Friday, April 26, 2013

Intriguing Diversity of the Earth Chronicles Project: New Mexico documentary and exhibition at the Santa Fe Art Institute

"Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico" exhibition

Our Earth Chronicles Project: New Mexico screening of the documentary in progress and exhibition of the artists interviewed in the documentary is presently up at the Santa Fe Art Institute 1600 St. Michael's Drive in Santa Fe. 

The Earth Chronicles Project is the work of co-producers Fran Hardy and Bob Demboski
Curated by Fran Hardy, co-producer of the Earth Chronicles Project, environmental artist and filmmaker
Co-producer Bob Demboski, filmmaker and editor, exhibition design

For more in depth info go to the SFAI blog link above.

Encore Screening of the documentary: May 13 at 6pm
Encore Screening and Q&A in partnership with the Nature Conservancy
With filmmakers Fran Hardy & Bob Demboski and Martha Schumann, Nature Conservancy Southwest New Mexico Field Representative
For more information on this special screening

You can also view the documentary and a video installation on our inspiration in New Mexico in two small viewing rooms in the exhibition space if you are unable to attend the encore screening of the documentary.
Here is a map to reach SFAI:

Some production stills from the documentary "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico"

Interviewing Martha Schumann, New Mexico Nature Conservancy southwest field representative at the Gila Riparian Preserve 

Fran interviewing Chimayo weaver Irvin Trujillo, NEA National Heritage Fellow of Centinela Traditional Arts

More pictures of the exhibition:

Recycled glass sculpture by Stacey Neff, ancient trees and native plants of New Mexico by Fran Hardy, Rio Grande/ Chimayo weaving by Irvin Trujillo

From left to right: native plants of New Mexico by Fran Hardy, weavings of the Two Grey Hills region from Toadlena Trading Post, recycled glass sculptures by Stacey Neff

Left to right: Constellation Series by Bill Gilbert, fiber art by Lauren Camp

Left to right: fiber art by Lauren Camp, photographs of Valles Caldera by Rourke McDermott

Artist's book by Lauren Camp

"Constellation Series" by Bill Gilbert

 Left to right: "Kitchen Mesa 3" by Fran Hardy, weavings by Lisa and Irvin Trujillo

Left to right: weavings by Irvin and Lisa Trujillo, "Kitchen Mesa 4" by Fran Hardy

Photographs of Valles Caldera by Rourke McDermott

"Wind Season" by Lauren Camp

Installation by Catherine Page Harris

This is what Catherine has to say about the motivation for her installation:
The unifying idea is "reflection" -- the person can sit, the bird can perch.  Each side of the desk can rise and fall with the temperature.  A gas cylinder controlled arm moves them upwards if the ambient temperature is over 70 degrees or so.  The expectation is that the indoor one would move less, being climate controlled, but it is possible that the solar gain of the window will move the arm more.

Left to right: native plants and trees of New Mexico by Fran Hardy, recycled glass sculptures by Stacey Neff

I have blogged about each of these artists individually on previous blogposts so go back to other blogposts to read more in depth writings about them.

Also to learn more about the artists and see more about the Earth Chronicles Project go to the links below:

Fran Hardy and the Earth Chronicles Project:

Lauren Camp:

Stacey Neff and the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop:

Irvin and Lisa Trujillo and Centinela Traditional Arts:

Mark and Linda Winter, owners of Toadlena Trading Post present the weavings of the Two Grey Hills region:

Rourke McDermott:

Bill Gilbert:

Catherine Page Harris:

For more information on the New Mexico Nature Conservancy's work in the Gila Riparian Preserve and the Mimbres River Preserves:
The Gila Riparian Preserve protects more than 1,200 acres of the southwest's fragile riparian habitat and the verdant gallery woodland among the Gila River, the last of the southwest's major free-flowing rivers.

