Harwood Museum of Art
Taos, NM
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Harwood Museum of Art
238 Ledoux Street,
Taos, New Mexico 87571
ph 575.758.9826 | fx 575.758.1475


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Julie Lake: Compendium

Robert Parker: The Zoot Suits Are All Gone

Harnessing Light: Marietta Patricia Leis, Debbie Long, & Mary Shaffer

In a Different Light: Larry Bell at the Harwood Museum of Art

Rafa Tarín: FOR NOW


Julie Lake: Compendium
September 7 - Sunday, September 30, 2018
Gallery: Studio 238

Meet the Artist: September 7th , 4 – 6pm

The Harwood Museum of art is pleased to announce the September Studio 238 artist, Julie Lake. For this work, the only material used is very small diameter stainless steel wire, sometimes as fine as a strand of hair. It is joined by an arc welding process, but the artist uses the welder like a sewing machine, stitching and piecing together these threads of metal. So, it is within these parameters of limited material and limited process that Lake can “search for an authentic place.” It seems to rest between the industrial and the domestic. The nature of steel and welding typically yields formidable and often imposing works. But, as opposed to hefty steel sculptures or structures that assert themselves, she is drawn to experimental forms that invite curiosity for those willing to look more closely; gestures that often seem reluctant to be defined as a things unto themselves.

Lake states, “As a maker, I've found that a freedom is attained when extreme limitations and parameters are imposed. The paralyzing weight of possibility is thus eliminated. A relationship can be made with a material and an intelligence and sensitivity can be gained about its behavior. As the poet David Whyte writes, "Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity." A vastness is then revealed among slightest alterations.”

For Studio 238, Lake will present these forms like a display of found objects or as a collection of specimens in a lab. They act as a visual dictionary, a reference for her ongoing collection of possibilities. Individually, these objects are novelties, small items of curiosity. But, as a whole, grouped together, they become evidence of process, a sculptural installation of separate yet intimately related parts. Here, too, in these interstices, Lake is in search of the space between childlike wondering and the abstruse, which as she ponders, “may, actually, be one in the same.”

Julie Lake attended the Oregon College of Art and Craft and the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts. She has worked at a number of fabrication shops and studios in Eugene, Oregon, San Diego, CA and Taos, New Mexico. Lake’s work has been featured in a number of exhibitions in New York and New Mexico. She is currently represented at several galleries in Taos. You can find her on Instagram: @lake_object.

A Meet the Artist event is scheduled for September 7th from 4-6pm and is free and open to the public.

Studio 238 is a pop-up gallery exhibition at the Harwood Museum of Art offering contemporary local artists an opportunity to show their work. These rotating one-month exhibitions provide a space for new series of works, experimental or traditional, to both established and emerging local artists.

Robert Parker: The Zoot Suits Are All Gone
August 1 - Sunday, August 26, 2018
Gallery: Studio 238

Meet the Artist: August 3rd , 4 – 6pm

Long interested in the historical Zoot Suit colors of pinks, purples, blacks and yellows that were prevalent in the 1930’s - 1950’s, Robert Parker has embarked on a series of paintings and sculptural works embodying these colors over the past months. The works in this month’s Studio 238 exhibition are stylistically consistent with Parker’s hard edge, geometric abstraction aesthetic.

The works are meant to be playful, and minimal, yet evocative of how colors play off against each other and the way in which light creates reflective surfaces within the works. In creating the pieces, Parker works in a meditative approach, in which initially, the work is conceived in its basic form, structure, and color patterns, and then allowed to evolve in a more intuitive manner into a final iteration.

In his use of the color pink, Parker states, “In the past few years there has been a resurgence of the color pink in all of its iterations of hue and tonal variations in both art and architectural design. Reasons for this resurgence is that pink is a polychrome color, no longer just the domain of feminine aesthetic. Pinks are finding there way in male fashion, furniture, interior design, and art. It is an intimate color and has the effect of warming the spirit and flattering the human body. As one noted designer, India Mahdavi, said, …”the embrace of color (pink) corresponds to a desire for cheer amid anxiety, and for sensuality in algorithmic times”. How true this is and has been one of the artist’s motivations for creating these works. We all need respite from these tumultuous times and inspiration away from daily political and social strife.” The works in the exhibition include paintings, stainless steel, powder coated sculpture, and an artist-designed chair.

Parker is an artist and architect working and living in Taos, New Mexico. His career in art and architecture spans five decades and more. Over the past decade his art has focused on geometric abstraction. He has shown in galleries throughout North America and Canada with works in private and institutional collections.

He studied art and architecture as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado and University of Minnesota, and did his graduate work at MIT in architecture and photography under the photographer, Minor White. In 1970, together with a colleague, he initiated and was head of the Environmental Planning program at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada where he taught from 1970 to 1990. He is the recipient of many awards for his architecture and teaching. Parker moved full time to Taos with his spouse, Deborah McLean, in 1997, and has maintained his architecture practice and art studio here since that time. His principal mediums are painting and printmaking with complimentary work in studio art glass. He also works in sculpture and photography.

Studio 238 is a pop-up gallery exhibition at the Harwood Museum of Art offering contemporary local artists an opportunity to show their work. These rotating one-month exhibitions provide a space for new series of works, experimental or traditional, to both established and emerging local artists.

Harnessing Light: Marietta Patricia Leis, Debbie Long, & Mary Shaffer
August 4 - Sunday, October 7, 2018
Gallery: Peter & Madeleine Martin Gallery

Opening: Saturday, August 4th, Reception: 3-5 pm

Artist Panel Discussion: August 7, 7pm

Harnessing Light features three artists who by different paths converge on a common focus: the interface of light on a surface. Each artist—Marietta Patricia Leis, Debbie Long, and Mary Shaffer—creates works that share the viewers’ immediate space and directly engage them with luminous visual effects. Leis’s graphite acrylic panels, from her series Lost and Found In Iceland, capture light’s tenebrous illumination of consummate darkness. The light that saturates Debbie Long’s translucent cast-glass sculptures belies their physical mass with the same sleight of hand that transforms Mary Shaffer’s rigid clear cast coils into lithe and pliant crystal creatures.

In a Different Light: Larry Bell at the Harwood Museum of Art
June 9–October 7, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 14, 2018 (Taos, NM): They came for the light. Since 1898 when painters Bert Phillips and Ernest Blumenschein traversed through Taos, broke a wagon wheel and decided to stay, eventually founding the Taos Society of Artists, artists have been attracted to Taos for the clear, sparkling, golden light and extraordinary sense of space. After the painters came the photographers such as Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, and Laura Gilpin; after them, the filmmakers, perhaps most famously Dennis Hopper to produce his 1969 classic, Easy Rider, which would inspire a generation to follow their own visions for themselves instead of societal expectations—and maybe even move to Taos, which Hopper himself did in the early 1970s.

Along the way, Larry Bell came, too. He and Hopper were friends, and Hopper had included him in an exhibit in his Taos gallery. In the 1960s, art critics classified Bell a Perceptualist and a Minimalist, labels that he accepts but never truly sought. Today, the 78-year-old artist is best known for his three-dimensional glass structures.

“What interests me in the process is the very ironic and improbable reality that is the unexpected,” the famously fedora wearing, cigar-smoking artist told Vanity Fair in April 2018. (Portrait of an Artist: Larry Bell, by Maryam Eisler). “Spontaneity and improbability are the kinds of things that turn me on. The three most important tools in an artist’s studio,” he emphasizes, “are improvisation, spontaneity, and intuition.”

In his Taos studio, using a 8-foot x 15-foot vacuum chamber known as “The Tank,” Bell positions glass plates inside, seals the door, then vaporizes aluminum and silicate ingots (the materials are small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand) while he watches the action through a round porthole in the side of the tank, adjusting the controls all the while. Inside the Tank, the mist of vaporized materials then settles on the surface of the glass. Later, Bell will assemble the plates into boxes and other sculptures. The colors shimmer, they iridesce, they change based on where the viewer is standing. They reflect the light that is and transform it into something else. So even if you’ve already seen Bell’s work at the Chinati Foundation, or the Guggenheim, or the Pompidou—you will see it in Taos as you never have before. Literally, in a different light.

