June 21, 2017
Exploring Ethnicity, Identity, Land Use and the Environment
Six female New Mexico artists share their experiences and world views
News

Exploring Ethnicity, Identity, Land Use and the Environment
Santa Fe Arts Journal, 06/21/2017
Emily Van Cleve

More than 60 photos and objects created by six female artists from New Mexico that explore themes of ethnicity, identity, land use and the environment are on display in David Richard Gallery’s new show “History/Her Story.”

Most of the pieces in this exhibit, which opens on June 23, are photographs. For the past four years photographer Delilah Montoya, who explores issues relating to Chicano culture and ideas in her work, has been creating a body of photographs that portrays families with genetic ties to colonial ethnic groups (Indigenous, European or Sub-Sahara).

“This project, as a series of 16 family portraits, uses the same aesthetics formulated by the Mexican Casta Painting tradition, where both the mother and the father are represented with their children,” Montoya explains. “Rather than use a literal definition for the ethnic identity such as mulatto or mestizo, the ethnic identity is represented by the family’s own history or with a DNA Genographic Study of the mother and father’s global ancestral migration.”

Abbey Hepner’s “Transuranic” series, which provides a close-up look at the radioactive waste at sites in the Western U.S., is on display. Her accompanying snow globes contain modern-day nuclear landscapes in miniature.

Kali Spitzer challenges pre-conceived notions of race, gender and identity through “An Exploration of Resilience,” a series of photos of Spitzer’s community of mostly indigenous and mixed heritage people communicated through the format of tintype, a photograph taken as a positive on a thin tin plate.

Works by Jessamyn Lovell, who uses photography, video, and surveillance as tools to document her own life experiences making connections between class and personal identity; Cara Romero, whose photographs offer a complex interplay of social commentary, adaptation and examination of modern culture with a distinctly modern indigenous world view; and Laurie Tümer, whose prints focus on the ubiquitous presence of pesticides and other environmental contaminants that we can’t normally see, also are part of the show.

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Associated Artist

Associated Exhibitions

  • HISTORY / HER STORY
    Featuring artwork by Abbey Hepner, Jessamyn Lovell, Delilah Montoya, Cara Romero, Kali Spitzer, Laurie Tümer, and Maria Varela
    June 22, 2017 - July 29, 2017
    MORE INFO

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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