In 2009, the Conservancy added four acres of important riverside habitat to the Gila Riparian Preserve. The new stretch inserts an important piece to this project area, which includes the preserve and more than 250,000 acres collaboratively managed by the Conservancy, local landowners, federal and state agencies and local organizations.

The Conservancy's long-term vision for the preserve is simple: Let the river rediscover its natural floodplain and enable new cottonwoods and willows to spring up, providing habitat for neotropical migratory songbirds, especially southwest willow flycatcher—a species whose population is in trouble.

The Gila River supports one of the highest concentrations of breeding birds in North America and an astonishing array of plant and animal life. In the river are found several fish, including the loach minnow and spikedace, which are federally listed as threatened. A host of other rare animal species also use the preserve's habitats.

In 1994, the Conservancy established the Mimbres River Preserve in southwestern New Mexico, near Silver City. The preserve is an irreplaceable riparian area covering 600 acres and five river miles. The river is a closed-basin desert stream—meaning its surface water never flows out of the Mimbres River basin. But over its 40-mile length, the Mimbres covers a wide and diverse landscape, from its headwaters near 10,000 feet in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness of the Gila National Forest to its terminus in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands near the Mexican border.
The Mimbres watershed includes dense forests of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine, piñon-juniper savanna, desert grasslands, Chihuahuan desert scrub, riparian forests, cienegas (or marshes), springs and stream reaches that may be perennial, intermittent or ephemeral.  The basin, located between the mountains of the Mogollon Rim, the Rio Grande watershed and the Chihuahuan Desert, has been alternatively isolated from and connected with other river systems over time.  As a result, the Mimbres has evolved a remarkably diverse fauna and flora, including a handful of species, such as the Chihuahua chub, that are found nowhere else in the United States.
The waters of the Mimbres, replenished by abundant summer rainfall in the upper basin, also support an extensive network of cottonwood-willow forests, sacaton floodplain grasslands (a coarse perennial grass), hot and cold springs and other rare riparian communities.
The preserve was established not only for the characteristic riparian communities it supports but to conserve river habitat for the endangered Chihuahua chub and Chiricahua leopard frog. The chub and leopard frog have declined because of habitat degradation due to water withdrawals, river channelization, parasites and pathogens and the introduction of non-native fish species.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Big Push: Mounting our exhibition and readying our documentary screening at the Santa Fe Art Insitute

In foreground Irvin and Lisa Trujillo, Katie Avery from SFAI and Fran Hardy
In background Mark and Linda Winter with Lani mounting Toadlena Trading Post's Navajo weavings of the Two Grey Hills Region

Opening Reception/ Screening of the Documentary at the Santa Fe Art Institute April 15th at 6pm

If you can't make it to the opening and screening on April 15th the show will be at SFAI April 15-May 17th  9am-5pm  Monday through Friday with a small viewing room in the exhibition space to watch the documentary and also a video installation done by Bob Demboski. 

Works being installed by Stacey Neff, Fran Hardy and the navajo weavers of the Two Grey Hills region from Toadlena Trading Post 

The big push starts on Tuesday April 9th as we begin mounting our "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico" at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Bob is still also very busy getting the documentary in progress ready for screening at our opening reception. 

Tuesday is very hectic with many of the artists coming to deliver their work at the same time while we work on arranging all of the work. This is a group effort. At NMHU Bob and I and the staff did most of the hanging but in this case many of the artists are glad to hang their own work, with our guidance on placement, since Santa Fe is accessible for many of them. Mark and Linda Winter drove all of the way from Toadlena Trading Post to work their magic on their portion of the exhibition and Irvin and Lisa Trujillo came in from Chimayo to hang their weavings. 

The Santa Fe Art Institute mounts very important exhibitions but are glad to have the help as they operate with six full time employees who have to coordinate all of the work that goes into running this multi-faceted arts institute. 

By the end of the day with so much going on and so much input from so many people Bob and I leave not sure whether the placement of the art thus far works for us, but coming in the next day with fresh eyes we are very pleased.

   Thinking hard about placement and organizing all of the work, Mark Winter in the foreground with Lani and Fran in the background looking over our floor plan developed for the show, Stacey Neff's sculptures from recycled glass in the foreground also

Stacey Neff's sculptures and Fran Hardy's ancient trees and native plants of New Mexico mounted

Irvin and Lisa Trujillo of Centinela Traditional Arts mounting their Rio Grande/Chimayo weavings

More of Irvin and Lisa Trujillo's weavings with Mark Winter in the background mounting Toadlena's installation

The dynamic duo, Mark and Linda Winter of Toadlena Trading Post
We got into a spoof about the covered cases being called vitrines which Mark thought sounded an awful lot like latrine so he said he was going to the vitrine when he went off to the men's room.
Anyone know why they are called 'vitrines'? 
Sounds French to me......

Katie Avery from SFAI, who is the one woman show mounting machine so I think she was very glad to have our help with the diversity and complexity of this exhibition. She is in front of some of my ancient trees being arranged for hanging,

My co-producer and partner Bob Demboski with his 'weapon' of choice for mounting work, the screw gun. We could never get all of this accomplished without collaborating on all of the aspects of this multi-faceted project.

David Camp installing Lauren Camp's work

David Camp mounting Lauren Camp's work with Bill Gilbert's Constellation series hung in the background. Bill Gilbert came in on Monday to hang his work taking time out from his very busy schedule as Lannan Endowed Chair of the Land Arts of the American West at UNM. Bill talks about this program that he founded at UNM in our documentary. 

Bob 'surveying the situation'

It takes an incredible amount of planning and work to bring these projects together. These days of mounting the exhibition are only a small facet of what we have to do to bring all of this together for the "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico"

To see the work of the artists featured in the show:  Fran Hardy, environmental artist, filmmaker, curator  Bob Demboski  filmmaker, co-producer of the Earth Chronicles Project  Lauren Camp poet, fiber artist  Irvin and Lisa Trujillo  Chimayo/Rio Grande weavers   Navajo weavers of the Two Grey Hills region   Bill Gilbert environmental artist, Lannan Endowed Chair of the Land Arts of the American West at UNM   Rourke McDermott   landscape architect at Valles Caldera National Preserve, photographer  Stacey Neff  artist, founder and Executive Director of the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop  Catherine Page Harris landscape architect, environmental artist, faculty of the Art and Ecology Program at UNM

I have had six solo museum exhibitions of my work across the country but through these projects I get the experience of 'being on the other side of the fence' as curator and co-producer selecting which artists will be featured in our film and exhibitions, that meet the criterion of art from the region we are covering which addresses the issues of art, ecological sustainability and cultural preservation. It is great being able to chose the art of passionate individuals that I find inspirational. I also curate the other individuals, groups and places that we feature in our documentary.
Fran Hardy 

curator (from Latincurare meaning "take care") is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution (e.g., gallerymuseumlibrary or archive) is a content specialist responsible for an institution's collections and involved with the interpretationof heritage material. The object of a traditional curator's concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort, whether it be artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections. More recently, new kinds of curators are emerging: curators of digital data objects andbiocurators.
In smaller organizations, a curator may have sole responsibility for the acquisition and care of objects. The curator will make decisions regarding what objects to take, oversee their potential and documentations, conduct research based on the collection and history that provides propered packaging of art for transportation, and share that research with the public and polymath community through exhibitions and publications. In very small volunteer-based museums, such as local historical societies, a curator may be the only paid staff member.
In larger institutions, the curator's primary function is as a subject specialist, with the expectation that he or she will conduct original research on objects and guide the organization in its collecting. Such institutions can have multiple curators, each assigned to a specific collecting area (e.g. Curator of Ancient Art, Curator of Prints and Drawings, etc.) and often operating under the direction of a head curator. In such organizations, the physical care of the collection may be overseen by museum collections managers or museum conservators, and documentation and administrative matters (such as insurance and loans) are handled by a museum registrar.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Glass: Beyond Recycling to Innovation

Stacey Neff with the furnaces fired up at the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop

It was one of those crisp clear New Mexico winter days when we visited Stacey Neff, Founder and Executive Director of the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop. The doors were thrown open with the furnaces cranking out heat and glowing brightly full of glass.
Stacey was there with student interns and Patrick Morrissey, Facilities Director. 

