This year I have selected some of my best tapestries and banners for our art exhibit.
Featured are two pueblo tapestries: the mid sized “Isleta Pueblo, Circa 1939”
and a smaller work of Sandia Pueblo. My felted works are presented on fabric
banners and make handy shields from the summer sun. There will be smaller tapestries,
small enough to roll up and fit in a suitcase.
Launching an art show can be a challenge, especially when you have invited others to participate. The trick is to keep track of the guest artists. Teenage Sienna McIntyre is now back on my virtual track after disappearing into the black hole of summer camp. David Torney, wildlife photographer 'par excellence' has returned from a trip to the Vancouver area with his wife, Tevi. And Elise Martin, fiber artist and master dyer, is probably off camping in Northern Michigan. All these talented individuals, I met at the Jemez Fine Art Gallery. Sooner or later I'll assemble their contributions to my show and print out the labels.
I always enjoy a good show hanging! Again this year, Benjamin Green, member of the gallery collective, will help me hang up the works in the charming South Gallery! With his ever ready, quiet manner, he is the perfect assistant. He knows when to keep quiet and when to make suggestions. And my dear artist friend, Jim Forcier-Call, will be stopping in to help with the tedious job of getting that show slogan on the wall. Finally, we can stand back and admire our work, which usually takes an intense two or three hours.
You ask, "Will I be having an artist reception this year?" The answer is “No,” as I belong to the old school who still take precautions due to the ongoing Covid epidemic. No, I will be home in the mountains of northern New Mexico when you stop by the gallery to check out this Labor Day, week-long art exhibit. But I'm sure you will sense our spirits in the room. This 'last show' is for you, my friends.
Have you ever noticed the beauty that exists when members of a family decide to co-create something ?
Undeniably separate folds of experience and personality and yet there is a deep resonance between the two. Whether that’s the harmonies and riffs of related musicians playing their instruments or an undertone to art that is vastly different yet somehow familiar between siblings. For brothers, James A. Vigil and Victor M. Vigil it was the medium that bridged the two together. Both found their way to stone carving, albeit through completely different means, mentors and unique personal styles. October 7th is the first time that the art of the Vigil brothers will be shown together, in the same space - at Jemez Fine Art Gallery. “Conceptions – Sharing the Creative Womb” is an art collaboration as well as a memorial. James describes it as “an experience of remembering Victor, our lives together as siblings, the things we did together as brothers, humorous times and different situations.” The show will incorporate some of Victor’s finished pieces, James’ original sculptures and quite a few co-created small pieces spanning the divide of life and death.
In his passing, Victor left a number of “roughed out” stone carvings that were recently gifted back to James. Over the last months, James took the roughs and refined them in a way that pulled off Victor’s foundation – often a visual representation of the spiritual connection between people, animals and environment – and then completed them in James’ unique stylistic flair. Though brothers, their most formative years are almost as different as their signature styles. The family moved to San Francisco prior to Victor’s birth – growing up as a city kid rooted a love of cultural variety, especially when it came to the colorful world of percussion. While James, the older brother, fondly held to the tradition of his cultural roots and the content of his own work pulls more deeply on his childhood growing up in the Jemez Pueblo. Back in a time when it was still an adobe village, free from frame-houses and surrounded by orchards. When people traveled more by foot and horseback than motorized vehicle and plumbing and electricity were still in their infancy.
Also joining for the exhibition is James’ wife, Susan Vigi-Vigil, who has selected a variety of her Plein Aire oil paintings that illicit memories of Victor from when the three would carve and paint together at the Vigi-Vigil home-base at the foot of Guadalupe Mesa. Victor would often come into the house while taking a break from stone grinding and look deep into Susan’s paintings, pointing out visions of faces in the rocks, mesas, and canyons emerging from the other side of Susan’s paintbrush.
The last few years have forced many of us to re-calibrate our views on how to honor those we lost during the pandemic; this exhibition is a way to do just that. The Vigil family lost four family members in the heat of COVID, and with this show they aim to uplift and honor them - bringing in the community and curating a space in which Victor’s art is surrounded by his creative and playful way of being in the world. Join them for the opening reception in Jemez Springs on Saturday, October 8th from 1-4pm and be ready to hear a variety of music that represents Victor’s love and interest in drumming.
All art is magical. Sure, there is some luck, and the hard work of experience, involved.
Most art is beyond explanation, but my visual artwork work begins with the question,
“Why not?” Larger-than-life bird mugshots? Why not. Landscapes made from pieces of broken
fenceboard? Why not. Watercolor landscapes where the amount of pigment pushes representation
to its bold impressionistic limits? Why not. Wooden trout and fishing landscapes? Why not.
And, while I am at it: why not make it affordable?
Starting October 28, my “Why Not?” exhibition will hang in the Jemez Fine Art Gallery’s South Gallery. The show runs through November 3 (closed Tuesday).
On Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30, I will be setting up my craft fair display under the awning. This will be a chance to meet and greet me, but also the only opportunity locally to see (and maybe purchase) my smaller, inexpensive craft items: cards, bookmarks, books, magnets, and small original pieces of art.
So, the basics:
WHO: Benjamin Green, and you, if you show up
WHERE: Jemez Fine Art Gallery, 17346 Highway 4, Jemez Springs
WHEN: October 28- November 3 (closed Tuesday), meet and greet the artist on Saturday and Sunday October 29 and 30, 11-4.
WHAT: magical stuff
WHY: Why not?
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