Marcel Proust once said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Indeed, new eyes are essential when it comes to being an artist-or discovering one. In fact, it seems everywhere your eyes gaze, you can observe today's hot topic in the art world: young artists. There have been numerous New York Times articles on the subject, with headlines like "Warhols of Tomorrow are Dealers' Quarry Today," and "Tales From the Crit: For Art Students, May is the Cruelest Month."
Perhaps the best evidence of young artists' popularity is the latest Terry Zwigoff (director of Ghost World) film, Art School Confidential. Despite the film's gratuitous nature (Does a movie that documents the challenges
facing an artist really need a serial killer wandering the school, looking to kill art students?), it touched upon the ***image1***challenges that artists are continually faced with. As John Malkovich's character tells his class, "Only one out of 100 of you will ever make it as an artist."
However, here in the quiet town of Santa Fe, there is a scene of young artists who are discovering their own way to "make it." This past February marked the emergence of two such groups-A.D. Collective and Chocolate Helicopter.
A long way down Agua Fria, there lives the old building of the International Institute of Chinese Medicine. Here, A.D. Collective opened its doors with its first exhibit, Chapter 1. This show featured various small-scale pieces, comprised of different media, and produced by the 13 A.D. Collective members. Their ages range from 22 to 32, and each attended Santa Fe High.
During their years at the local school, A.D. Collective members studied with a teacher who has been both facilitator and mentor for over 30 years, Gary Myers. "The thing about Gary Myers is, no matter how much time, or how long ago you interacted with him, he made you feel important and [made you believe] that your art mattered. He ***image2***created an environment where you could check your bags at the door and express yourself to the fullest," says Myer's son, student, and A.D. Collective member, Jesse.
In fact, the name "A.D. Collective" originated as homage to Myers who was often called "Art Dog" by his students; however, the group's title "is also suggestive of a new start, and maybe a little sarcastic nod to our generation of ADD, our refusal to fall into the Santa Fe tendency of having a very short attention span," says the Collective's leader, Bess Murphy. In the competitive world of emerging artists, A.D. Collective seeks to create a supportive environment, free from the hubristic tendencies that are innately joined with artistic success and recognition. Additionally, the group hopes to further community outreach projects. This was the main idea behind the Collective's May event, Hoi Polloi: Art By the Masses. The 12-hour event was an art-making experience open to ***image3***all Santa Feans. It was a success, attracting people of all ages to get down and dirty with colors, collages, and creativity.
This summer, A.D. Collective plans other events and exhibitions. An exhibit in July, titled Bueno Byes and Frito Pies: Myths and Legends of Santa Fe, will consist of various forms of art "as an artistic celebration of local folklore, intrigue and legend."
Chocolate Helicopter "sounds like tumbleweeds flying across the highway at super sonic speed," according to the group's Myspace page. You may have seen their recent visual art fling, Galvanize, at the Zele Café on Galisteo Street. These artists, ages 21-26, not only play with paint and pens, but instruments as well. Chocolate Helicopter does it all: writing, recording and painting. The five dedicated individuals-Rose "Bean" Simpson, Jake Fragua, Cougar Vigil, Michael Schweigman and Douglas Two Bulls-have been collaborating since February, but they have also been successful in their independent efforts.
Almost all of the members have exhibited in the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum. This past March, Cougar Vigil was included in the Art in the Raw exhibit, an IAIA tradition that ***image4***shows finished works in conjunction with works-in-progress. Some members have gone so far as the East Coast. Simpson, for example, has exhibited at the Massachusetts Peabody Essex Museum. She was also part of the University of New Mexico Fem-i-nin-i-ty show which included a total of 15 female artists. Simpson's piece, "Growth into Freedom" was a sculpture suspended from the ceiling, portraying a woman in different stages.
Chocolate Helicopter has events planned all summer long, both in Santa Fe as well as the great Hills of Beverly in California. Between these creative efforts and those of A.D. Collective, Generation Y is clearly permeating today's art scene. This summer will surely consist of noteworthy artistic happenings. Despite the challenges facing young artists, these two collaborative endeavors prove the competition and drama of the art world can be surpassed.
Monday, June 12
Last chance to check out Chocolate Helicopter's visual art fling, Galvanize.
201 Galisteo St.
5-9 pm, Friday, June 16
Gary Myers solo exhibit.
4884 La Junta del Alamo at Lopez Lane and Agua Fria Road
9 pm, Friday, June 30
Chocolate Helicopter musical performance.
Second Street Brewery
1814 Second St.
Thursday, July 8 - Saturday, September 30
"Relations," an indigenous dialogue featuring two Chocolate Helicopter members.
Institute of American Indian Arts Museum
108 Cathedral Place
5-9 pm, Friday, July 14
Buenos Byes and Frito Pies: Myths and Legends of Santa Fe
An exhibit featuring A.D. Collective artists.
4884 La Junta del Alamo at Lopez Lane and Agua Fria Road
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