Curated by longtime friend, studio mate, and panoramic photographer Gus Foster, the new exhibit Larry Bell: Hocus, Focus and 12 will fill four galleries in the Harwood Museum of Art a rambling adobe structure on narrow, meandering Ledoux Street. On display in the Mandelman–Ribak Gallery will be Bell’s major standing-wall installation, Gus’s Berg (1975), and a 2017 work created as part of his Venice Fog series.

The exhibit will showcase Bell’s two-dimensional works on paper including Vapor Drawings, Mirage Works, and Fractions—all created in The Tank and with a vacuum press. Additionally, Bell’s Mylar Light Knot mobiles will be on view.

The cumulative effect will be glass sculptures rising from the floor, reflective paintings hanging on the walls, and undulating silver and iridescent mobiles dangling from the ceiling—a wonderland of light on surface.

Upstairs in the Harwood’s Joyce and Sherman Scott Gallery, Larry Bell aficionados will get to see another side of the artist. Bell is passionate about the 12-string guitar and has amassed a collection of more than 80 instruments. This portion of the exhibit will showcase 12 of his favorite guitars alongside two-dimensional works known as Church Studies (because they were created in his Venice, California studio, a re-purposed church) whose curvy forms take inspiration from the shapes of the guitars.

Bell exhibits extensively in museums and galleries internationally and in the U.S. and has been awarded numerous public art commissions. He was born in Chicago in 1939 and grew up in the San Fernando Valley of California. He briefly attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles where he met other students and teachers who would become lifelong friends and fellow artists. He moved to Taos, New Mexico in 1973 and currently maintains studios in both Taos and Venice, California.

Rafa Tarín: FOR NOW
June 9 - Sunday, October 7, 2018
Gallery: Hispanic Traditions Gallery

This summer, The Harwood Museum of Art presents the works of Peñasco-based artist Rafa Tarín and a collection of paintings titled “FOR NOW.” This powerful series of works adds to the traditional Hispanic Traditions Gallery on the second floor contemporary works bringing the conversation of current issues facing Northern New Mexico to the Harwood Museum.

Tarín explains, “These are urgent times, not more concerning perhaps than at other times in contemporary (so-called) U.S. history. U.S capitalism and its corporatocratic minions have always been at war with those that it deems anti-thetical to its project of global domination – indigenous, black, brown, woman and girls, youth, immigrant, the economically struggling, queer, trans, people with disabilities, people with chronic illnesses, the neurodiverse, the incarcerated, people working for justice…” These selected paintings represent curated images within a larger body of work that reflects Tarin’s shapeshifting positionality as a gender non-conforming, queer, xicanx, parent, artist, intersectional feminist and transformative arts educator.

As a writer, educator and artist, Tarín’s process starts out as words: poems, articles, stories, stats, and meditations. For Tarín, as language fades into the background, images emerge that form a visual lengua, culturally coded, amplifying an aesthetic rooted in xicanx culture and cosmology. These mixed media images created over the several years illustrate Tarín’s musings on intimate relationships, healing, self-love, gender indoctrination, motherhood, xicanx feminism, war, occupation and femicide. They are meant to promote visibility, stimulate awareness, and spark action.

The works require attention. Within each composition, a narrative is composed, expressing a delicate balance of beauty, frustration, anger, and hope. For generations, our community has used art as an expression of world-views, a way of translating the world around them. Tarín continues this tradition, speaking out for those that may be voiceless, expressing that which brings them hope, while grappling with issues that bring suffering.

Tarín is a northeast Los Angeles born self-taught artist with deep New Mexican roots. They are a transformative arts educator working with northern New Mexico youth in the disciplines of visual art, puppetry, stiltwalking and devised physical theatre for the past 15 years.

A reception is scheduled for June 9th at 3-5 pm running concurrent with the Summer Exhibition launch of Larry Bell’s “Hocus, Focus and 12”, and Peter Sarkisian’s “Mind Under Matter.” This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Harwood Museum of Art at 575.758.9826 x 109 or go to harwoodmuseum.org.

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