IFAM welcomes partnership-nominated artists
— PROFILES BY FRANCESCA GLASPELL
Santa Fe New Mexican
The International Folk Art Market once again welcomes a select group of U.S.-born artists nominated by our six partner institutions: the Museum of International Folk Art, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the School for Advanced Research, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the Institute of American Indian Arts/Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. While each artist specializes in a unique medium, together they exemplify how folk art emerges as a placebased practice in an ongoing conversation with an artist’s ancestry, present-day experiences and the land itself. ROBERTO BENAVIDEZ, MUSEUM OF INTERNATIONAL FOLK ART, 3D ART Hailing from South Texas, Roberto Benavidez crafts bright, ephemeral sculptures using a piñata technique. Initially a student of figure sculpting and bronze casting at Pasadena City College, Benavidez was intrigued by the possibility of utilizing accessible and inexpensive materials to create eye-catching sculptures. His creations are reminiscent of traditional Mexican alebrijes, or fantasy animals, while serving as an homage to the piñata’s robust history. Benavidez’s celebratory artwork plays with themes of humor, beauty, sin, race and sexuality. CAROL LUJAN, MUSEUM OF INDIAN ARTS AND CULTURE, GLASS AND CERAMICS Diné artist Carol Lujan fuses contemporary and ancestral influences in her clay and glass creations. A citizen of the Navajo Nation, she is of the Totsohnii (Big Water) Clan; her original clan is Hashtl’shnii (Mud Clan). Lujan’s glass rugs feature traditional Indigenous designs as well as designs inspired by her grandmother’s rugs. Her colorful clay work is based on traditional ceremonial masks, often embellished with feathers and hide. Lujan’s greatest source of inspiration is the beauty, endurance, humor and sovereignty of her Indigenous culture. BRANDON ADRIANO ORTIZ, SCHOOL FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH, CERAMICS A member of the Taos Pueblo community and a graduate of the University of New Mexico’s architecture program, Brandon Ortiz recognizes the importance of built spaces that root us in our relations and birthplaces. Practicing as a traditional micaceous potter, Ortiz responsibly harvests the glittering clay near Taos. He fires his vessels with locally gathered wood to create the type of micaceous pottery that has been utilized as functional ware in Northern New Mexico for hundreds of years. WADDIE CRAZYHORSE, WHEELWRIGHT MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN, JEWELRY A third-generation silversmith from Cochiti Pueblo, Waddie Crazyhorse embodies a minimal yet powerful aesthetic. Now living in San Diego, Crazy Horse draws upon traditional design and techniques learned during an apprenticeship with his father, Cippy Crazy Horse, and the artistic heritage of his grandfather Joe H. Quintana. He describes his jewelry as an amalgamation of “modern design” and “decades of tradition.” CRISTINA HERNÁNDEZ FELDEWERT, MUSEUM OF SPANISH COLONIAL ART, METAL Cristina Feldewert is an accomplished tinsmith who has shown at both Traditional Spanish Market and Contemporary Hispanic Market. Her father, who also worked with tin, and her mother, a talented painter, inspired her sense of design and beauty. Both parents encouraged her to experiment with many different art forms through classes in drawing, painting, clay and woodworking — all of which influence her tin pieces today. Traditional techniques, artfully applied patinas and attention to detail and design give Feldwert’s pieces a timeless appeal. AVIS CHARLEY, INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN INDIAN ART/MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY NATIVE ARTS, PAINTING AND DRAWING The paintings and prints of Avis Charley, a Spirit Lake Dakota/Diné artist, depict Native empowerment via the feminine form. Primarily known for her drawings on antique ledger paper — taken from mid19th-century books used to pictorially record historical events — Charley celebrates Native identity from the “pre-reservation period to the present day, from ancestral homelands to city life.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in Santa Fe.