Better Together: Connections II Presents Unexpected, Provocative Visual Dialogs
What does it mean to be connected? In a time when interactions on digital platforms often eclipse the real thing, the question of what it means to feel linked together—creatively or otherwise—becomes an intriguing one. Artists depend on connectedness as a means of expanding awareness and also as a way to develop and fine-tune their own individual voice—a crucial aspect of any meaningful creative pursuit.
The exhibition Connections II explores the importance of the ties that bind, visually and existentially, delving into artistic expression with an eye on how one individual’s insight inspires and sometimes merges with the creative output of another. Artists working in myriad genres—from metal sculpture to oil painting—are presented side by side, evincing a visual and creative tour de force. The work of Santa Fe-born sculptor Hernan Gomez Chavez, for instance, incorporates conventional materials like steel, but also cement and adobe. Resulting artworks feel timeless and strangely ephemeral, despite their inherent physicality. A connection, then, could be made when looking at works by Kiyomi Baird, whose abstract paintings and prints feel dream-like, conjured from some interstellar realm. The overlaying gold and silver embellishments which often appear in Baird’s work connect visually with the metal sculpture of Robert Koch, whose elegantly restrained works are displayed nearby; the deceptively minimal porcelain works by Jarica Walsh offer insight into the cosmos, incised as many of them are with delicate spherical holes which hearken to constellations and unseen, unexplored universes. Pine needle baskets by Kristina Varjan extend on a nearly 10,000-year-old legacy of craftsmanship, but leave a distinctly contemporary impression. Legacies are important, especially artistically; decades ago, Wes Hunting started one of the first glass-blowing studios in the country, and his signature style incorporates rainbow-hued vessels and forms overlaid with dazzling, meticulously arranged embellishments.
Connections, the namesake of this exhibition, take many forms; when merged with creative ingenuity, it yields amazing—and powerfully beautiful—results.