|New 516 Arts exhibit blends three distinct projects into a stunning whole
By Chloë Winegar-Garrett
With so many issues stirred up by current events in today’s world it seems impossible to narrow in on one subject, especially in art. Yet 516 ARTS is hosting a show featuring three vastly different art projects with various notions of time and place that come together seamlessly. Time Pieces is a collection of artist collaborations spanning such diverse elements as animals,landscapes and time.
“Wendover Landing,” a collection of ceramic messenger pigeons with specific messages, was organized by poet Miriam Sagan and utilizes the talent of textile artist Alisa Dworsky and sculptorChristy Hengst. Sagan described the process to Local iQ: “I’ve been writing about beauty, and then destruction. I’m working with two sculptors, though it doesn’t necessarily start with words or images.”
The unique way of combining words and objects is hauntingly beautiful. Sagan’s previous experiences led her to this project. “I had this experience of being in a very remote, solitary, scary setting on the edge of a bombing range,” she explained. “It’s a pretty masculine landscape. It was very lonely.”
Sagan said she wanted to work with the experience in her art, and what happened with the project as it evolved and she attempted to digest it was that “it became feminine, inviting. The words on the birds ... are an attempt to create a remoteness in a very different way.”
“Common Language” and “Punctuating the Landscape” by Suzi Davidoff
and Rachelle Thiewes,
respectively, look at the similarities and differences in places across the world through installations within landscapes and the photographic and video documentation of the results. Davidoff toldLocal iQ
: “Using the funding from an artist grant, we got to Finland with purposefully no idea of what we wanted to do and just wanted to work in the landscape and let our surroundings dictate the project. We came back to the Chihuahua desert and continued the work in a vehicle.”
Beginning with digital cameras, their process of developing photographs is popular in Europe and Asia, but is rarely used in the United States. The high-process printing on aluminum gives a sheen and texture that is different than other prints, dually focusing on the aesthetics as well as the content of two diverse places.
“I think both of our works focuses on the idea of taking a closer look at the landscape around you and seeing the connections both historical and present-day,” Davidoff said.
“Friends of the Orphan Signs” was arranged by Ellen Babcock as a way of creating beauty from abandoned signs. “After traveling, I came back to New Mexico for a position at the university. I realized I didn’t have much familiarity with the city, and the graduate students I was with didn’t have much either,” Babcock explained to Local iQ. “One of the students took us on a walking tour of Central, and I was struck by the lack of interior to the sign shapes. When I looked at them later that night, I realized they could be a great spot for public art.”
Babcock described some challenges of working with signs: “They were mostly weather-related, but also dealing with incentive for property owners, and the kinds of negotiations we had to go through were complicated,” she said. And now she finds herself advocating for keeping the signs as they are.
“I would like to see the renovation, reuse of signs and for the ordinances to allow them to become permanent pieces for the city rather than them being torn down,” Babcock said. “But we want to cultivate a sense of mystery, humor, surprise and an aesthetic of beauty. We want variety and a non-standardized approach to the signs.”
Needless to say, this will be a unique exhibit highlighting creative collaboration. While there may be noticeable differences in media and content, these projects all come together in a stunning whole in Time Pieces.