The SITE Scholar Program is an initiative to honor college and graduate level creative students in northern New Mexico. Founded with the goal to increase student participation in the museum and contemporary art world, this program enables students to enrich their educational experience. Composed of top students from Central New Mexico Community College, Highlands University, the Institute of American Indian Arts, the Santa Fe Community College, St. John’s College, and the University of New Mexico, these nominated students are recognized by SITE Santa Fe as high achieving leaders within their schools. The students selected for the SITE Scholar program are given opportunities to network and to present their work in a gallery at SITE Santa Fe.
SITE Scholars is supported by a generous grant from The Hayes Foundation.
SITE Scholars 2022
Adam Emery – I started creating art at a young age, to deal with everyday stress from Autism and ADHD. I was introduced to formal training at Capital High School where I could bring my imaginary world to life in ceramics. I have continued my training at Santa Fe Community College, where I have learned many new techniques from teachers and classmates.
Al Kittel – My life is marked with urgency. In 2020, I discovered my purpose and have passionately pursued painting since then. I have a progressive neurological disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), which affects my strength, coordination, control and energy. As of 2013, I have used a power wheelchair full time as a result of leg mobility deterioration. Recently, I have been learning to adapt with a continual loss of arm and hand function. Rather than letting FA paralyze me, I have learned to let it fuel me. I don’t know how much time I have left in this body, so I’m creating as much as I can, while I still can. Each painting of mine is its’ own exploration with unique discoveries, as I have no interest in doing the same thing over and over again. I embrace the challenge of continuing to paint while my condition progresses, which presents opportunities for creative adaptations. I believe my growth as an artist is a direct consequence of my curiosity and leading with a beginner’s mind. The excitement is in not knowing where a painting will lead me, and letting go of control.
Carmen Selam was born and raised on the Yakama Reservation located in Washington State. She is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and is also of Comanche lineage. Selam attended the Oregon College of Art and Craft located in Portland, Oregon prior to graduating with her BFA in Studio Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is currently seeking her MFA at IAIA. Selam is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates paintings, prints and installations. Selam currently lives and works in Wapato, Washington.
Cary Cluett lives and works in Santa Fe, NM. He received his BFA from The University of Texas, Austin. In 2016, Cluett created Cool Fire, a multi-media installation in Axle Contemporary for Currents New Media. Cluett takes sculpture classes at Santa Fe Community College, where he built ‘ripple effect’ (a dedicated installation exhibition space) in 2018 and curates exhibitions with local and regional artists.
Charlotte Straus was born in Austin, Texas in 1997. She graduated in 2020 from Lewis & Clark College with a Bachelor’s in Studio Art and a focus in photography. She now lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she makes photographs and videos of performances related to eco-anxiety and our connection to the land. Her work requires the investment of her physicality and is influenced by artists Ana Mendieta, Marina Abramovíc, and Carolee Schneemann.
Chelsea Bighorn was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, and her tribal affiliations are the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes from Montana and the Shoshone-Paiute from Northern Nevada. After earning two associate degrees from Mesa Community College, Bighorn worked as an art instructor at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. It was there that she rediscovered a passion for education and her Native American culture. In 2019, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to pursue her lifelong dream of studying painting at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA).
Derrell Lopez (Diné) is a Native American queer artist raised in Tuba City, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is currently attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Lopez has been expressing and exploring his interest in the mediums of both film and digital photography. He works primarily with instant film alongside cameras that are old and new. His work explores a wide variety of the human and self-portraiture and explores sensitive topics within the LGBTQI+ community through his own voice and experiences growing up as a queer Indigenous artist. He does not always capture the human portrait; he captures the world around him through his instant camera. Moments he comes across each day are captured and frozen in time through his lens and put onto a small but fascinating Polaroid photograph.
