Looking up

Above all of us – blue sky. And the moon, circling.

In New Mexico, the sky is lake, ocean, river, tide, and weathervane.

Now, a woman VP and water on the moon. Cheers to the changing world.

This indigo dyed paper and silk installation is from an ongoing series of indigo dye baths I’ve made over the years in which I celebrate the harvest season with a communal dye bath of indigo blue. Many different materials are placed in the bath- paper is one of my favorites.
Indigo was grown in New Mexico during Spanish settlement. I don’t know if it was cultivated here in the Pueblos or traded with weavers or dyers south of here in Central America. I’ve found seeds from Guatemalan plants online and will try growing them in the garden along with an Asian variety of seeds with pink flowers. It’s a seasonal ritual.

2020 hindsight

Spring- On March 12th I thought I was going to El Pescadero, Baja Sur, Mexico for two weeks. By 6PM it was off- the world was closing up. The borders, the hospitals, the schools.
I began sheltering in place. I explored the flat files and the unresolved paper pieces from years past. I had time to wander within

Hello out there Spring 2020

2020 heard around the world

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Democracy Now broadcast from the epicenter of the pandemic- NYC. Essential workers was a new term, a twist of fate that sounded noble, heroic and dangerous. Construction boomed in NM as hospitals filled in NY.
Black Lives Matter -pivot. My eyes are open. I read The New Jim Crow and White Fragility. I am not an essential worker. I have the priveledge of working from home. Summer: We hike everywhere. We watch movies on my laptop on the portal and pretend its a drivein. I seldom drive anywhere. Fires season in northern NM is relatively quiet. The red sunsets remind us of fires burning to the north, south and west.

The election heats up.

Winter begins. More will be revealed.
Renew, and hopefully this year we will emerge from our caves and see the world with new appreciation in 2021.

Slingshot and Swan Girls


Why a slingshot? People often ask where my ideas come from. All I know is that they never show up when I’m trying to find them.

In February 2020, AxleContemporary.com put out a call for entries for a show curated by Lucy Lippard: Feminist Art in the Era of Trump. If you don’t know who she is, find out. Writer, curator, feminist, environmental activist, woman, human and resident of Galisteo, NM. I’m a fan of hers. The Pink Glass Swan, her Selected Feminist Essays on Art is on the shelf as I type. Yes, I call it typing, 2nd wave style

Entries were due in May.The seed had been planted.
My husband’s jock strap was hanging on the drying rack- only it had transformed from being a bizarre looking piece of lingerie to a slingshot. There it was, my entry for the show; all this taking place in the laundry room. The next week I dyed the jock strap Wildrose. And then I embroidered it and packaged it, promoting its usefulness as protector, defender, delivery device and yes, it doubles as a mask.

I’ve never made a weapon before.It goes with my mask. I’m angry at Trump Company and the cheap shock and awe, divisive bullying. I’ve lost confidence in the rule of law over the last 4 years. It took me awhile to join the ranks of others, people of color, who knew the rule of law wasn’t a Constitutional right afforded to a majority of USA residents. I’m exploring the action of protection and protest.

Feminist Art in the Trump Era opens September 11, 2020. Check it out online or in person. Below are details and events related to the show.

Axle Projects board member and internationally renowned arts writer and activist Lucy R. Lippard has selected the work of 27 New Mexico based artists for this exhibition, juried from Axle’s open call earlier this year.

The exhibition takes place on the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution and the 10 year anniversary of the founding of the Axle Contemporary mobile artspace. As described by juror Lippard, “Feminist Art in the Trump Era is an exhibition of works that explore various feminist realities and rants. Works chosen for this exhibition resonate with the hopefully soon-to-be-extinct Trump era!”

Due to Covid-19 concerns, the exhibition will be presented on the EXTERIOR of the Axle Contemporary mobile artspace. Prints made of the artists’ work are pasted onto the aluminum surface and can be seen by individuals or in small groups in a safe exterior environments around the city of Santa Fe. All the work will also be presented online on Axle Contemporary’s website. The original artworks are for sale. Prices and purchase info is on site as well.

The exhibition is from September 11 – November 3. There will not be any opening reception. The mobile artspace will be parked on the opening day, September 11th, in the Santa Fe Railyard at the shade structure by Farmers Market, from 12pm – 7pm.
Over this weekend, the artspace will be on Canyon Road on Saturday from 11am – 5pm, and on Sunday on Canyon Road from 11am – 5pm. Other locations during the exhibition will be posted at www.axleart.com
ARTISTS
Sally Blakemore
Michael Darmody
Kaylee Dunnigan
Nika Feldman
Alex Fischer
The Furies: Kristin Barendsen, Patti Levey, Lauren Ayer
Lisa Freeman
Alexis Graff
Miranda Gray
Cheri Ibes
Kathamann
Isolde Kille
Shirley Klinghoffer
Rica Maestas
Kathleen McCloud
Ashley Miller
Dana Newmann
Ravenna Osgood
Liz Patterson
Susie Protiva
Nicole Sullivan
Charlotte Thurman
Isabel Winson-Sagan
Greta Young
Bette Yozell
Jasmin Zorlu

