Brooklyn-based multimedia maven Swoon gets in the gallery game
You might have heard of New York street artist Swoon from portraits she painted of Alicia Keyes or Swizz Beatz, or even from her fateful sojourn down the Grand Canal during the 2009 Venice Biennale—but what you might not know is that her showing in galleries is relatively rare. As Tonya Turner Carroll of Canyon Road’s Turner Caroll Gallery points out, Swoon has first and foremost been a street artist—a multimedia purveyor of collage, sculpture, illustration, painting and found material murals applied with wheat paste and meant to affect change and embrace impermanence. In other words, Swoon (real name Caledonia Curry) showing as part of Turner Carroll’s 30th anniversary with the exhibition Wholeness in Mind is a big freaking deal.
“She’s had trepidations about working with galleries because she was riding around [New York City] on her bicycle putting up murals,” Turner Caroll tells SFR. “She likes to create happy surprises. We chose her. We asked ourselves who we’d want to embody our values and mission; where we’ve come from, the legacy we’ll take with us and what we’ll leave behind.”
Turner Caroll connected with Swoon through longtime friend and artist Judy Chicago.
“Judy says she kind of adopted Swoon as her ‘radical adopted daughter,’” Turner Carroll explains. “The more I know about her, the more I absolutely love her, her art, and I wholeheartedly believe in what she’s doing.”
For her Santa Fe show, Swoon presents multimedia pieces on panel—like smaller and more collectible versions of her street work—and the gallery went to great lengths to import “The House Our Families Built,” a box truck reconfigured to be an immersive and interactive artpiece and statement on family and legacy. Word is there’s no way to truly appreciate the truck without seeing it firsthand—another feather in Turner Carroll’s multi-decade cap. The artist will be on hand during the opening as well. The show’s relatively short month-long runtime means you’ll have to be on top of things to attend—and you really should attend.
“Her work is about transformation,” Turner Caroll adds, “and this is kind of like our gift to the Santa Fe art community for 30 great years of our gallery.” (Alex De Vore)
Swoon: Wholeness in Mind Opening: 4:30 pm Friday, May 28. Free. Turner Carroll Gallery, 725 Canyon Road, 986-9800
Bird is the Legislative Word
Do you like the sounds of birds in the springtime, perched upon little branches like the gods they are? Hate to see them dead? So does Audubon New Mexico (and so do we at SFR, just to be clear). Turns out bird-loving and expanding conservation legislation go hand in hand. Audubon Director of Policy Judy Calman virtually hosts Advocacy in the Roundhouse: How to Use Your Voice for Birds! Learn how to voice bird concerns to your legislative representatives and what the organization has in store to help expand conservation policy. Calman wants to bring you up to speed and hopefully inspire you to get involved in some conservation causes—after all, it isn’t American politics if you aren’t begging your representatives to do the bare minimum. (Riley Gardner)
Advocacy in the Roundhouse: How to Use Your Voice for Birds: 6 pm Wednesday, May 26. Free (donations accepted). nm.audubon.org
Thou Art Back
Shakespeare geeks, you’ve been summoned from the dungeons in which you slumber! Upstart Crows, Santa Fe’s youth Shakespeare theatre company, is bringing back live Shakespeare performances,. The kids kick it off with The Tempest, that timeless tale of fathers, daughters, feral weirdos, betrayal, love, sadness, magic, murder, boats—so yes, the usual Shakespeare stuff. Yeah, theater’s making a comeback, and after a year-plus of the artistically inclined kiddos having no stage to perform on, it can’t hurt to get out there and give a little love. O, brave new world that has such theater in it! (RG)
The Tempest: 6:30 pm Friday, May 28 and Sunday, May 30. $12. Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Fe, 107 Barcelona Road, 982-9674; upstartcrowsofsantafe.org
Get Those Memorial Day Steps In
Albuquerque-based dance nonprofit Keshet joins New Mexico PBS to host a screening of the short film Moved By War. The documentary follows Iraq War veteran Román Baca as he returns home from combat. As a coping mechanism, Baca turns to ballet—an early passion—and in his path to healing, he establishes the Exit12 Dance Company, performers from which join this livestream with a new choreographed number. A panel discussion with the artists follows. The goal is to help break down veteran stereotypes and to discuss the various ways soldiers find healing after conflict. We could all use some nice stories about veterans coping with PTSD rather than the doom and gloom Hollywood tosses out. (RG)
Moved By War virtual screening with Exit12 Dance Company: 10 am Monday, May 31. Free. exit12danceco.org