What: Imprint opening reception
When: Tuesday, August 14, 5:00–7:00 pm
Where: Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, 1590-B Pacheco Street, Santa Fe
(505) 983-6372. All ages, free and open to the public
Imprint, the Cambridge dictionary tells us, means “to fix an event or experience so firmly in the memory that it cannot be forgotten. …” The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts’ exhibition and public art interventions, Imprint strives to leave this level of impact on its viewers. Focused on Native American print-making, the show and actions demonstrate the maturity and diversity of the art form. Co-curators Bess Murphy and Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke) chose six mid-career printmakers to demonstrate the vitality of Native printmaker. The exhibition, on view at the Ralph T. Coe Center, features Jamison Chas Banks (Seneca-Cayuga-Cherokee), Eliza Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara Tewa), Jason Garcia (Santa Clara Tewa), Dakota Mace (Diné), Terran Last Gun (Blackfeet), and Jacob Meders (Mechoopda Maidu)
Print-making can be a laborious meticulous process that produces one-of-a-kind artworks, such as monotypes, or it can be loose, spontaneous process to produce vast numbers of multiples. Imprint showcases this range but also takes advantage of the democratizing aspect of printing multiples—that printmakers don’t necessarily have to be precious with their prints. For instance, Last Gun prints on reclaimed paper grocery bags.
“Many of these works will challenge your expectations of what print is. They push against the boundaries of media and processes which so permeate our everyday lives that we take for granted … newspapers, fliers, billboards,” Nina Sanders writers in her curatorial statement. “In doing so, these artists and their artwork challenged what it means to be a working artist in relation to the marketplace, to the buying and selling of art for money, the trading of art for goods, or the gifting of art in free exchange.”
Eliza Naranjo Morse has gained permission to wheat paste her prints on several local walls, such as at the Taco Fundación at 235 N. Guadalupe. “Eliza is going to be doing an interactive an interactive component to her wheat paste mural,” at the Ralph T. Coe Center, says co-curator Bess Murphy. “So people are going to be able to add to her mural—either text or imagery, whatever people want. Pieces of paper, and she’ll help them just paste them up on the walls so it’ll be sort of streamers coming down from one of her figures.”
Through these and other actions, the curators and artists are taking artwork beyond the gallery walls and engaging a public who might not walk into a gallery. Jason Garcia repurposed newspaper boxes, which will be placed at locations like form + function gallery, 435 S. Guadalupe, during Indian Market week. Jacob Meders has demonstrated printmaking on the ImprintMobile. Jamison Chas Banks explores the history of the cotorra serrana, also called the thick-billed parrot, that once lived in the Southwest prior to African and European contact. He prints their images on kites, which fly as functional artworks. The entire exhibition has a newsprint catalogue, so visitors can take home this tactile work on paper.
The Ralph T. Coe Center has been dedicated to community outreach and coalition building since its inception. They invited Axle Contemporary, a local, mobile gallery in a van, to join in their ongoing exhibition as the “ImprintMoble.” Meow Wolf will be onsite at the Tuesday reception hosting a potato-print workshop for all ages. The humble potato print was used by Wabanaki and Haudenosaunee artists from the northeast to embellish their ash-splint baskets. In continuing the Coe Center’s commitment to creating opportunities for local youth, the Tuesday reception will be catered by YouthWorks Catering. Led by chef Carmen Rodriguez, students of the YouthWorks culinary arts program get hands-on experience, and the first 80 opening attendees who sign in the guestbook will receive a free taco! First American Art Magazine will celebrate its fall issue and provide complimentary copies. And finally, check out DJ Garronteed (Jemez-Diné) mixed raw rhymes and beats.
The opening is a must-see event for everyone in Santa Fe at the time, but for those arriving later, the exhibition will remain on view through March 15, 2019, and related programming will also roll out through the show’s duration.
As Native printmaking finally receives scholarly attention, with the catalogues and exhibitions Enter the Matrix: Indigenous Printmakers (2015–2016), New Impressions: Experiments in Contemporary Native American Printmaking (2017), and Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25 (2018–19), Imprint builds on this momentum and takes Indigenous printmaking to the streets… and to skies.