ART123 Gallery in downtown Gallup is opening its second in a series of four guest-curated shows, “Transitions” by Zuni artist Dennis Dewa, on May 14.

“Transitions” examines the causes and perils of global warming and imagines the brighter future that is possible with radical changes to our means of energy production and ways of life. “I want the community see and understand that climate change is real and how we can move forward by fully transitioning to renewable energy,” says Dewa.

Dewa is making space for that conversation by creating an immersive one-room art installation. A mural done “in the round” will cover all four walls of the gallery, interweaving black and grey silhouettes of the machinery of the fossil fuel industry with Zuni symbols representing the elements. Set into the mural will be seven large-scale landscape paintings done in full color for contrast and to highlight the flora and fauna indigenous to the region alongside images of renewable energy sources. By juxtaposing dark and light, extractive and naturally-occurring processes, death and life, Dewa asks viewers to consider both what is and what can be.

“I want visitors to be moved. I want them to be more aware of the environment they are living in and I hope they will make the positive changes and choose the best way for our future and our children’s future,” says Dewa.

“I think climate change is at the top of a lot of people’s minds right now,” says gallupARTS Executive Director Rose Eason, “with the fire season having come super early to the West. And it’s a conversation our community is having because of the effort to establish a hydrogen hub. With ‘Transitions,’ Dennis gives us the big picture and, in doing so, gets us back to the basics. His work really conveys the miracle that is our planet—its power and strength as well as its delicacy and fragility, its majesty and its mystery. His paintings are so beautifully composed and painted, they create an energy that reminds us and makes us feel that we are all part of the earth’s ecosystem and that honors that relationship.”

“Transitions” will open on Saturday, May 14 from 7 – 9pm (during ArtsCrawl), with a virtual preview earlier in the day at 11:45am live-streamed on the @gallupARTS Facebook page. Dewa will give a Guest Curator Talk on Thursday, May 19 at 6pm, which will be in-person at ART123 Gallery and simultaneously broadcast on Facebook. “Transitions” runs through June 4.

About Dennis Dewa: Dennis Dewa is an artist from the Pueblo of Zuni working in acrylics, colored pencil, and charcoal. Through art, Dennis combines storytelling and tradition with a contemporary outlook in order to depict and preserve the teachings of his people for future generations. Using technique, theory, and Indigenous knowledge, he expresses the natural and spiritual worlds with movement and emotion. Find him on Instagram @the_phantom_dennis.

gallupARTS’ Guest Curator program is supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (