Tasha N. is an emerging local mixed media artist who has broken into Gallup’s art scene in the last year. Starting with her first every gallery show at ART123 Gallery in August 2017, Tasha has immersed herself in Gallup’s creative ecosystem and has added a tremendous energy to the community. She’s lent her talents to enhance the look and feel of ArtsCrawl; she’s the graphic designer behind the “masani”-scarf inspired branding of gallupARTS’ summer 2018 Artist-in-Residence program; she introduced Artist Trading Cards to Gallup through workshops at ART123 Gallery and ArtsCrawl; she created an Inspiration Station-themed “parklet” for the Coal Avenue Commons project, complete with a retrofitted gumball machine. This month, she’s preparing for her first solo “pop-up” show at ART123 Gallery in conjunction with the extension of Hannah Manuelito’s Asdzáán exhibit. Tasha N.’s pop-up show opens Saturday, September 8th from 7 – 9pm (during ArtsCrawl). We hope you’ll come meet this dynamic young artist and see her totally unique style of work. In the mean time, you can learn a little bit more about Tasha with this Q & A.
Q: What got you started with art? How long have you been making and creating?
Tasha N.: I always found these types of questions difficult because there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t making or creating something. Many of my family members, including both my parents, are artists and so, making and creating art was ever-present. But if I was to pick a moment in which I really felt that I started honing my art skills, it would actually only be a few years ago. I started making and trading artist trading cards (miniature pieces of art no larger than 2.5″ by 3.5″) on my favorite social media site, Instagram. Soon after that, I branched out from creating fan-art with artist trading cards into art journaling, water-coloring, bookmaking, photography, and other types of mixed media art including creating original illustrations, which was a big step for me as an artist.
Q: How would you describe your art?
T.N.: A lot of my artworks varies from each another depending on the media I’m using or the purpose for which I’ve created them. I’ve heard people refer to my art as colorful, full of texture and interesting. As for myself, I really don’t know how to describe it other than it’s different and that it’s often times very colorful. When I work on my abstract landscapes I tend to focus on lines, bold colors, shapes and the feelings they invoke in me rather than the realism of the subject; but, when I work with watercolors, I’m much more interested in realism as it can be challenging to achieve with that medium.
Q: What inspires you as an artist?
T.N.: Inspiration. I think the world itself is very inspiring. Sometimes the elements that create our environment into what it is are often so blended together that you have to look closely and intentionally to see the beauty in them. When I’m out and about in the world I try to keep that mindset and when I do, I find even the smallest of things very inspiring. Landscapes, memories, found objects/papers, colors, feelings a moment invokes, poetry, found textures or patterns–they all find their way into my works.
Q: Tell us about one of your favorite projects.
T.N.: I think my favorite project has to be the mixed-media paintings I did last year for ART123 Gallery’s August Group Show. It was the first time that I created artwork that would be viewed by people in my own community rather than by the social media ocean that I was used to. And although, I come from a family of artists, very few of us have had a chance to showcase our artwork, so it was exciting not just for me but for my family as well. One of the paintings I created was a portrait of my grandmother which has thus far been one of the most popular works I’ve done and has become something of a family heirloom. Creating that portrait in particular is something that I’m very proud of. My grandmother has been a crucial part of my life and the title of the portrait is “Home” because that’s exactly what she is to me. I’ve been through tough times in my lifetime but if there was ever one place I know I would be welcomed and loved it would be wherever my grandmother is.
Q: As far as art goes, what would you like to try next?
T.N.: This year has been quite an eye-opener for me. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many different types of artists, to work on various creative projects and to visit new places, and in doing so, I’ve come to find a new appreciation for the idea of ‘creating art with intention’. That’s not to say my art lacks intention because the pieces I create are thoughtful and meaningful to me, but I think what I would like to try is creating artwork that has a social commentary and challenges the audience to think differently. I’ve actually been sitting on an idea of a new series of paintings that I would like to create and I’m hoping to begin that project sometime in future.
Follow Tasha N. on Instagram @pacotacorox.