Susan Folwell exhibits new works at King Galleries.
Raised in Santa Clara Pueblo, Folwell was immersed in the traditional methods of pottery. Now, she takes the traditional practices and applies a modern interpretation, often influenced by the personal and world events that surround her.
Folwell and her husband, Davison, moved to Taos from Tucson two years ago, where he serves as the director of the Couse-sharp Historic Site. Eanger Irving Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp, two of the six founding members of the famed Taos Society of Artists, provided a fount of inspiration for Folwell’s new works.
“Even though many of the paintings were staged scenarios, like Edward Curtis photographs, I believe a number of the members of the Taos Society of Artists wanted to capture and record the nobility and humanity of native Americans before the culture disappeared,” she says. Her newest pieces will serve
as commentaries and reflections on those classic works, specifically when it comes to the portrayal of Native women.
She reflects, “I think one of the most amazing examples of this is Bert Phillips’ Corn Maidens, circa 1917. The grace and dignity he portrays as they move through their everyday life is very powerful.”
She has also been experimenting with textured surfaces, creating a “bejeweled” effect that looks like turquoise, coral, silver and gold. This is evident in her plate Corn Maidens as well as a work in progress that, when it is finished, will feature a young woman on feast day wearing traditional Pueblo headdress, with a turquoise effect adorning the lower portion of the pot.
These new works will be on view during a solo show titled Taos Light: Maidens to Mantas at King Galleries in Scottsdale. It opens April 5 during Old Town Scottsdale’s weekly Artwalk from 6 to 9 p.m. and will remain on view through April 12.
Folwell will also present a talk about her new works at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West on Friday, April 6, at 1 p.m. In it she will touch on the process of creating Pueblo pottery, the evolution of her own work, and how the Taos Society of Artists has influenced her in the past few years.
2. Hennings at Sunset in the Snow, native clay, acrylic, native clay slips
1. Taos Maidens, native clay, acrylic, native clay slips 1
3. The Composition, native clay, acrylic, native clay slips 3
5. Sikyatki Snow, native clay, acrylic, native clay slips 5