Drew Trujillo Born in 1968 in Albuquerque, NM, Drew Trujillo is a 14th generation New Mexican generative artist. Trujillo creates immersive experiences that explore semi-autonomous, abstract digital characters through the lenses of custom software he develops. Trujillo’s custom color, painting, and animation software, artwork, and immersive installations have been featured in 40 shows and conferences in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Russia. His work includes video games, video art, animations, immersive experiences, and prints. Trujillo previously worked in the following industries: film, video, video game, advertising, software development, robotics, additive manufacturing, and immersive entertainment. He has worked with Adobe on its plug-in architecture for Photoshop and Illustrator, at Autodesk’s Applied Innovation Lab hacking into robots and high-end 3d printers, and as the Director of R&D or Tech for diverse companies, including over 2 years at Meow Wolf. Trujillo has taught workshops and courses in Experimental Arts throughout the world. The former in São Paulo, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, and Pittsburgh. The latter at Johns Hopkins and UNM. He was on the Board for the Santa Fe Art Institute and a member of the Santa Fe Complex Advisory Council & Founders Circle, Gray Area (GAFFTA), and CODAME ART + TECH. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Experimental Art + Technology and is teaching Intro to Electronic Arts at UNM.
Esther Elia is an Assyrian-Irish contemporary artist raised in Turlock, California currently pursuing an MFA in painting/drawing at the University of New Mexico. Her work is a mix of 2D and 3D objects and paintings that use family folklore as the basis for understanding mixed ethnicity and the question of how to be Assyrian in diaspora. She explores the refugee experience and the complexity of safety through family photos, ancestral objects, and Persian rugs – creating contemporary objects that tell the stories of the Assyrian people in exile – separated from the homeland (modern-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, & Turkey). Her goal is to create a distinctly contemporary Assyrian art aesthetic that can draw from, yet be separate from, the ancient reliefs often associated with ancient Assyria.
Isla Prieto – A self-taught artist raised by books, a creature born of and in the borderlands of SoCal in the 80s with family in NM and Mexico, I found refuge in books and relief in art. I have spent the last 22 years of my life between Santa Fe and Berkeley working in bookstores, while pursuing a BA in Liberal Arts and a graduate degree in Eastern Philosophy from St. John’s College. I have participated in multiple group shows in both Santa Fe and the Bay Area, often exhibiting pencil portraiture.
Lindsey Abeita (she/her) is from Kewa Pueblo, New Mexico. She is currently in her senior year at New Mexico Highlands University where she is pursuing a BFA in Media Arts & Technology with an emphasis in Visual Communication. As an emerging graphic and web designer, she has learned to work creatively and collaboratively, and enjoys incorporating elements from her cultural background. Abeita has been able to work with local organizations, such as Santa Fe Children’s Museum and High Plains Grassland Alliance. After graduation she hopes to continue to contribute her knowledge and skill to help Native communities and cultural institutions in her home state.
Michelle Preslik is a visual artist from the San Joaquin Valley of California. After spending twenty years in Information Technology, Michelle has come to value limiting technology use and material consumption and the importance of pause, process, and reflection. Michelle is especially interested in art that invites human connection and inspires radical reorientation towards generosity and care. As a multi-disciplinary builder, she enjoys creating new worlds, from small books to large set installations, but always finds herself returning to paper arts and printmaking for the quieter, tactile processes of making. Her current work utilizes geometrical shapes as a way of exploring fragmentation and the process of making whole, often through stitching materials together. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts, located in Santa Fe, NM.
Nat Olmo is a multimedia artist currently interested in using the internet as a platform for telling disjointed stories by compiling and collaging drawings, sculptures, videos, writing, and more, using both original and found materials. Making art is their way of understanding the world and processing daily life through a lens that is constantly questioning itself and its place in society. They got their BFA in Painting & Drawing from the University of North Texas and are currently working towards their MFA in Experimental Art & Technology at UNM.
Rory Johnson – I practice all mediums because I think they are intersectional like the liberal arts program in which I study at Saint John’s College. I work most often with clay doing figure sculptures. I grew up doing classical ballet and a lot of the principles of movement and lines translate into my work. I try to reveal movement in all minute parts of the body. I am very passionate about applying the Saint John’s College philosophy to art, and hope to share my work with others.
Shan-Ching Lu makes art simply because it’s too late for him to learn anything else. His name, Shan-Ching, in Mandarin, means mountain (Shan) sunny (Ching). He loves working with pen and paper because his favorite things are manga and anime. Shan Ching’s awesome parents put together a solo exhibition of him with 23 oil paintings, sketches, and sculptures in 2008, titled “Seeing Dali, Through the 10-Year-Old Eyes,” then subsequently published a catalog of Shan Ching’s paintings and sketches by the same name. Shan Ching Lu was born in Okinawa, Japan, in 1997, then raised in Taiwan. Currently, he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is pursuing a B.F.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Hello, my name is Shawn Marie Hall and I am majoring in Fine Arts with an Art History concentration at CNM. I am a 31-year-old art student. A lot of my art blurs the line between art and craft. I find a lot of inspiration in found objects and blending mediums. I enjoy taking the art that I make and teaching it to my daughters and my girl scout troop. I feel that it’s important to teach younger generations that creating art doesn’t have to stop when you exit the school environment and become an adult. I have realized that as adults we tend to stop creating art and stop flexing our creative muscles because our time is consumed by trying to make a living. We stop creating art as adults and then wonder why we are unhappy. I hope that my art is an example to future generations of the importance of creating art as an act of self-care and mental health maintenance, even if you think it’s bad or if nobody else will ever see it.
Sofia Mendez Subieta is a multimedia artist from Cochabamba, Bolivia. She graduated from Grinnell College with a BA in Philosophy and Studio Art in 2019, and is currently pursuing an MFA in photography at the University of New Mexico. Mendez’ process is guided by the memory of the materials and is deeply invested in the re-thinking of archives in their many forms. Mendez’ work has been published by Engaging Collections and exhibited in the Smith Gallery in Grinnell, Iowa as well as the Midwest Center for Photography in Wichita, Kansas. She was an artist in residence at the Wormfarm Institute in 2020 where she led a workshop and a performance on sewing and caring.
Solas Jansen is a painter from Seattle, Washington. In the late 1980’s he was heavily involved in the Northwest graffiti scene, which led to a tattoo apprenticeship and a 20 year tattoo carreer. Besides some experimental painting, Jansen did not start studio painting in earnest until starting an arts program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has a Batchelor’s of Fine Arts from CNM from 2022. Jansen is currently working in oils and other experimental blends of media.
SITE Scholars 2021
Minna Brackett, St. John’s College
Minna Brackett, from Brooklyn, NY, is a sophomore at St. John’s College in Santa Fe (where she has been living since August, despite her classes being online). She was given a very traditional art education at LaGuardia High School, where she majored in fine art. There, she learned to work in a variety of mediums, such as ceramics, printmaking, illustration, and photography. Since attending St. John’s, she has found herself benefiting from being able to approach art in a less formal way, though without forgetting the techniques she learned. She takes inspiration from the state of New Mexico and is excited to be a part of this program, to visit more museums, and to learn from other artists.
Zoë Brady, St. John’s College
Zoë Brady is a St. John’s College student from Philadelphia, PA. The process of creation is integral to her art in form and content. For her, artistic creation is an attempt to convert mental, emotional, and physical energy into something palpable and useful to others.
Genesis Castillo, CNM
Genesis Castillo was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where her education continues at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). She is majoring in fine arts for her associate’s degree, with a concentration in studio art. She is currently working on taking portraits of families at weddings and other events through Castillo G Photography. She also does creative portraits through Castillog.Vision. She has exhibited at O’Niell’s Pub and Orpheum Art Space in Albuquerque and has been part of group exhibitions at Satellite Coffee and at CNM’S main campus. Castillo is currently the president and social media director for CNM’s Sunflare Photography Club, responsible for the club’s Instagram account. A hard-working student and artist, and a person who is driven by her family, she mainly specializes in photography but has explored a variety of mediums.
Monika Guerra, IAIA
Monika Guerra is a Mexican American contemporary artist raised in New Mexico, currently studying at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in studio arts. Guerra’s painting practice involves oil and acrylic, which includes an ongoing large self-portrait series. Her work has been described as captivating, drawing in viewers and making them stop and stare. Guerra’s work is guided by nostalgia and intuition, which she finds to be timeless—and, hopefully, universal. Guerra’s work mostly reflects personal experiences, the subconscious mind, and the dream world.
Britney A. King, UNM
Britney A. King (Diné / Annishinabe Ne-I-Yah-Wahk) is a digital artist who creates audiovisual re-mixes. She employs physical-manipulation and sound-reactive techniques as experimental modes of re-envisioning and imagining post-colonial landscapes of identity, gender, and sexuality. She is a graduate student in the MFA experimental art and technology program at the University of New Mexico.
Jenny Irene Miller, UNM
Jenny Irene Miller (Inupiaq)—born in Sitŋasuaq (Nome), AK, and currently living in Albuquerque, NM—is an artist who primarily employs lens-based mediums, both photography and video, but has been developing relationships with new materials and mediums of expression: textile and sculpture. Her work explores identity, from Indigeneity to Queerness, storytelling, language, and histories. Jenny is currently pursuing a master of fine arts in art studio, with a focus in photography, at the University of New Mexico, where she also teaches an undergraduate course, Introduction to Photography. Jenny holds a bachelor of fine arts in photomedia and a bachelor of arts in American Indian studies from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Natives Photograph and Women Photograph collectives.
Her work has been exhibited at the Anchorage Museum, Portland Art Museum, Out North Contemporary Art House, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, grunt gallery through the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen, and more. She will be part of a group exhibition opening at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2021. Jenny is a recipient of awards from the Alaska Humanities Forum in 2016, National Geographic in 2013, Fulbright Canada in 2013, and Fulbright Canada Killam Fellowship to Canada in 2012. Her work has been published in Canadian Art, National Geographic Magazine, Forum Magazine, New York Times Lens Blog, and more. In 2019 she was selected as an Elizabeth Furber Fellow through the American Indian Graduate Center.
Felicia Nez, UNM
Felicia Nez is a multimedia artist working in film/digital media, text, and imagery. Her films explore Indigenous humor, creating new narratives, and highlight the perseverance and resilience of the Indigenous spirit. A participant in Sundance Film Festival’s 2015 screenwriting workshops and a 2019 digital media intern for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, she continues to refine her work. Recently, Nez has turned her focus to the world of creative writing and to the use of text as imagery. Nez strives to find new and innovative ways to display and share art with her communities.
Jazmin Novak, IAIA
Jazmin Novak is a Navajo sculptor born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. In 2016 she began studying at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, for a bachelor of fine arts in studio arts, with a minor in performing arts. During her studies, she worked under Pueblo artist George Rivera, learning about monumental bronze sculpture and the complexity of sculpting the figure. She worked with Walt Disney Imagineering on a collaborative team with innovative technology to help create the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Anaheim, CA. She was selected for a residency with Marist College, where she spent one month in Venice, Italy, creating work for the Marist LdM Biennale 2019 Exhibition. Recently, she was invited to participate in the Young Americas exhibition as part of the 2020 Brighton Arts festival. Jazmin Novak has been showing her work locally at Shidoni Gallery, Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery, and Gallery Hózhó.
Shelby A. Roberts, UNM
Shelby A. Roberts is originally from Visalia, CA, and obtained her BFA with an emphasis in photography from California State University, Long Beach. She currently lives and works in Albuquerque, NM, where she is pursuing her MFA in photography. Roberts’s work is created using photographic images gathered from repeated walks through suburbia, conceptually driven bicycle rides through farmlands, and from university archives. She has a special interest in zine culture, photobooks, and self-publishing. She is interested in using photography as a way of pointing to public and private spaces to spark curiosity and attention.
DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo, IAIA
DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo was born and raised in Taos, NM. She splits her time between Taos Pueblo and Santa Fe. While in Santa Fe, Suazo attends the Institute of American Indian Arts, completing her bachelor’s of fine arts in studio arts. Suazo’s cultural heritage inspires her work to harmonize together cultural significance and tribal aesthetics with anime-stylized figures. Through her paintings and illustrations, she maintains consistent detail, vibrant colors, and a constant theme. In this process, she hopes to inform her viewers about the differences between each tribe located in New Mexico, their strong existences today, their unity and the values they share as Indigenous people. Her work has been exhibited across New Mexico, currently showing in the Millicent Roger’s Southwestern Artisans Market; the Revolt Gallery in Taos, NM; the Sovereign Show at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM; a painted room in the Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque, NM. Suazo has participated in SWAIA’s Santa Fe Indian Market for nearly ten years; the Heard Indian Market and Fair in Glendale, AZ; the Smithsonian’s National Museum of The American Indian Artist Market, New York, NY; the Autry Museum Artist Market in Los Angeles, CA; and other notable artist markets in the nation.
