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FEATURED ARTISTS:

GENE MC CLAIN

JIM FISH

ARTURO CHAVEZ

ANGEL ROSE

LYNNE KOTTEL

KATHERINE HOWARD

ALVARO ENCISO

BARRY McCORMICK

BARTLEY JOHNSON

KATRINA LASKO

EDWARD GONZALES

GARY ROLLER

SUSAN JORDAN

BIANCA HÄRLE

MARCIA FINKELSTEIN

LYNN HARTENBERGER

DAVID W. CRAMER

MICHAEL PROKOS

LAURA ROBBINS

SUSAN GUTT

EVEY JONES

GARY W. PRIESTER

GENE McCLAIN

DAWN WILSON-ENOCH

LINDA HEATH

MARY CARTER

LISA CHERNOFF
 
JON WILLIAM LOPEZ

SARA LEE D'ALESSANDRO

RUDI KLIMPERT

DIANNA SHOMAKER

BUNNY BOWEN

ED GOODMAN

GARY SANCHEZ

MARILYN AND HERB DILLARD

GERALDINE BRUSSEL

SAMANTHA McCUE ECKERT

SHARON SCHWARTZMANN

JIM FISH

C.E. FRAPPIER

TONY PARANÁ-RODRIGUES

FERNANDO DELGADO

JB BRYAN

LORNA SMITH

KATRINA LASKO

BILL FREEMAN

JULIANNA KIRWIN


For more great local art, visit
Placitas Artists.com

Sandoval Signpost Featured Artist Gallery


Julianna Kirwin

Featured artist of the month:
Julianna Kirwin

Total immersion

—INARA CEDRINS

Over root beer floats at The Range in Bernalillo, Julianna Kirwin tells me how important culture and place are to her. “Bernalillo has a history of over four hundred years. People have been here for generations,” she says. Passing through New Mexico at the age of twelve, she wanted to become an artist; twenty years ago she bought the Silver Dollar Saloon on the main street with its casita in back, and has been working out of it and fixing it up ever since.

La Oaxaquena By Julianna Kirwin

Serigraphs reflect her love of New Mexico, and monotypes present its mythology. Her studio is transitioning since a trip to the Havana Biennale with a UNM art history class in 2003 “brought ideas waiting to be born to fruition.” From the personal creative experience she has gone toward the collective. Her efforts with the gallery have always been collaborative: she has been involved in creating an Art Parade with art cars, giant papier-mâché puppets, a shower curtain show, and a toy show at Christmas. The idea of community is important to her—she doesn’t want to be in an isolated environment, “making art to sell to those who can afford it,” and is distressed that a large segment of the community was never involved in the art process. Work she saw in Havana was experiential, and not about the object. Constructed with limited materials, it communicated experiences of life in Cuba, as well as Latin America and Africa. When she returned, she literally tore down walls within the building, opening and reforming her space.

Masks By Julianna Kirwin

Julianna feels that these times demand activism on a community and national level, saying, “Social and environmental issues need to be commented on and reflected upon by artists, who can be instrumental as agents for change in their community.” She travels to Mexico every year, and will make an exhibit titled “Sin Maiz No Hay Paiz” (Without Corn There’s No Country), an important part of her agenda this year.

She teaches art to K-2 students for the Bernalillo Public Schools, which is forty-five percent Hispanic and forty-two percent Native American, with six or seven pueblos within the school district. Her desire is to combine art with literacy, and she is earning her MA in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies at UNM. “Art is like eating and breathing, and can be a wonderful partner in the development of language,” she says. Blue corn thrives in her courtyard, a head start on a project on Indian corn of the Americas that will combine principles of healthy living with art, literacy, and the history of corn. She familiarizes students with Georgia O’Keeffe in sketching and painting the landscape, celebrates the Day of the Dead, complete with making piñatas and sugar skulls, and this year her students made stacks of tiny adobe bricks from which they built houses, churches, and then plazas. Now there is an alignment for her between work, study, artistic expression and her love of both Mexico and New Mexico. Her goal is to establish a community-based art program that serves children within the context of New Mexico’s history and culture.

From printmaking, which has been a wonderful artistically educational medium for her, she has now veered into painting and sculpture. Julianna belongs to a Tibetan Buddhist sangha in Corrales, and recently created thirteen papier-mâché masks of Tibetan deities for a performance of the Tibetan Book of the Dead at the VSA Theatre in Albuquerque. The masks were constructed from recycled objects, using egg cartons and even pieces of pressed tin sheeting from her building.

“Here in New Mexico, our history is a unique blend of Native, Mexican, and US national identities.” Julianna’s experiences growing up in the Midwest were rich with music and art, with two musicians as parents—and she was very aware of her father being first generation Polish American. He used his love of music to spark the imagination of students across the state of Nebraska, engaging them in learning a stringed instrument. He loved collage and Julianna’s assignments always included a collage cover depicting the subject matter.

From her new back studio, Las Cocinitas (The Little Kitchens), a different type of art is emerging. The adobe building behind the gallery on Bernalillo’s Main Street will serve as the workshop and exhibition space for Julianna Kirwin’s art, making San Felipe Street, which was the original main street of Bernalillo, host to two galleries (the Angus McDougal Gallery near The Range and the workshop of Ben Forgey). Studio hours will be by appointment. Julianna’s website is www.juliannakirwin.com.

 

 



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