An apt metaphor for The August Show at ART123 Gallery–opening Saturday, August 10 from 7 – 9pm (during ArtsCrawl)–is an illuminating prism. Showcasing 22 local artists and over 70 artworks in a variety of media, it provides an array of diverse perspectives into Gallup’s past and present.
Importantly, two-thirds of the featured artists are Native, representing the first peoples to call what we now know as Gallup home—as Diné artist Clint Holtsoi’s painting “We Never Left” reminds us—by sharing stories, beliefs and imagery from their cultures.
Zuni artist Dennis Dewa Jr. is quick to point out that the Zuni people are an essential part of Gallup’s history, diversity and community: “As I deconstruct the ‘diversity’ in the area, I find myself part of it,” he says. Dewa’s paintings reflect Zuni values.
For The August Show, Diné artist Adam Maria explores a new (for him) medium: pencil drawing. Maria’s drawings recreate historic photographs of Navajo people. “The people in the photos have stories to tell. The drawings hopefully show a bit of these tales,” he says.
Diné artist Adam Maria Indigenizes Gallup’s history by recreating historic photographs of Navajo people in pencil sketches and drawings. “The people in the photos have stories to tell,” he says. “The drawings hopefully show a bit of these tales.”
Diné artist Sage Addington also re-imagines historic photographs in a series entitled “Memory Lane,” combining past and present in digital art. “My Cheii told me about how much he has seen Gallup change through the years; dirt roads now pathed, bridges now made, and caves covered up,” she says. “I always wondered what it would be like to walk through old Gallup…the stories the streets could tell, the things the walls have seen, the Gallupians who have walked where I’ve walked, lived where I’ve lived, and strolled through the same memory lanes.”
A highlight of The August Show is a collaborative painting by the Gallup Art Club that speaks to the spirit of the Show and the heart of Gallup. As the
Club explains, “The artwork is a collaboration between four Gallup artists of four different ethnicities. It is done in a variety of styles, showing three different animals enjoying spring blessings and leaving in peace together in Gallup.”
To that end, Native artist Demetria Dale, who uses color to access emotions and lines to explore different perspectives in painting, sums up The August Show saying, “Art can bring many diversities together to create an inspiring community from our history.
Hear directly from The August Show artists in an artist talk at 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 27 at ART123 Gallery (as part of the monthly 2nd Look on 2nd Street event, which runs from 6 – 8pm).