First-ever Studio Arts MFA class at the Institute of American Indian Arts graduates with Beyond Mastery dual exhibit
Though the idea sparked into the world sometime well before the pandemic, it wasn’t until 2021 that the Institute of American Indian Arts was able to kick off its first-ever Studio Arts MFA program. Now, as its inaugural cohort prepares to graduate, a pair of exhibitions at Turner Carroll offshoot CONTAINER and The Coe Center aim to show the world what they’ve got.
Part of the slow trudge to success for the Master of Fine Arts was the reality of the world during COVID; part of it was, according to Director of MFA in Studio Arts Mario Caro (Colombian Mestizo), assembling the type of professional artist mentors for the program who could strike envy into the hearts of any other arts students out there—artists such as Dakota Mace (Diné), Raven Chacon (Diné), Heidi K. Brandow (Diné and Kanaka Maoli), Ashley Holland (Cherokee Nation) and Charlene Teters (Spokane) among others.
“It was meant to be like a low residency,” Caro tells SFR. “The main part is that folks can remain in their communities, wherever they may be. A lot of our students are Native and moving away from home can be a disruptive thing, but this way they can still remain and they can still have mentors while they have other commitments.”
The first student cohort makes an impression. Take Joseph Seymour Jr. (Squaxin Island/Acoma Pueblo), whose focus on language regeneration through artistic pursuits highlights both a need and a movement. Or take Angelica Garcia, whose digital prints and video looping pay homage to family, roots and the women who came before. There are seven more artists where they came from, and the works proved so big that not one space could contain them all.
A graduating class’s show would normally be exhibited at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Caro explains, but “they plan out years ahead and that didn’t work out, and it was CONTAINER’s Tonya Turner Carroll who is the hero to immediately offer her space. Our artists...also developed large scale installations, and there was no way CONTAINER could contain all of them, so The Coe Center said we could use the project warehouse space—now we’re converting this raw warehouse into an exhibition space, and it’s working out very well.”
For those keeping score, that’s nine artists across two locations and a whole mess of phenomenal mentors. That makes Beyond Mastery sound beyond excellent. All that’s left is for the rest of us to check it out. (Alex De Vore)
4 pm Friday, May 12. Free. The Coe Center, 1590 Pacheco St., (505) 983-6372
6 pm Friday, May 12. Free. CONTAINER, 1226 Flagman Way, (505) 995-0012
There’s so much to say about the Center for Contemporary reopening, but nowhere near enough space. So, beyond extolling the ability to run your fingers over those velvet walls again—or the chance to hear cinema head honcho Paul Barnes address the returning audience—let’s stick to what’s screening: Vertigo features Alfred Hitchcock’s most compelling use of color and his Freudian undertones at their most overt. But looking past the onscreen doubling that drives the plot, Vertigo has become even more haunting as parallels to the director’s own obsessions with his icy blonde stars bubble to the surface. Don’t take that as a reason to avoid the film—instead, see it as an additional layer in its disturbing exploration of identity. (Siena Sofia Bergt)
CCA Closer Look Series: Vertigo Screening and Discussion: 6 pm Thursday, May 11. $15. Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, (505) 216-0672
Truthfully, we no longer totally buy the idea that outsider art is made by folks unsullied by establishment conventions. In the age of the internet, such firm distinctions feel a little iffy. But we can get behind art that’s simply driven by childlike delight, and that’s exactly what the circus-centric paintings and found object pieces in Tim Weldon’s new exhibit A Trip to the Fun House provide. Digging into the crumb-covered joy of childhood memorabilia, Weldon’s work captures both the excitement and nebulous grunginess of the carnival. And with contemporary-focused gallery Calliope’s co-owner Michael Lancaster’s personal connection as great-grandson of big top pioneer Charles Ringling, a satisfying spectacle seems guaranteed for all. (SSB)
Tim Weldon: A Trip to the Fun House: 4-6:30 pm Saturday, May 13. Free. Calliope, 2876 Hwy. 14, Madrid, (505) 660-9169
We know Mother’s Day is a nonsense holiday concocted to sell cards, but bear with us. This is Santa Fe. You can ditch the schmaltzy purple platitudes and still celebrate the matriarchs and femme mentors in your life. Why not treat ‘em to one of four specialty menus—at Rio Chama Steakhouse, Terra Restaurant, Bishop’s Lodge and Palace Prime—cooked up for the occasion? Follow that up with arts-based bonding over a downtown tour from the History Museum or a Flamenco concert at Teatro Paraguas, then make a tangible keepsake at the suncatcher workshop from TLC Stained Glass. Too stuffy? Just head straight for the royalty at Jean Cocteau’s drag brunch. Go where thou wilt. (SSB)
Mother’s Day in Santa Fe: All day Sunday, May 14. Various times, locations and costs. Click here for more info