There are so many ways to perceive art. One way is to take a two-dimensional surface and discover a new world within it. Imagine aluminum foil art, or a wall design made of cut books and wax, or a ball gown made of leaves, flowers, and grass.
That’s exactly what artists want viewers to do at this month’s juried group exhibit, called “Flatlanders & Surface Dwellers,” at 516 Arts in Downtown. How? Instead of selecting a traditional theme when issuing her call for art, guest curator Lea Anderson selected an intriguing theme based on a novella written in the 1880s by Edwin Abbott called “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.”
The novella, introduced to her by her father when Ms. Anderson was 11, is about a two-dimensional world occupied by geometric figures and places called Spaceland and Pointland. According to the curator, the story “offers a philosophical look at a two-dimensional world, exploring abstract concepts of shape, line and point, and highlighting a world within the surface.”
Anderson asks artists and the public to “explore the intimate and exotic realm ofsurface texture that evokes visceral multi-sensory responses.” The viewer should want to touch, connect, and peel away that surface.
Because the theme is “surface,” the call for art gave no restrictions on materials.
“I wanted to be surprised – and that was absolutely the case!” Anderson says.
The show includes amazing variations of unusual treatments of “surface” done in painting, sculpture, ceramics, video, photography, electronic art, digital art, performance art, fiber art, installation and more.
The show features the work of 24 artists. Half of the artists were invited, and the other half selected from 350 submissions, including many local submissions. Eight of the 24 artists are from New Mexico, and there are also artists from across the U.S., and from Canada, Chile and South Korea.
–Author of the award-winning “Tradiciones Nuevomexicanas: Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico” (UNM Press), Mary Montaño has written for a variety of regional and national publications.
March 9 – June 1
Flatlanders & Surface Dwellers
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 9, 6-8 pm
516 Arts Gallery
For two workshops, screening, and performance related to this exhibit, see website.
516 Central Ave SW, 242.1445