Mary had a little lamb.
Bob is cool.
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to two artists visiting (or soon-to-be visiting) Albuquerque: Jess X. Chen and Gregg Deal.
Jess X. Chen is a multi-disciplinary artist whose mediums include video, mural work, paintings and poetry. She will be visiting the Tannex with Demian DinéYazhi as part of their joint poetry tour: Solastalgia.
Here is where I will begin to flood you with an immersive multimedia experience. Not only can you read interviews (that I got to conduct (!) *straightens tie*) in upcoming issues of the Alibi, but you can watch these artists speak out on important issues on alternately funny and cerebral platforms.
Jess X. Chen recently delivered her first TED Talk about migration as imagination. Enriched by her poetry, her talk is visceral and powerful.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Gregg Deal, an artist from Colorado who not only premiered his first short film at last weekend's Rezilience, but threw up a mural at the Peace and Justice Center of Leonard Peltier.
Gregg works in a multitude of public art mediums--murals, performance art and more. His works are visual pieces of activism and always express his Indigenous heritage. He is an outspoken critic of the Washington Redskins racist mascot and participated in a great, biting panel for The Daily Show on the topic.
You can watch both of these artists do their things in the videos above.
You can also watch Jess X. Chen perform her poetry on Monday, May 9 (along with Demian! And a performance by the brilliant Discotays) and also get thee to the Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard Dr. SE) to see Gregg's mural on the west facing wall. Inside, you can buy shirts with the same images, the proceeds from which will go to the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee.
Taking a Fritz Scholder group portrait of IAIA faculty and the legacy of the institution's first artistic director, Lloyd Kiva New, as starting points, Finding a Contemporary Voice: The Legacy of Lloyd Kiva New and IAIA includes work from the New Mexico Museum of Art's collection by IAIA faculty and alumni from the 1960s to the present such as Scholder, Neil Parsons, T.C. Cannon, Melanie Yazzie, Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie and Will Wilson. The exhibition opens Saturday, May 21, 2016 and runs through Oct. 10, 2016. The Museum of Art's free to the public exhibition opening is on Friday, May 20 from 5.30 to 7.30pm.
Finding a Contemporary Voice complements concurrent exhibitions at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (A New Century: The Life and Legacy of Cherokee Artist and Educator Lloyd "Kiva" New) and the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design, and Influence. All three exhibitions and associated symposia, lectures and other events celebrate the centennial of Native American artist Lloyd Kiva New's birth by focusing on key aspects of his significant contributions to contemporary Native culture.
New (Cherokee, 1916-2002) encouraged looking at innovative techniques and forms as a path to creating contemporary indigenous art. IAIA's founding in 1962 intersects with a significant moment in the history of western art when ethnicity and culture, political ideology, feminism, and the inclusion of personal narratives became legitimate forms of expression in mainstream contemporary art. IAIA's early years were also an era of consciousness raising and civil rights movements in the United States. Native American self-determination was a major issue for many indigenous artists.
Enough time has passed that the early days of IAIA, looking back half a century now, can be historicized and examined in greater context. The institution was founded during a period of great change and spurred shifts in how indigenous artists viewed themselves and their art, paving the way for Native American artists to take their place in the global contemporary art field. Looking at the issues of identity still being raised in contemporary Native American art, it is clear that the artwork of the 1960s and 70s began a conversation that continues to this day.
Pilot, photographer, professor, and poet, Anne Noggle (1922-2005) began her groundbreaking career as a photographer late in life but quickly gained recognition for her witty and honest work.
Assumed Identities: Photographs by Anne Noggle opens at the New Mexico Museum of Art on Saturday, April 2, 2016 and runs through September 11, 2016. A free to the public opening is on Friday, April 1 from 5.30 to 7.30pm.
Drawn from the museum's extensive holdings of her work, Assumed Identities reintroduces the artist to the public ten years after her death. The show traces Noggle from her beginnings in photography in the late 1960s and early 1970s where we see her searching for subject matter in the early pieces – many taken in and around her home in Albuquerque. These photographs are the earliest inklings of the subject Noggle pursued most often in her career: herself and her world.
Noggle was influenced by Julia Margaret Cameron, Diane Arbus, and August Sander's revealing photographic portrayals of family and friends, the ordinary work-a-day prol, and even the obscure or freakish. When Noggle turned the camera on herself she became known for her unblinking self-portraits including those showing herself recovering from a facelift, nudes made when she was in her seventies, as well as portraits of elderly women that hint at their rich lives. Noggle's self-portraits present many guises to the camera – some real, some imaginary – and connect her firmly with both the feminist artists of the 1970s and to a long line of contemporary female photographic self-portraiture as seen in the work of Cindy Sherman, Gay Block, and others. "People tell me that the photographs of me are not in any way flattering," the artist told curator Anne Tucker in 1993. "They are not meant to be. They are supposed to be real."
