Gallery to feature work of several local Diné arts figures
FARMINGTON — An art exhibition opening next weekend at a new Santa Fe gallery will include a strong Four Corners presence, as three local Diné artists will have their work featured and a local band will provide the music for the opening reception.
The Encaustic Art Institute, which recently opened its new headquarters and gallery in Santa Fe's Railyard district, is presenting "Contemporary Spirituality" Friday, Aug. 7 throughout the month. Seven Native artists will have their work featured in the show, including Farmington's Michael Billie, Aztec's Ambrose Teasyatwho and Roy Kady of the Navajo Nation. The exhibition coincides with the annual Santa Fe Indian Market Aug. 21-23 on the Plaza, an event that attracts more than 100,000 people to the city.
Billie said he has been friends with EAI founder Douglas Mehrens for five years, and this show originally was supposed to be a solo showing of Billie's work.
"But it ballooned into a group show," he said, explaining that he viewed the exhibition as an opportunity to promote the work of other artists who are part of the Navajo Artists Technology Innovation & Vision Enterprise Project, which provides both financial and technical assistance to Navajo and other Native American artists from or living in the Four Corners region who are engaged in the business of arts, crafts and culture.
Billie, who will be showing 13 to 15 wax mixed-media pieces in the show, helped recruit the other artists. He said Teasyatwho, a longtime Aztec gallery owner well known for his wood carvings, bronze sculptures and pen-and-ink drawings, is expected to display eight pieces, while Roy, an internationally known weaver, will be featuring four pieces.
Other Native artists in the show include Gina Adams (Ojibwa), Rollie Grandbois (Turtle Mountain Band Chippewa), Sallyann Paschall (Cherokee) and Holly Wilson (Delaware/Cherokee).
The opening reception for the show will feature jazz and funk music by Farmington's Delbert Anderson Trio. Anderson, also Diné, fronts the group, which released its debut album "Manitou" earlier this year. The disc was recorded during a show at the Totah Theatre in downtown Farmington and was featured during the band's appearance on the "Native America Calling" radio program broadcast on nearly 70 public, community and tribal radio stations in the United States and Canada in May.
Other local artists will be featured in EAI events throughout the month. Shiprock native and filmmaker Dwayne Joe, a senior at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, will present a talk Friday, Aug. 7 about the new documentary he is completing about Big Sister, the enormous Navajo rug created by a team of weavers in the Chilchinbeto Chapter in Arizona over a two-year period ending in 1979. Joe, who is enrolled in the Navajo Nation but who is also part Hopi, holds an associate degree from San Juan College and plans to graduate from IAIA this fall.
On Friday, Aug. 21, Diné clothing designer Jolonzo Goldtooth, a Piedra Vista High School and University of New Mexico graduate, will preview his new collection, as well as the collection he showed during Fashion Week in New York City earlier this year.
Finally, on Saturday, Aug. 29, Billie will present a free encaustic workshop. The ancient technique dates back to the Greeks and features the fusing of layers of melted beeswax and varnish.
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