Surviving Columbus, and an in depth view by John Reyna of the more recent treatment of Pueblo natives, is one way of getting your blood pumping early in the morning. Re-seeing the world from outside your skin makes you a little more sensitive to the personal choices others make. In the end, as John pointed out many native people, learned to balance their sanity after occupation, by adopting things from the Spanish, as they adapted some to their own personal history. Art people transcend because art retains its own ritualistic nature, John believes.
As a group, we revisited The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA). I went back again to watch Apache Chronicle (below), especially after studying under potter Dawning Pollen Shorty (above left) for a day. She seemed to fit the contemporary female native artist which is a highlight of the movie. She is also friends with Melanie Yazzie (Strength from within, above right), who is a featured artist in the current Stands With A Fist exhibition.
After lunch, over as a group to the Andrea Fisher Gallery. As Ms. Fisher spoke about various artists she had come in contact with, work with, developed markets with, I realized how close she was to the Impressionist patron gallery owners, Paul Durand-Ruel. She spoke about the consideration towards keeping a roof over your head and paying electric bill, but also how working artists needed to pay their own bills, or supplement incomes with less glamorous work in order to eat. She spoke about some of her favorites and how far their work progressed. She spoke with dignity how native artists and their pueblos had interacted with her. And the importance of promoting and preserving their work. Her collection is amazing as it is vast. Imagine, a gallery owner talking the time out to even bother with people, who probably never would be able to buy one piece?
I sat through a small media presentation and found out that the Museum (left), made of brick, steel and tons of concrete, was actually an elaborate plan, the first building of that kind of architectural “Pueblo” look. They devised that style, based upon a real Pueblo mission, to retain tourism and avoid turn of the century brick and glass buildings that were popping up all over the States. The museum had music playing and plenty of patrons moving about. It’s collection looked as good as ever as it repeated the show, It’s About Time!, which will be the subject of another blog.
Not to be disrespectful, but somewhere all of these dots do connect. I know there is a mandela there somewhere.
Tags: Andrea Fisher Gallery, Dawning Pollen Shorty, Governor's Palace, John Reyna, Martinez pots, Melanie Yazzie's Strength from Within, Nancy Walkup, New Mexico Museum of Art, Polyphony Marimba, Ray Martin Abetya's Indios, Roxanne Swentzell, Surviving Columbus, The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA)