Early on Adrian was influenced by the political art from the Mexican muralists, the American realist painters such as George Bellows, and contemporary artists like the South African, William Kentridge. Similarly, Adrian sees art as a powerful medium for addressing social justice. For the past 10 years, Adrian has sought to counteract the dehumanization of immigrants and refugees that has been propagated in the media. His portraits of immigrants combine traditional realism and expressive mark-making to create an emotional experience. Often their gaze is directed towards the viewer. Learners will explore themes of social justice and contemporary figurative art.
Agnes Chavez is an interdisciplinary artist and educator whose work integrates art, science and technology as tools for social and environmental change. Her work integrates data visualization, light, sound and space to create sensorial experiences that seek balance between nature and technology. She is the founder of STEMarts Lab, which delivers sci-art installations and STEAM programming for schools, art/science organizations and festivals. Educators will learn how to use her free web platform with art/STEAM classroom activities:
Eric-Paul Riege is a weaver and fiber artist finding presence in his mind, body, and beliefs through collage, durational performance, installation, woven sculpture, and wearable art. For Riege his weavings pay homage and link him to generations of weavers in his family and exist as living things that aid him in generating sanctuary spaces of welcome. His work is a celebration and study and being of Hózhó--Diné philosophy that encompasses beauty, balance, goodness, and harmony in all things physical, mental, and spiritual and its bearing on everyday experience. Riege uses myth and storytelling to propose homes; spaces of welcome and acceptance and sharing.
I thrive on creating artworks that explore and embrace human struggles within the context of nature. The motifs in my drawings and installation are dark, yet they also hold hopes within. I meditatively thread ephemeral and eternal, evoking nostalgia for the unknown. Learners who experience my art, may be inspired and interested in the technical and conceptual aspects.
Joanna Keane Lopez is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in New Mexico. As an artist working in sculpture, her practice is inspired from a cross-disciplinary approach to public, participatory and social engagement. Joanna primarily works with the materials of adobe architecture, earthen plaster and alíz (a clay slip paint) to address conceptions of sculpture in engagement with land. Students may discover how land, home, vernacular architecture, and local environment engage with contemporary sculpture.
My art practice is an effort to insert my participation into existing circuits with the special intention of highlighting our vulnerability, our nearness, and our ability to translate and thus, act in the world. My work permits me to participate small and exposed pieces of empathetic and distorted movement. Ultimately, the final goal for all of my artwork is to expose our real, dense and buried attachments to ‘other’. Educators may explore cultural theory in relation to minimalism and biography, contemporary regional art, public art, contemporary sculpture, and eco-public art. Learners discover the how-to of art-making embedded in a larger urban and environmental context
Rapheal Begay is a photographer and curator from the Navajo Nation. His photographic series, A Vernacular Response, is a photographic series that represents everyday moments and diverse aspects of the Navajo Nation. In support of the visual legacy of the Diné way of life, the documentation of environment creates a moment that celebrates and interrogates its source of creation. Furthermore, it is the preservation of the Navajo people and the serendipitous nature found within the everyday; art as experience. In line with self-determination and visual sovereignty, A Vernacular Responsecontributes to a never-ending Diné past, present, and future.
As a form of contemporary Navajo storytelling, the series also acts as a (re)collection of intimate moments tied to my own understanding and relationship to my surroundings. In practice, the series of images activates Indigenous perspective, imagination, and life. As a photographer, I choose to document the cultural landscape so as to honor our place in the world so that we may understand connection in new ways.
Educators may incorporate contemporary Indigenous art and culture into school curriculum so as to inform and inspire understandings of acceptance, diversity, and collaboration. Students may learn about identity, informed by one's home community and culture, as visual art.
The sculptural plants I make are informed by the flora that endures and survives in the harsh climate of the Chihuahuan Desert. I engineer my pieces, blending welded steel with multipart, mid-fire stoneware, embracing a metaphor of this desert botany that is about resilience, persistence, toughness, durability, tenacity and adaptability. Learners may be inspired to build multi-part ceramic pieces, develop texture, and use the natural world to leap toward abstract work.