where he’s turned away a potential renter and speaking with charity about a single workshop that bombed. “We’re all learning.”

We met RosS at a meeting of the After Hours Alliance, “founded in 2010 by a group of music and arts promoters under the mission of connecting the younger people of Santa Fe to meaningful and relevant after-hours events.” (I spoke about AHA in an earlier post, The Care and Feeding of Santa Fe’s Creative Class.) Hamlin’s participation in the all-volunteer organization is emblematic of his generosity. That generosity extends to his financial arrangement with acts who book Little Wing (60/40 split in favor of performers; 70/30 split in favor of gallery artists) and his efforts to make the venue accessible. Indeed, this is a guy spinning with talent –musical, visual and verbal.  He could probably keep the place booked showcasing his own work and personal picks.  But that’s not his way.

Drop in on Hamlin’s website to check out his round robin of abilities, affiliations and inspiration. In addition to arting, composing and music-making, he is also a guitar, electric bass, voice, composition, and music theory teacher through his school, Full Circle Guitar. When he claims that his approach “emphasizes full-brain creativity [and his] style is patient, detailed, innovative and most importantly, fun,” I believe him.  Hamlin’s sincerity and humility are solid and palpable.

Be sure to savor a few tracks on Hamlin’s site on Reverbnation.  I admit to a pedestrian resistant to present day Jazz, which “The Mustache who loved Me” –an engaging fusion of jazz and funk– quickly set straight. Or better yet, treat yourself to an evening’s entertainment at Little Wing Performance Space. Hamlin’s ever-evolving artistic intelligence and expansive inclusivity –a recent event united the potent forces of Meow Wolf and Red Cell’s The Process with out-of-town talent –ensure a bounty of cultural experience that is truly the wellspring of Santa Fe’s “robust art scene,” to quote the New York Times. All Hamlin asks is that you pay your pittance and pull up a chair.

Watch Joshua Maes video of our visit to Little Wing

LocalMotion: Northern New Mexico’s November Art & Studio Tours

Painted fish swim across a ceramic celandon sea.  The spout has a jaunty arc and the clever lid has recessed wells for easy grasping.  It’s a marvelous teapot, bought over 25 years ago: a happy reminder of the rich vein of artistic talent that lies along and near the High Road from Santa Fe to Taos.  The teapot’s creator is ceramicist Nausika Richardson, founder of the annual Dixon Studio Tour.

Nausika Richardson, Square Ceramic Bowl

For 29 years, on the first full weekend of November, the artists, artisans and farmers of Dixon have been hosting one of the oldest and best known of New Mexico’s studio tours.  Locals and tourists alike flock annually to this tiny pastoral town, seated at the confluence of the Embudo River and the Rio Grande.  Dixon is rich in historic tradition, creative culture and easy charm, worth a visit for its physical beauty alone. The studio tour is an amiable opportunity to savor the town’s appeal, support local talents and get a jump on holiday shopping where the purchase process is itself a gift.

For one resident’s view of community life, check out the memoirs of Stanley G. Crawford– A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small Farm in New Mexico, and Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico. (Crawford’s books and garlic arrangements will be on sale during the tour.) Grab lunch or an early dinner at acclaimed restaurant Embudo Station off Highway 68 between Dixon and Velarde. (T: 505.852.4707.) Dixon is located about 50 miles northeast of Santa Fe, 25 miles southwest of Taos. For map, schedule and artist info, visit the tour’s website or follow Dixon Studio Tour on Facebook.

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In downtown Santa Fe, independent artist Mark Frossard moves his Cafe Tour to The Station Cafe in the Railyard District.  The exhibition, entitled “Pit Stops,” features 5 brand new paintings and several never-before-displayed older works, centered on the theme of transportation, relocation and expansion. Frossard shares his keen observation of human quirks and vulnerabilities with a cartoonist’s economy of line. In his subtle humor and depth of insight, he reminds me  a trace of author and illustrator James Thurber.  Opening reception takes place Friday, November 5th, from 5:00 – 7:00pm. The Station Cafe is located near the Santa Fe Train Depot at 530 S. Guadalupe. If you can’t make the opening, go back for breakfast.  The espresso drinks, made with illy coffee, are top-notch.

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Next weekend, November 13-14th, head out to Eldorado for annual Fall Show put on by The Eldorado Arts and Crafts Association. And be sure not to miss the 12th annual Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival (see Art + Green on the Santa Fe Creative Scene.)

For more information on November Art Openings and Events in and around Santa Fe, consult the Calendar at Santa Fe Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s excellent website or check out the offerings at the Santa Fe Gallery Association.

Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. For up-to-date market info and full access to the MLS, visit: Santa Fe Real Estate Downtown.

This Week on Santa Fe’s Creative Scene, October 1, 2010

The aspens are changing, the days’ temps swinging in wide arcs from cool to hot.  And the light, the fabulous Santa Fe light, is in its soft, pellucid glory. I love Fall.  It may be the twilight of the year’s cycle, but it feels like a Spring of possibilities.

Is it my perennial optimism or is there a new vigor on the emerging/indie arts scene? Answer the question by checking out some of the offerings around town this weekend.

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Tonight, Friday October 1st, between 6-8 PM, head over to Backroad Pizza South for Mark Frossard‘s “casual, unofficial pizza party [art] opening.” Have a little pizza and beer with the easy-going, yet sharply attuned artist who shares his insightful observations of human nature in brightly colored southwestern tableau. Backroad Pizza South is located on Highway 14, just past Santa Fe Brewing Co. on Bisbee Court.

Also on Friday, from 5-7:30 at At MOV-IN Gallery on the campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD), see the video/sound installation Jacqui Kuraj – “IN THE YEAR OF BLAME” – THE BODY AS SACRIFICIAL LANDSCAPE. Read an interview with Kuraj on the End of Being website

Classical/Spanish musician Mike Tait Tafoya writes, “my good friend Tommy Vigil is having an art show tonight at Counter Culture (on Baca St.) from 6-9pm. Acrylic Paintings and photos Dia de los Muertos style! If you like skulls and stuff like that, you’ll really dig his art!”

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On Saturday, October 2, Axle Contemporary will park its Van Gallery at Española’s 9th Annual Spañapalooza, a concert and skating competition held in Valdez Park.

Saturday night, let a lineup of musical masters stretch your auditory dimensions at the Second Installment in the Fall Series at High Mayhem Emerging Arts Studio

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On Sunday, October 3rd, at 8 PM,  head downtown to Corazon, 401 S. Guadalupe St, and shake the kinks out of your week to the tunes of Ty Segall and Ghost Circles, presented by The Process. Spin Magazine says, “Warped sonics do nothing to diminish the impact of his vigorously nostalgic riff and stomp. Segall thunders along with the timeless, impudently rowdy energy of a cement basement dance-off.”

The Care & Feeding of Santa Fe’s Creative Class

the Reciprocal Value of Supporting the Local Alt/Indie Creative Scene

Places that succeed in attracting and retaining creative class people prosper; those that fail don’t. –Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class

A thriving music and nightlife scene is critical to attracting and retaining the young, brilliant, awesome people that Santa Fe needs. –After Hours Alliance

Musical Expression, Josh Gallegos

Last Wednesday, Joshua and I sat in on a meeting of the After Hours Alliance (AHA), a volunteer consortium of local music and art promoters dedicated to supporting and sustaining a vibrant, dimensional night scene for the younger set in Santa Fe. Even if you’re neither young, nor interested in the city’s nightlife, here are a few things you should know about the group. AHA supports all-ages access to night time events.  It is dedicated to promoting responsible alcohol consumption at the events it sponsors and has concrete ideas as to how to make this happen (read more on this topic at Activate or Deteriorate).

Its backbone support players are hardworking, resourceful actioneers: people like Shannon Murphy, Dan Werwath, and the folks behind High Mayhem, Meow Wolf, Little Wing, Team Everything and The Process, among others.  All are people who consistently make art and music events happen with or without time, money or a dedicated home.

This weekend, help make Santa Fe a friendly incubator of creative young talent by going where you’ve never gone before: get off the Canyon Road/Santa Fe Plaza art circuit and check out a new venue.  See the list below for alt/indie art and music options worth investigating. Good for you; good for them; good for the city.