Noggle's place in the world of photography is somewhat unheralded. One of her most significant contributions to the field of photographic history was the groundbreaking exhibition, Women of Photography: An Historical Survey, a show she co-curated in 1975 with San Francisco Bay Area photographer Margery Mann and an inspiration for young artists at the time. Noggle received a Guggenheim Fellowship, three NEA awards, and an honorary doctorate from the University of New Mexico. Additionally, she was the museum's first photography curator (1970 to 1976), and her work has been on view many times at the New Mexico Museum of Art; first in a 1968 photography competition and ten subsequent times in either group or survey shows.
Katherine Ware, both the exhibition curator and the museum's Curator of Photography noted that, "Noggle was important in the development of photography in New Mexico. With more than 100 pieces of her work in the museum's collection, her contributions as an artist have yet to be fully appreciated or evaluated. Assumed Identities is an attempt to examine her work in depth on the 10th anniversary of her death."
About Anne Noggle
Born in Illinois, Noggle earned a pilot's license by her senior year in high school, at a time when very few women were pilots. Working as a flight instructor, she served as a Women's Air Force Service Pilot (WASP) during World War II. Following the war, she taught flying, did stunts for an aerial circus, and did crop-dusting throughout the Southwest. She then went on active duty with the Air Force and served overseas. Working in Paris for a time, her visits to the Louvre sparked her interest in art. From her crop-dusting work Noggle developed emphysema forcing her retirement from flying. She then moved to Albuquerque and at the age of thirty-eight enrolled as a freshman in art history at the University of New Mexico. Taking a studio art requirement, she developed photographs for the first time and felt the same kind of excitement she had experienced as a pilot, saying, "There is a resemblance, I think, between flying and photography. Both are done alone, in concept anyway, and both require independence and optimism, and some dumb courage." She went on to earn a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in Art and Art History in 1966; she subsequently continued graduate studies in photography from 1966 until she earned a master's degree in 1970. Her emphasis on portraiture was distinctly at odds with the focus of the art department at that time as shaped by Van Deren Coke but Noggle stood by her vision.
Join the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the IAIA Artist-in- Residence (A-i-R) Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe) as he discusses his residency and art practice on March 16, at noon. Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe) is a painter and digital media artist currently residing in Duluth, Minnesota. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and received a BFA in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics from the Art Institutes International Minnesota. The event will take place on the second floor project lab, and a community lunch will follow!
Heidi Brandow, Museum of Contemporary Native Art's current Local Artist In Residence, will give a talk at 12noon, her studio will be open to the public from 12 - 4 p.m. Brandow is a Santa Fe painter and printmaker whose work is commonly filled with whimsical characters and monsters that are often combined with words of poetry, stories, and personal reflections. 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 American identity. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Brandow also studied design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA and Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey.
This April, the National Hispanic Cultural Center will host REZILIENCE, a festival celebrating Indigenous arts in their many forms. Thematic categories that will be showcased include “Movement,”“Design,”“Inspiration,”“Voice,” “Vision,” “Expression” and “Exchange,”with artists working in all manner of media exploring them. The Executive Director of the event elaborated on its mission, saying “This event is a movement based in creativity. It is our creative practices that have facilitated cultural longevity, community building, knowledge, growth and healing for generations. REZILIENCE will be the new model of unity for indigenous cultures, worldwide.”
But to meet their goals of creating a foundation to create new meaning and provide a venue to showcase the work of contemporary Native artists, the organizers have to secure the funds.
Check out their Kickstarter to donate and visit the REZILIENCE website to find out more about the confirmed performers (which include poets, musicians and painters. The organizers intend to create an inclusive, safe space for all to appreciate and celebrate cultural exchange and the work of Indigenous creators everywhere, throughout time.
On Sunday, March 20 from 1:30-3:30pm, learn traditional colcha embroidery at a stitch-in with Carla Gomez, former director of Tapetes de Lana in Mora. Families Make History workshops are held the third Sunday of every month. Free with admission. Sundays free to NM residents; children 16 and under free daily. At the New Mexico Museum of History.
On Sunday, March 13 at 2pm, meet Santa Fe photographer Alan Pearlman and see his photography exhibit in the Mezzanine Gallery of the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. A retired physician and loyal Palace of the Governors Photo Archives volunteer, Pearlman recently donated 200 archival prints to the museum’s Photo Legacy Project. This exhibit features portraits he took from 2009–2013, during a quest to capture the soul of Santa Fe. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents.
On Friday, March 4, State Historian Rick Hendricks talks about the books Spanish colonists were reading in the year that Shakespeare’s First Folio was printed. (Shakespeare may have read them, too!) A Free First Friday Evening event. Free admission 5–8 pm at New Mexico History Museum