Sea­son of the Sur­real is timed to co­in­cide with Day of the Dead, the Mex­i­can hol­i­day dur­ing which peo­ple gather to pray for and re­mem­ber loved ones who have died.

Pasatiempo - - THE NEW MEXICAN - Women of the Woods Muninn, Muninn

Though Youngquist was work­ing with bead­ing be­fore she ever trav­eled to Santa Fe, she came here for the first time when she was in her twen­ties — pen­ni­less, putting nearly ev­ery­thing on credit cards — and then re­turned for seven con­sec­u­tive years. She started sell­ing some of her beaded flatware at Doodlet’s, the funky-folk­loric store on Wa­ter Street, and found a sense of artis­tic com­mu­nity by vis­it­ing the lo­cal mu­se­ums, where cu­ra­tors seemed to em­brace as fine art the same things that had been dis­missed as “craft” back home. She hadn’t in­tended, in her bead­ing, to copy indige­nous art of the South­west, which she’d never seen close-up or in any quan­tity, but she was pleased to find a per­sonal aes­thetic con­nec­tion to Na­tive artists. A sim­i­lar thing hap­pened with the series.

“Af­ter the three pieces in this series were cre­ated, it was brought to my at­ten­tion that I was cre­at­ing ver­sions of Beaivi,” a Scan­di­na­vian sun de­ity, Youngquist said. “In Sami myth, she trav­els with her daugh­ter Beaivi-nieida through the sky in an en­clo­sure cov­ered by rein­deer bones, bring­ing green plants back to the win­ter earth for the rein­deer to eat, and she is as­so­ci­ated with fer­til­ity in plants and an­i­mals. She was also called upon to re­store the men­tal health of those who went in­sane be­cause of the con­tin­ual dark­ness of the long win­ter.”

Youngquist said the Day of the Dead theme pro­posed by Patina Gallery was ideal, as one of the pieces she wanted to fin­ish in time for the show was a crow that en­com­passes the feel­ings she and her part­ner, Scott Long, have around the death of their Siberian Husky, Chaco. Chaco died in May 2018, cross­ing to the other side in the back­yard af­ter a long sea­son of ill­ness. While he lay dy­ing, two baby crows were be­ing raised in the yard by their mother, which Youngquist said was un­usual. “We get plenty of baby birds, but rarely are they crows.”

The fin­ished rep­re­sents Chaco’s mem­ory fig­u­ra­tively — in its form as a crow — as well as lit­er­ally. Long, who cre­ates the sculp­tural body forms for Youngquist’s pieces, left a void in the chest that they filled with a cop­per tube, in­side of which is a vial of Chaco’s ashes and some of his fur.

“Chaco was my heart,” she said. “To me, the piece is the heart of the show.”

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