This exhibition is one of a large group of projects being promoted by the Feminist Art Coalition, a national effort seeking to inspire a broad variety of exhibitions and programs across the country to centralize feminist perspectives and concerns in the cultural consciousness leading into and the year following the 2020 election. This endeavor takes feminist thought and practice as its point of departure and considers art as a catalyst for civic engagement. Learn more about the wide array of projects, exhibitions and institutions participating here: https://feministartcoalition.org

About the Juror
Lucy R. Lippard

Celebrated for her deeply influential and interwoven work—as author, activist, and curator—Lucy R. Lippard is recognized as one of contemporary art’s most significant critics and as a founder of Conceptual art. Born in New York in 1937, Lippard began her career as a writer in 1962 and subsequently produced numerous groundbreaking exhibitions and 25 books. She was a cofounder of the Ad Hoc Women Artists Committee, Printed Matter, Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PADD), the Heresies Collective and journal, and Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America. She has received nine honorary degrees and many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary award, and a lifetime achievement award from the College Art Association.
Related Programming

Panel Discussion: Women Curate Women
online at 516 ARTS

Friday, October 9, 2020 6pm – 8pm

Online via Zoom?– Free, pre-registration required.
https://www.516arts.org/programs/events/panel-discussion-women-curate-women

516 ARTS presents Women Curate Women, a panel discussion between four New Mexico women curators in conjunction with the exhibition Feminisms (September 26, 2020–January 2, 2021). Within the span of one year, New Mexico is home to four woman-centered art exhibitions across the state: Feminisms, 516 ARTS, Albuquerque (guest curated by Andrea R. Hanley, curator at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian); Indelible Ink: Native Women, Printmaking, Collaboration, UNM Art Museum, Albuquerque (curated by Mary Statzer); Labor: Motherhood in Art in 2020, NMSU Art Museum, Las Cruces (curated by Marisa Sage); and Feminist Art in the Age of Trump, Axle Contemporary, Santa Fe (curated by noted art writer and activist Lucy Lippard).

On October 9 these four curators will be joined by moderator Lauren Tresp, publisher and editor, Southwest Contemporary, Santa Fe, in a discussion around curating femme and femme-identifying artwork. The discussion will span multiple themes around and between these curators’ recent exhibitions exploring feminist themes including: the value of gender-based art exhibitions, the cultural and economic circumstances negotiated by female artists and curators, how feminist exhibitions serve as platforms that ground conversations about equality, misogyny, and art world bias, and how art can serve as a departure point for the cause of social justice.

HOME SWEET HOME

It was 3 months ago today that I started sheltering in place. I’d been working in the print studio at the Santa Fe Community College that night, anxious about leaving the next morning for 2 weeks in Mexico. The world was falling apart; And I really wanted to run away. What got me was a social media report that we, the USA, was 1 week from Italy. the sirens, the dying, the people at windows playing tubas and violins. The socially responsible action was to STOP. Don’t go anywhere.
I went in my studio. I’ve been working with chainmail textures and pattern ink transfers since I went to India in 2018. Protection- the MeToo Movement and hate speech from the administration, the Fascist autocrats on the rise around the world. FEAR feeding frenzy.
I danced. Socially distanced with large paper figures. Henry Miller was there, so was Rona aka June, and Queen Victoria.Moondrop, Nuwa and Fuxi, Me- the beaver advocate. I’m still here, sheltering in place although less afraid of the grocery store. Working. Witnessing and reporting my experience in this perfect storm. The virus is the elder here- I respect the conditions and its energetic preparation for Black Lives Matter to bring the lies and poison of racism out into the streets in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Shocking transformation. We are in it together.

2020


It’s confirmed. We are all connected.
Coronavirus, the ancient virus that has roamed the world for billions of years, is paying earth a visit. And I’m about to board a plane for El Pecadero, Mexico. Traveling light. Hoping for the best. Always measuring fear with prudence, Dear Prudence.
Our carbon footprint is being reduced for us as the shelves clear, travel stops, gas bottoms out but we have no where we have to be except under covers.
The redwing blackbirds don’t seem concerned. I woke to their singing and feel the warmth, the sun, the approaching Equinox.

9 Years

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Don’t Fence Me In: ART PROJECTS 2008-2018
This is a small book- 10″x8″, a picture book and a quick read.
It was a monumental project for me.
For a few years I’ve wanted to compile a book about my art projects to provide context for the curious who ask “where do your ideas come from ?” As a project in its own right, ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ is a field guide to 9 years, 2009- 2018. The making and recording called art is my way of building cairns; Marking a place, discovery, time; knowing others have been there and that we cross paths over and over.

Winter 2019

We’ve had a big winter here in the southwest. Snow. I love the snow and skiing but my studio has been a brisk 60 degrees for 2 months. I was happy to stay inside my warm house to begin a photo book of my art projects from 2009-2018. Everyone told me the software was user friendly, easy- but then I fell into the rabbit hole, thanks to artist,friend, and digital media guru Sarah Hewitt. The idea of the book was to integrate the diverse projects I worked on during that time period. Stringing Henry Miller with disappearing beavers on the Santa Fe River and the magical mystery tour of India with the BE HERE NOW awareness that climate disruption is threatening the dance of life itself. Sarah reminded me that I am also a writer, a word person, a storyteller. By the end of our phone conversation I was collaging the last 9 rich years of life into now, 2019, with despair and hope. Here are a few images from the next project- a graphic novel about the ongoing search for “things with feathers ” ( Emily Dickinson’Hope is the thing with feathers) while feeling grief for life on earth given the climate report.