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This Friday evening, from 4-7 PM, head over to the Railyard Arts District for a double axle delight from Axle Contemporary. If you haven’t seen this marvelously creative mobile gallery, make the detour. Axle Contemporary (the shiny, tricked-out van) will showcase ongoing exhibit, Transmissions.  Axle Annex will be featuring  Sun, Flower, Seed a vehicular installation by Matthew Chase-Daniel.  Transmissions will continue to roll its way around Santa Fe through October 14th, but you have just three days to see Sun, Flower Seed.

Axle Art's Gallery on Wheels

Also on Friday the 24th, from 6-9 PM, for ONE night only, view Conglomerate Perception, at popup gallery, Symphonic Soul, located at 1012 Marquez Place, Unit #108B in Santa Fe (next to Valdez Glass.)  Show features the work of emerging and independent artists Josh Gallegos, Cotton Miller, Mike Rohner, David Hyams, Anne Kelly, Carolyn Wright and Michael Webb. Swing by for food, music and a chance to meet and mingle with artists.

Wish Santa Fe had a better music scene? Then show your support for still young performance and educational space, Little Wing, with a weekend lineup that spans a variety of tastes.

Tomorrow night, check out THE NEXT REVOLUTION Hip Hop Art/Music show presented by TNR Crew with Casuno, DJ Meshak, Galley Cat, DJ Shakedown, Perish and more TBA :::6:30-9pm :::cost TBA

And on Sunday the 26th, don’t miss Pillars & Tongues, Aaron Martin, Secret Spells presented by Red Cell’s, The Process :::8pm $5

Little Wing is located next to the CandyMan, at 851 St. Michael’s Drive. 505.983.5906.

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If your musical taste runs avant garde, don’t miss Saturday’s full banquet concert at High Mayhem, 2811 Siler Lane, 505.501.3333  Get an advance-rundown on the show at The Santa Fe Reporter

** Congratulations to Axle Contemporary for today’s write up in the culture section of the New York Times.  “We’re blending the high and the low, the exclusive and the democratic, and taking those boundaries and crossing them,” says Axle’s co-founder Matthew Chase-Daniel of the old Hostess delivery truck — refashioned with track lighting, plastered walls and skylights — that serves as his gallery. Read the full article at Let It Roll: Santa Fe’s Art A Go-Go

I loved hearing the NYT refer to Santa Fe’s art scene as “robust,” referencing last year’s piece, The Art of Being Santa Fe.  There are certainly many working to make the Santa Fe art world ever more broad and vigorous.

Past as Presence: Joanne Lefrak at Box Gallery

Joanne Lefrak is lovely and charming, with a warmth and gentle spontaneity that disarms.

Given the potent mystique of the brooding artist, you might think niceness would be an occupational detriment, or at the least, irrelevant.  But if you’re in the business of brokering relationships and gathering stories, it helps to be the sort of person who invites engagement the way a puppy invites touch.

Surely that effulgent loveliness serves her work at SITE Santa Fe, where she works as education and catalogue manager and runs the Young Curator’s Program. It also enabled her to entice ghost town raconteurs to unfurl the old family stories she pairs with the delicate drawings in her show, Past as Presence, currently on display at Box Gallery.

Like any good works of art, Lefrak’s pieces unveil in layers. The fact that she scratched her drawings onto plexiglass is an immediately appreciable neat trick, especially for anyone who has ever tried NOT to scratch plexi and knows just how touchy a medium it is.  And it’s also quite cool that wall-mounting and front-lighting these scratched plexi panels reveals pallid but precise images in shadow. What follows is what you feel: the haunting resonance of powerful times past–at the Trinity Site, testing ground for atomic bombs, and in the faint, memory-bent remnants of a vigorous family life echoed in a present day ghost town.

Head down to Box Gallery, downtown in the Santa Fe Railyard, and spend a half an hour absorbing these etheric wonders.  Slip on a set of headphones, and listen to the words of the ranchers Lefrak befriended. Share the fresh, direct sense of something not there made real and present by the humble, receptivity of this gentle artist.

Exhibition runs August 27 – October 2, 2010 at Box Gallery “[one of] a dozen galleries … that the serious collector and the discerning tourist would not want to miss.” — Mimi Avins, Los Angeles Times, Travel

Box Gallery is located at 1611-A Paseo de Peralta, across from SITE Santa Fe. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 5; Tel: 505.989.4897

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Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent artistic and musical talents.

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