Blue Rain Gallery puts on its annual wspotlight of Native art.
SANTA FE, NM
Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, hosts its Annual Celebration of Native American Art During Native Art Week, August 16 through 19, highlighting some of its Native artists and presenting glassblowing demonstrations.
The pointillist paintings of Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek) resemble Plains Indian beadwork in their portrayal of traditional Muscogee mythology and combine, as he says, “reverence and whimsy.” His bold colors and strong sense of design make the traditional contemporary.
Yatika Fields (Cherokee/creek/osage) makes paintings that respond to the energy of the landscape around him. He says, “My process focuses on fluidity of form and boldness of palette, bringing the unseen alive in a way that will inspire in my audience a revelation of ideas, color and form; reshaping their relationship to what they take for granted.”
Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara) tells her stories in clay. She acknowledges and follows the traditions of her family and her Pueblo but has developed her own style and techniques. She says, “One of my distinctive traits is sgraffito [etching] over the entire pot. And I try not to take myself too seriously...i use a lot more humor than most potters.”
Jewelry maker Maria Samora from Taos has reached a point in her career where “my training has given me the technique to actually produce what’s in my head.” She describes her work as “natural forms made contemporary.” Despite being contemporary, she says, “my designs have developed a more traditional element, and I’ve started to incorporate geometric Native patterns.”
Preston Singletary (Tlingit) and Dan Friday (Lummi) are glass artists who combine traditional European glassblowing techniques with Northwest Indian design. They will give glassblowing presentations August 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Singletary grew up hearing the traditional stories of his culture and worked with some of the Northwest’s
prominent Native artists. He learned European glassblowing techniques working among the prominent glass artists in the Seattle area. He says, “Glass brings another dimension to Native American art. Its luminous quality and shadow effect are like a spirit that appears when this lighting is right.” His work embodies not only the forms of his heritage but also its spirit.
Friday simplified forms of bears, symbolic of his family, in glass, using ancient techniques as if they were meant to go together. He recounts how, when he first saw glass being blown, he felt like he had grown an inch because a weight was lifted from his shoulders. “I had finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up,” he says. “This was no small feat for someone who, as a youth, was rebellious and misguided. Glass altered my life. In spite of my colorful past, and by the grace of a loving community, I found my passion in glass.”
1. Yakita Fields (Cherokee/Creek/osage), Connecting the Past, oil and acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40" 3. Preston Singletary (Tlingit), Grease Dish, blown and sand-carved glass, 8 x 14 x 6½" 4. Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara), Butterfly Pot, natural clay and acrylic paint, 6¼ x 5" 5. Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek), Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24"6. Hyrum Joe (Navajo), A Dance for His CheyennePeople, graphite and watercolor on paper, 19½ x 15½"
2. Lisa Holt (Cochiti) and Harlan Reano (Santo Domingo/kewa), natural clay and pigments, 20¼ x 11 x 13"