Meta-Tourist returns home


Text panel from the exhibition of Meta-Tourist at gf contemporary, summer 2018:
Making of the Meta-Tourist
My introduction to India was through fabric. It was a Madras plaid dress with matching headband. Then the Beatles introduced me to sitars and meditation. I saw people marching on the evening news and learned about the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and the influence of Mahatma Gandhi’s practice of non-violent protest. India became my ‘exotic’ other. Yoga, meditation, embroidered clothing, weaving and spinning were to follow.
In November 2016, I was accepted to a printmaking residency in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. In my application I proposed:
‘’ …to develop a print-based installation that is mythic in breadth and contemporary in content and use of materials. The conceptual foundation for the project will be the vital weaving and textile arts of Gujarat and Gandhi’s revitalization of domestic textile production as a vehicle for Indian independence and social restoration. “
The plan was to travel through Rajasthan for three weeks with my daughter and have one month at the residency in Gujarat, which borders Rajasthan on the south.
We searched out embroiderers, toured a paper factory and block print shops. After visiting palaces, forts, temples and mosques, the stories began to sound the same as one power structure gave way to another. The ruins of yesterday’s empire are today’s tourist attraction. The walled city fails to protect over time. In every city on our tour, vendors told me that the camel is about love, the horse is about power, and the elephant brings luck, the peacock happiness. It’s what we all want.
The work here is my fabrication of India with my Gandhi glasses on, still believing that the inner and outer worlds are connected and worthy of my attention.
Most of the print work was made in India on the cotton rag paper I saw being made in Rajasthan. The embroidered prints on Indian khadi cloth I purchased from the government shop in Vadodara were printed at Fourth Dimension studio in Santa Fe with the help of Michael McCabe. Thanks to all who helped make the departure and return of the Meta Tourist possible.

How to pack for India?

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It’s time to put together 300 days worth of imagining this trip to India, 45 days of picking up ‘must have’ items (ink for printing, paper, charcoal tablets still on the list, back up charger, find the GoPro cord, get WhatsApp. Clothes- buy them in India so I have more room in the suitcase.

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Taking Georgia with me, along with needle, indigo dyed silk and a needle. Page one, travel log.

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This and many other hand drawings are going with me.

I leave in a week. Will it all fit? This trip is taking me. I can’t wait to see what shows up.

A year in the life of a beaver pond

Remember the beaver pond April 2016In September 2016 I began a three month residency with the Santa Fe Art Institute. The project focused on the riparian restoration that had taken place along the Santa Fe River in La Cieneguilla, the effluent treated water that flows west to Cochiti Pueblo where it joins the Rio Grande. In November, I presented my 3 month immersion into this complex stretch of river and the beaver ponds that altered the land and soundscape of the place I’ve called home for 27 years, an epic story, in 140 seconds. SFAI 140 is a quarterly event at SFAI turning epic into haiku? Nearly a year later, the river is back to it’s tidy channel, waiting for a 100 year flood. I continue to photograph and investigate the now dry ponds, listening for bullfrogs who’ve moved further down the canyon.

SFAI 140 November 2016

“I’m not vegan and I kill mice.I never thought about water rights until 2012 when beavers appeared in the Santa Fe River near my home in La Cieneguilla.mccloud_1

For 28 years I’ve lived on one of the earliest Spanish land grants in the United States, the site of a once thriving Keres Village. In riparian restoration terms, I’m non-native.

The beavers, who are native and reside on the upper Santa Fe River canyon and west at Cochiti Pueblo,    took down the cottonwoods and red willow planted by Wild Earth Guardians in 2008.
Beaver is a keystone species, recognized for creating habitat for other species and filtering water. I was enchanted by the slow, meandering wetlands but the farmers downriver were not- –the dams were impeding the flow for irrigation.

I was told that no beavers ever lived in this stretch of river. Rumors circulated they’d been introduced by WildEarth Guardians.beavers were here

Last March, at a county commissioners meeting, those opposing the beaver asked for extrication of what was presented as a nuisance. I imagined beaver being picked out, and, to paraphrase John Muir, I saw everything in the universe attached to them, and in jeopardy.

I questioned my water rights- Do I have a voice here? I found myself between those with traditional water rights and ‘those’ environmentalists.

As an artist who works with allegory and metaphor, I welcome the beaver as a place-holder for the wild, creative- destructive life force, clearing way for the new.

November 1 marked the end of the 7-month open season on beavers. A county investigator recently reported no signs of activity. Were they hunted out? Perhaps the endocrine disrupters in the water affected reproduction.

No bodies have been recovered – no toxicology reports exist. As mysterious as they arrived, the beaver have disappeared —at least for now.