Four New Mexico artists of diverse ancestry are mounting the third in a series of exhibitions based on the theme “Creation/Migration” (http:creationmigrationstories.blogspot.com). Their installation at Gaucho Blue Gallery in Peñasco, NM focuses on “Honoring Our Ancestors” in this latest iteration of the ongoing project. The exhibition opens with a reception Saturday, April 19th from 3:00 - 7:00 PM.
“This is the perfect theme and setting for “Honoring Our Ancestors,” says Donna Caulton, a painter who lives and works in Chamisal. “The community here reveres its ancestors and takes good care of its elderly members.” Caulton said the artist organizers --which include Belinda Edwards (Santa Fe) Betsie Miller-Kusz (Jemez Valley) and Harriette Tsosie (Albuquerque)--have reserved one wall of the gallery for community participation. “We’re inviting residents of Taos and Rio Arriba counties to create artworks that in some way honor their ancestry,” Caulton said. “These could be family stories, migration events, or a tribute to place, for example.” She said accepted entries might also include photos or artifacts that represent family or community history, stories from or about ancestors, or expressions of what honoring ancestors means to the person submitting an entry. (For more information on how to submit an entry e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 575/587-2721).
Creation/Migration is an ongoing inquiry by the four exhibiting artists into identity issues, such as the influence of place, culture, language and genetics. The artists have had their DNA tested as part of National Geographic’s “Genographic” effort.
“We have been collaborating for two years on this project,” notes Caulton. “Because we create a collaborative work ourselves, it is always our intention to include the community as co-collaborators in each exhibition venue.” She said the artists have worked together to create a basket, into which are woven memories of their respective ancestors; masks and books, some of which will be on display in the exhibition. Previous exhibitions have included community quilts and altars.
“Honoring Our Ancestors” will open with a blessings by Picuris elders. Guests will also be greeted in the languages of early settlers by Larry Torres, Associate Professor of Languages and Culture at the University of New Mexico. The four artists will also be present and available to answer questions about the project and their work. Throughout the afternoon, there will be storytelling and talks by community members including: *Picuris artist Gerald Nailor, who will describe restoring the altar piece in the pueblo’s San Lorenzo church: *Tribal member Carl “Cat” Tsosie, who will speak about establishing the buffalo herd; *Jerol Arguello, who will give a power point presentation about the twelve founding families of Las Trampas, a rural village in northern New Mexico.
Gaucho Blue Gallery is on the scenic High Road to Taos route, located at 14148 State Road 75, Penasco. Gallery hours after the opening are: Thursday - Monday, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM and by appointment. Contact the gallery at 575/587-7076.