ART123 Gallery in downtown Gallup is opening its first-ever Guest Curated show, “Walking in Gallup” by Diné artist Armond Antonio, on April 9.
“Walking in Gallup” will address the community-based social justice issue of homelessness through a mixed media show that puts a human perspective on a dehumanizing and often overlooked experience and that spotlights its systemic causes and conditions. The show will feature original work by Antonio, including a series of photographs and paintings depicting sights and scenes from the artist’s walks in Gallup that visualize issues such as criminalization and the reality of difficult choices, and a found object sculpture created from refuse collected by the artist on those walks. The show will also feature work by street artist Shandiin Degroat.
“I hope people come away from my show with a sense of morality, of being aware of the hardships within our community that shouldn’t just be ignored or pushed out,” says Antonio.
“What Armond is doing with this show is literally and figuratively inviting gallery visitors to take a walk in another’s shoes, to experience Gallup from the point of view of someone living on the streets, to see the unseen, to acknowledge the unacknowledged,” says gallupARTS Executive Director Rose Eason. “It’s a really powerful concept: the Diné prayer of ‘Walking in Beauty’ has been so exploited. But by playing on that trope with the title ’Walking in Gallup,’ Armond is bringing us back to the truth of the matter, forcing us as a community to confront the ways in which we have betrayed the essential concepts of valuing life, honoring each other, and living in harmony.”
“Walking in Gallup” will open on Saturday, April 9 from 7 – 9pm (during ArtsCrawl), with a virtual preview earlier in the day at 11:45am live-streamed on the @gallupARTS Facebook page. Antonio will give a Guest Curator Talk on Thursday, April 14 at 6pm, which will be in-person at ART123 Gallery and simultaneously broadcast on Facebook. “Walking in Gallup” runs through May 7.
About Armond Antonio: Antonio is a Diné artist working in pencil, acrylic, oil, watercolor, mixed media, and block printing who often turns his eye for raw beauty to the landscape, animals and people. From Gallup, Armond lives in Pueblo Pintado and works as horseman. Armond regularly participates in the Sovereign Santa Fe exhibition, and has exhibited his work across the Southwest. Find him on Instagram @antonio_studioarts.
gallupARTS’ Guest Curator program is supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (www.arts.gov).
gallupARTS is pleased to announce it has received a $43,000 American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and is approved to receive a $50,000 ARP grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
“$93,000 in ARP grant funding ensures gallupARTS will not only survive, but thrive this year, despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. In turn, gallupARTS will be translating this funding into critical support for local artists and the regional creative economy as we continue to forge the path to recovery together,” says gallupARTS Executive Director Rose Eason.
“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as gallupARTS, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”
In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC. WESTAF awarded grant funding to 44 arts and culture organizations across the West, with at least two grants awarded per state at an average level of $35,000 each. Aligning with the priorities of the National Endowment for the Arts (Arts Endowment), the WESTAF ARP program focused on applications that indicated a deep commitment to cultural equity, social justice and disrupting systemic racism through service to a host of constituencies, including rural and remote communities, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and organizations that support the independence and lifelong inclusion of people with disabilities, among others
For its part, gallupARTS plans to use its grant funding to cover its staffing and facilities costs in 2022, and also to fund two new artist-led, social justice-focused, and community-building initiatives in the coming months.
This year, ART123 Gallery will host five Guest Curators and one Creative-in-Residence. Guest Curators will each take over ART123 Gallery for one month and will be tasked with devising, designing, and producing a show of art that speaks to a social justice issue relevant to the Gallup and McKinley County community. Guest-curated shows are slated for April, May, August, September or December.
The Creative-in-Residence program will run this summer and will support a local Indigenous creative in developing an action-oriented social justice project accompanied by a “window gallery” show and series of public programs.
“ART123 Gallery is really going to spread its wings and broaden its horizons this year,” says Eason. “We are so excited to open our doors to new perspectives, to elevate and amplify new voices and ideas, and to bring the community together in new ways.”
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.
For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.
For more information on WESTAF’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of grantees, visit https://www.westaf.org/westaf-announces-american-rescue-plan-awardees/.
As we round out a year of the coronavirus pandemic, gallupARTS presents a show of work that is reflective and contemplative. Still. Life. brings together 16 local artists working in a variety of media, from painting to beadwork to digital art, to explore ideas of stillness and solitude, to capture how the world and life has changed, and to honor the resilience of individuals, cultures and communities.
Still. Life. Opens Saturday, April 10 and runs through Saturday, May 1. The Virtual Show Opening will be live-streamed on the @gallupARTS and @ART123Gallery Facebook pages on Saturday, April 10 at 3pm.
Several artists, including Valencia Chapito, Beth Kuiper, Orin Nez, Alexis Callahan, Jason John and Matthew Bollinger are artistically documenting the not-so-everyday every day of pandemic life, from empty, cordoned off playgrounds to daily walks to new objects to enter our daily vernacular like masks and hand sanitizer to familiar items like a wallet, keys and Hot Cheetos that have taken on new significance in a time of quarantine. Yes, you read that right. Hot Cheetos. “During the lockdown, my gaze has been fixed on the beauty of the everyday. Things that I would not have ordinarily noticed have become my focus,” says Bollinger, whose presents an abstracted and enlarged Hot Cheeto for Still. Life.
Other artists are working figuratively to process the collective experience of the pandemic. Artist Scarlet Selleck sees the geode as the perfect metaphor for the time warp that has been past year: literally “set in stone” and paralyzed but also visually reminiscent of tree rings, signaling the inevitable passage of time. Shelia Nez’s “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” beadwork piece is both a classical still life and also an emblem of 2020. Joshua Whitman and Padma Komaravolu both turn to nature photography to represent ideas of resilience and hope. As Whitman states, vegetation “will grow wherever it decides to grow.”
Artist Sage Addington takes a personal approach to the idea of resilience, making portraits of family elders using a tempera resist technique.
Nathan Nez, Virginia Primozic, Laura Moore and Dennis Dewa’s work finds the silver linings of an incredibly challenging experience. Nez presents a group of picture frames made using recycled materials, representing the “new normal” and the ways in which society has had to adapt. Primozic created an unexpectedly graceful and hopeful image out of paper: “The image of a plant growing in an outhouse exemplifies that a new thing, a good thing, even a beautiful thing can grow out of the sh*t—that there is Still. Life. even after COVID.” Dewa celebrates the A:shiwi traditions of farming and hunting which have been renewed during the pandemic. “This pandemic has shown that our connection to the past can help us onward into the future,” says Dewa.