This is recycled glass beyond recycled glass as some of the glass they use can not be used in conventional glass recycling such as safety glass which makes a wonderful crevassed, translucent medium for sculpture in glass.

Stacey has been working in glass for years and has exhibited her art internationally and received awards including a Pollock Krasner Grant and Bellinger Sculpture Award for her innovative use of glass media. 

The New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop offers residencies to artists to expand applications for recycled glass and innovate in their use of these challenging recycled materials. All of the artists chosen for the fellowships are accomplished artists but many have never worked in the medium of glass. The New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop gives opportunities for fresh new uses and innovative solutions within the parameters of recycled glass which offers infinite approaches within what some might consider a limitation. It is this very limitation that creates works that are refreshingly different. Not only does Stacey give other artists and students the opportunity to experience working in hot glass but she also encourages the use of post consumer and industrial glass that otherwise could not be recycled and would go to the landfill. The labor intensive medium encourages exciting collaborations. Stacey's enthusiasm for what she does is palpable and infectious. 

Patrick Morrissey, Facilities Director blowing hot glass

The glass workshop also offers workshops and studio time as well as internships.

Interviewing Stacey for our New Mexico Earth Chronicles documentary

Interviewing Stacey with some of her unique work in post industrial and post consumer recycled glass

Her work combines a rough hewn feeling from the recycled glass pours to an evanescent quality in the blown recycled glass. I found that Stacey's work 'crept up' on me and the longer I looked at it the more compelling it became. It is so different than glass work that is planned and then executed using more 'polished' materials. The look and the usage are so dictated by the use of recycled glass but that is the very thing that drives the work to more unusual and compelling solutions.

Stacey shaping and detaching a blown piece for her work

Some of Stacey's work from her 'Cin Sere Series' which will be featured in our Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico group exhibition at the Santa Fe Art Institute April 15-May 17.
We will be airing the documentary in progress at the Santa Fe Art Institute April 15 at 6pm with a Q and A with the filmmakers and the artists as well as a reception for the opening of the exhibition. 

Some pictures of pieces from Stacey's Sin Cere Series as well as details of the work:

Making the specialized craft media of hot glass accessible to artists through progressive programming. 
Fellowships, residencies, studio time, internships
Utilizing and innovating with cast and blown works using post industrial glass and post commercial glass from the City of Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency
Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico
An Exhibition, Film Screening, and Poetry Workshop
Screening, Q&A, and Exhibition Opening
With Fran Hardy & Bob Demboski
Monday, April 15, 2013
6pm @ SFAI
$10 general | $5 students/seniors
April 16 – May 17
9am – 5pm @ SFAI
The Sound of Sunset: How to Write About the Edge of Time
An Earth Chronicles Poetry Workshop
With Lauren Camp
Thursday, May 9
6:30 – 8:30pm
Santa Fe, NM –The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is pleased to welcome – as part of the SFAI’s 2013 season of public programming, Contested Space – an exhibition, film screening, and poetry workshop as part of the Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico.
About Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico:
This exhibition is unique in that its content is inspired by a documentary. It features diverse artists and creative individuals who share a passionate relationship to their cultures andthe environment.
The documentary and exhibition will be at the Santa Fe Art Institute April 15 to May 17, 2013 with an airing of the documentary further along in its progress of being completed on April 15, 2013 at 6pm and a Q&A with the filmmakers and some of the individuals interviewed in the documentary. This is an exceptional opportunity to have a glimpse into the co-producers’ creative process and see the dynamic exhibition that is an outgrowth of this exciting project.
Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico explores the art of the documentary producer, environmental artist, and curator of the exhibition, Fran Hardy, whose featured artworks on native plants and trees were inspired by her travels around New Mexico while shooting the documentary. Other exceptional New Mexico artists featured in the film and exhibit include Catherine Harris, Bill Gilbert, Lauren Camp, Rourke McDermott, Irvin and Lisa Trujillo, the Navajo weavers of the Two Grey Hills region and Stacey Neff and the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop. Through their art, each of these artists reveals what New Mexico’s culture and environment means to them.
Dane Pollei, Director and Chief Curator of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art said about the Earth Chronicles Project in Oklahoma and the exhibit at their museum, “The exhibit illustrates both the beauty and history of the state as well as highlighting the need for conservation of our natural resources.”
“We promise you an exciting journey through a state that is far more diverse than most people realize. Be prepared to meet inspiring and passionate individuals and unique places you may never have dreamed of,” said Fran Hardy.
The documentary will highlight Fran Hardy’s environmental art on native plants and trees of New Mexico; Toadlena Trading Post and the Navajo weavers of the Two Grey Hills region; The Nature Conservancy’s Gila and Mimbres Riparian Preserves; Irvin Trujillo, Chimayo/Rio Grande weaver and NEA National Heritage Fellow; Bill Gilbert, environmental artist and Lannan Endowed Chair of the Art and Ecology department at University of New Mexico; Catherine Harris, artist and landscape architect, faculty of UNM Art and Ecology Department; Lauren Camp, fiber artist and poet; Rulan Tangen, founder of Dancing Earth Intertribal Dance Company; Stacey Neff, founder of the Experimental Glass Workshop; Judith Phillips, writer and landscape designer who specializes in drought tolerance and xeriscaping; Rourke McDermott, Landscape Architect at Valles Caldera National Preserve; Santa Fe Community College’s Alternative Trades and Technology Center’s implementation of sustainable energy.
Fran Hardy, M.Ed., artist and educator, and Bob Demboski, filmmaker, are producing a series of documentaries that illustrate the intersection of art, creativity, ecological sustainability, and cultural preservation in different regions of the United States.
The documentaries and exhibits also include accompanying educational curriculum for grades 3-12. Fran’s work has been featured in six solo museum exhibitions including a retrospective and two traveling exhibits. Bob comes from a long career in television and filmmaking with such clients as The Oprah Show, Bravo, Discovery Channel, HBO, and behind the scenes work on feature films.
Combining their unique skills to produce educational documentaries, Fran and Bob interview a variety of creative individuals in different professions about their approach to conserving the environment. The documentarians also visit those places that tell a unique story about the conservation and preservation of natural beauty and resources. Through their work, Fran and Bob hope to offer creative solutions to conservation and inspire action.
For more information about the documentary or the exhibit:
http://www.earthchroniclesproject.blogspot.comto follow the co-producers of the documentary around the state of New Mexico filming.
To see Fran Hardy’s work visit
Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality. Glass bottles and jars are collected in most U.S. communities at the curb, at drop-off collection sites and through container deposit programs in 10 states. Check your local program to find out how you can recycle glass containers.
Glass is an amorphous (non-crystalline) solid material that exhibits a glass transition. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.
The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica (SiO2) plussodium oxide (Na2O) from soda ash, lime (CaO), and several minor additives. Often, the term glass is used in a restricted sense to refer to this specific use.
In science, however, the term glass is usually defined in a much wider sense, including every solid that possesses a non-crystalline (i.e.amorphous) structure and that exhibits a glass transition when heated towards the liquid state. In this wider sense, glasses can be made of quite different classes of materials: metallic alloys, ionic melts, aqueous solutions, molecular liquids, and polymers. For many applications (bottles,eyewear) polymer glasses (acrylic glasspolycarbonatepolyethylene terephthalate) are a lighter alternative to traditional silica glasses.