Thursday, March 29, 2012

Studio Visit & Interview: Jill Christian

Anyone who is familiar with the Albuquerque art scene has surely been to the Harwood Art Center or perhaps even sent their children to school at Harwood's parent organization, Escuela del Sol Montessori. The building was built in 1925 and since 1991 has continually been a fixture for providing community outreach in the arts, exhibitions, workshops, summer camps, art classes and and even affordable studio space that it rents to over 40 local artists. 

After attending Harwood's mega-successful even The Butterfly Effect, I discovered that
New Mexico Showcase artist Jill Christian had a studio there. I stopped by one morning on my way to work to check out her studio and discuss her work. Jill's got a great perspective and approach on being an artist while holding down a full time job amidst balancing other distractions.

Some new works in progress

Friday, March 23, 2012

Listen to the Audio from Panel Discussion: New Mexico Women Artists

For those of you who missed the fantastic discussion featuring several women from the New Mexico Showcase exhibition, you can listen to the mp3 version here.

Special thanks to artists, Valerie Roybal, Luanne Redeye, Cedra Wood, Rebekah Potter and guest moderator, Nancy Salem for their participation. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Studio Visit and Interview: Valerie Roybal

If you haven't heard of Valerie Roybal by now, you'll probably discover that she's kind of a big deal.

I remember the first time I saw Valerie's work, I was flipping through a West Elm catalog and I noticed, somewhat surprised, how the art adorning the walls in the fake room mock-ups were cohesively placed and was actually quite good. Through some sleuthing I discovered that print editions of her work were available through a West Elm collaborator, 20x200, which is an on-line arts retailer working to connect emerging artists, collectors and art enthusiasts with affordable artwork. Spoiler alert: you can buy some great art for as little as $25 bucks, not to mention that there are some big name artists making their work available as well.

Turns out Valerie has been here all along and has quietly been making a name for herself via national/international exhibitions, publications in books and shout-outs on up-and-coming, buzz-worthy Internet sites and blogs (like 20x200)Enormous Tiny Art Show, Etsyamong others.

I had the pleasure of visiting her place recently and exploring her amazing collections of objects.

Where are you from originally and how did you find yourself in New Mexico?
I am a native New Mexican, born and raised in Santa Fe. Except for a brief stint in Israel as an exchange student during high school, I have lived in New Mexico my entire life.

Has living in New Mexico or specifically Albuquerque influenced your artistic process?
I haven't thought about it much, but I imagine being here has greatly informed my artistic process. I am very inspired by the outdoors, the open space, the colors of New Mexico, if that makes sense.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Studio Visit & Interview: Natalie Smith

I recently had the opportunity to visit with MFA student Natalie Smith in her studio at UNM and check out some of her current work, inspired by everyday objects, DIY initiative and textiles. Be sure and check out her website to see more of her work.  

Big tapestry in progress that Natalie fashioned from a tarp, with custom-made grommets and tassels at the bottom. 

Detail. Everyday objects, most reduced to minimal shapes