Now and Then
Journalist and storyteller Tara Gatewood discusses the communicative nature of Indigenous pottery
“I think we’re often severed from the outside world, what’s written about us, reported about us,” says journalist and storyteller Tara Gatewood (Isleta Pueblo and Diné). “For us Indigenous people, and especially from my pueblo perspective, though, there was never any fragmentation—we have a continuous connection to the people before us, the people who thrived and survived so we could be here.”
Gatewood is one of a coterie of members from the Pueblo Pottery Collective which, along with the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the School for Advanced Research, co-curated the ongoing Grounded in Clay exhibit at MIAC that opened last summer. After its stint in Santa Fe, the show will travel far and wide, illuminating the practicality and histories of pottery, clay vessels, Indigenous artistry, et al. At an upcoming talk from Gatewood through the School for Advanced Research, she will discuss how certain pieces—specifically a Mogollon jar and an Isleta vessel—informed her as a storyteller, a writer, a journalist and, now, a curator.
“We were asked to come in see the collection and to find something that connected to us, or that we felt connected to,” Gatewood tells SFR. “That in itself is just amazing, the ability to walk into this room of many different vessels and say, ‘OK, which of these am I going on a journey with?’ And it has created so much introspection, fathered so much curiosity.”
In brief, Gatewood says, modern clay and ceramic methodologies are still intertwined with elements of the practice dating back hundreds of years, which aids in understanding how communication between present day creators and their ancestors has such a vital place in contemporary artistry and academia.
“We are not necessarily time-machining, more like we’re picking up a line that has always been there, a live wire that connects many generations to now,” Gatewood says. “This live wire has been there this whole time, and the group of people who make up the Pottery Collective are putting their hands on it to think about how these periods connect. You can run your hands on these vessels and hear the sound, you can think of your ancestors running their hands over it and being able to make the exact same sound. That’s as important and fresh as the moment it was made hundreds of years ago.” (Alex De Vore)
From Me to You: A Conversation with Pottery: 1 pm Friday, March 17. Free with admission. Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, (505) 476-1269
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—there’s certainly no shortage of landscapes hanging in Santa Fe galleries. The real question is how an artist might stand out from the pack? In this case, Russian-born Pecos resident Felix Voltsinger does just that by bringing a sort of expressionistic edge to impressionistic works. OK, we get that that’s a lot of “istics.” Consider: Voltsinger reportedly never works from photographs, but instead uses his own dang memory to create paintings that are recognizable but dreamlike. Soft at the edges and magically comforting, Voltinsger’s works elicit outdoor memories and inspire future sojourns. You know these places, right? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you will. Maybe this is the reason you start finding out. (ADV)
Felix Voltsinger: Land, Space and Color Opening: 4-6 pm Thursday, March 16. Free. Santa Fe Community College, 6401 Richards Ave., (505) 428-1000
It’s Kind of a Big Deal
Santa Fe is no stranger to the legendary artist game. Hell, quite a few of ‘em came out of our fair hamlet. Still, when a space like LewAllen Galleries—which is easily one of the more steadfast galleries when it comes to hosting excellent shows—announces it’s going to exhibit some lesser-seen figurative works by Pablo Picasso, it’s hard not to think about how that’s kind of amazing. Starting this week, you, too, can swing by the Railyard-based gallery to catch works on paper. Some of them are exactly what you think they are, some of them are surprising, intriguing and, perhaps, new to most but the more seasoned visual arts fans. Brass tacks? Where else are you going to see this stuff outside of a museum around here? (ADV)
Celebrating Picasso’s Legacy: Important Works on Paper Opening: 5 pm Friday, March 17. Free. LewAllen Galleries, 1613 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 988-3250
All About the Paper
Even for those of us who missed the heyday of zines, the process of creating them touches on something powerfully nostalgic. Maybe it’s because so many people spent some portion of childhood cutting photos from old magazines; maybe it’s just that very specific non-toxic glue stick smell. Regardless, zine making just plain feels good in that it lets you build little paper altars to the weird things you love—whether those be old short form sci-fi stories or B horror movies so disgusting they make your loved ones’ eyes pop out. And with the library providing all the materials, this workshop is a great place to start. Maybe save any gore for home, though—all ages are welcome. (Siena Sofia Bergt)
Zine Workshop: 3-5 pm Saturday, Mar. 18. Free. Santa Fe Public Library Main Branch, 145 Washington Ave., (505) 955-6780