Rachel Taylor, UNM
Rachel Taylor is an artist currently based in Albuquerque, NM. Drawing inspiration from handmade and mass-produced objects, she uses paint, fabric, and drawing materials to create images and objects that explore ideas of human fulfillment, desire, and sensuality. Taylor recently had her first solo gallery exhibition with Ed. Varie in New York, NY, in fall of 2020. Rachel Taylor received a BFA from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, and will receive an MFA in studio art at the University of New Mexico in spring 2021.
Krista Vanderblomen, IAIA
Krista Vanderblomen is from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation located in northern Kansas. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) to pursue a double major in fine arts, focusing on a bachelor of fine arts and a certificate in business and entrepreneurship, graduating in fall 2020, with an expected certification date in spring 2021. Vanderblomen’s recent achievements include the President’s Choice Award at the American Higher Education Consortium, receiving first prize in three media categories. She was published in the Santa Fe Literary Review, and her most recent work has shown in an exhibition at Vital Spaces.
Joan Zalenski has been a practicing artist for over fifty years. She has a BFA from Ohio University and studied for an MFA at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited nationally, and she has received grants and commissions, including public art projects. Her work is multi-disciplinary, at times combining sculpture, photography, and mixed media to produce events and installations. She currently lives and works in New Mexico.
2019/20 SITE Scholars
Bryanna Aguilar, CNM
Bryanna Aguilar is an emerging artist working in fine arts, small metals, and illustration. She was born and raised in Vallejo, California before moving to Corrales, New Mexico. She works in both traditional and digital mediums and has begun to experiment with extending the 3D form beyond the canvas. In the fall of 2019, Aguilar had four pieces on-view in the group exhibition MINDSCAPES at the Factory on 5th Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Nicholas Begay, IAIA
Nicholas Begay was born on the Navajo Reservation and grew up in the rural community of Cornfields, Arizona. Living in this remote setting taught him much about strength and beauty within the fine lines of his heritage and culture. It laid the foundation for his ideas and thoughts that he expresses through metalsmithing, a craft he has experienced by attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Begay’s ambition is to reiterate traditional stories in a contemporary way by using the hand fabrication methods of stamping, forming, setting precious stones, texturizing, chasing, and repoussé into sterling silver. As the present and future become more reliant on new tools and technology, Begay becomes more fascinated by this wave and begins to focus on the creativite bridge between jewelry and technology.
Treston Chee, IAIA
Treston Chee is a Navajo artist who currently resides and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was raised in Breadsprings, N.M., a rural community near Gallup, New Mexico. Chee’s hometown lies within the Navajo Reservation and on the border between Arizona and the Land of Enchantment. Chee works with youth development and community engagement throughout New Mexico via the nonprofit, Project Venture. His work with this nonprofit focuses on guiding Indigenous youth through outdoor educational experiences and Indigenous values and mindsets. He is a conceptual and free-lance artist that works in photography, videography, screen-printing, and digital design. Chee is also the co-founder of No Signal — a one-night exhibition of new media arts — that is held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Marisa Demarco, UNM
Marisa Demarco is an installation and performance artist, musician, inventor, and composer based in Albuquerque, N.M. She is the founder of Gatas y Vatas, a festival for boundary-pushing performance, and Milch de la Máquina, a women’s performance art crew. Demarco is a leader among Death Convention Singers, the largest noise collective in the Southwest, as well as a member of The Jeebies, an experimental pop outfit. She also leads workshops on electronics projects.
Demarco toured her solo project Bigawatt through the United States, Mexico and Europe with hand-built electronic instruments, performing at festivals and showcases. Her compositions appear on compilations around the country, including Ladyz in Noyz Vol. 1, Running Up That Hill, Under the Covers, Ladies Killing It and RATSKIN (2017). She has released albums on Sicksicksick Distro and Obsolete Media Objects.
Demarco’s work has appeared in galleries and museums such as GRAFT Gallery and the UNM Art Museum. Her work has also been part of exhibits and performances as part of the Death Convention Singers at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Coconino Center for the Arts, and at the Carlsbad Museum as part of the Atomic Culture series.
Demarco is a radio news reporter for KUNM, and her reports are featured on stations around the country.
Ranran Fan, UNM
Ranran Fan (b.1988, China) is an artist currently based in the US, working primarily in photography, installation, and performance. Fan earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013), a Bachelor of Science in Biology in Hong Kong (2011), and she is pursuing an MFA at the University of New Mexico in Studio Art (anticipated 2021). Her work has been exhibited internationally: Chicago, Boston, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, Beijing, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Datong (China) and Incheon (Korea). Fan is the Shiseido Photographer Prize Winner of the Three Shadows Photography Award in China (2018). She curated a photo exhibition for China Non-governmental Aid Education Foundation (2016).
Alexis Graff, IAIA
Alexis Graff was born in San Diego, California in 1993. She was raised by incredibly caring parents who came off as restricting sometimes, especially during her teenage years when she (being a pubescent ball of attitude) knew all there was to know, and her parents did not. This, along with her resentment of the Abercrombie-polo-prep-Barbie-suburban culture that permeated most of her high school experience, created some conflict and partially spurred her angsty desire to just “run off and make art about the world’s fundamental and philosophical issues.” Such a teen. Fortunately, Graff was able to participate in a number of wonderful art classes in areas such as drawing, painting, photography and sculpture, which, over time, helped shape the foundation of her process. Painting became her primary form of expression, as she explored its possibilities and combinations with various mixed media. It was not until her later years in college that Graff gained access to instruction in jewelry making, and immediately fell in love with the art. Combining a range of media with metalwork, Graff is now finding her niche in the art world and within herself. She strives to express, through the bridge between symbols and reality, a common understanding between the artist and viewer. Through the use of metaphorical objects and a juxtaposition of seriousness and whimsy, Graff intends to elaborate on the hidden tales that people tell themselves in order to appear normal; the transgressions between oppressor and oppressed; and the playful, often absurd and transcendent, gray areas in-between. Through this process, Graff hopes to illuminate the commonalities within humanity, allowing space for reclamation and acknowledgment of personal and universal identity.
Juana Estrada Hernandez, UNM
Juana Estrada Hernandez is originally from Luis Moya, Zacatecaz, Mexico. At the age of seven, her family migrated to the United States, and she was raised in Denver, Colorado. Estrada received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Fort Hays State University. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. Estrada’s work is influenced by her experience being raised as a young undocumented student in the United States. Estrada uses her family’s and individual’s migration stories to remind her audience that immigrants are still human beings, and to oppose any negative rhetoric being heard today surrounding migrants and immigration policies.
Kimi Kubojiri-Garcia, CNM
Kimi Kubojiri-Garcia lives and works in Albuquerque, NM. Despite her landlocked status, the ocean is a big inspiration for her work. During summer vacation from school, Kubojiri-Garcia often traveled to Hawaii to spend time with her grandparents and other maternal relatives. The ocean symbolizes home for Kubojiri-Garcia, and she uses her art to channel feelings of comfort and security associated with those experiences. Kubojiri-Garcia enjoys experimenting with materials and techniques, and she won First Place in Mixed Media Sculpture at Expo New Mexico in 2011. She is currently studying Nursing and Studio Art at Central New Mexico Community College.
Hannah Leighton, UNM
Leighton’s current work is created using yarn, cotton fabric and a contraption called a tufting gun. This tool shoots yarn at a high speed, creating loops that result in ‘tufts.’ Leighton’s work is illustrative of a shift in the art world’s acceptance of a medium that began as a stereotypically domestic domain. Fiber is a relatively recent area of exploration for Leighton, whose past work focused upon acrylic paint, a medium that mirrors obsessions of our culture—scale, speed and plasticity. Leighton graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art summa cum laude in May 2015. Post-graduation she was accepted to the Green Olive Arts Residency Program and spent a month painting among the medinas of Morocco. Most recently, Leighton’s work was accepted into the publication New American Paintings MFA Issue 141 and the West Issue Issue 144. Leighton is thrilled to be back in school at the University of New Mexico, where she plans to attain her MFA in 2021.
Elena Loomis, St. John’s
Elena Looms has always loved art and was homeschooled because of this love. When she was young, she spent most of her free time painting and drawing. Loomis later started a weekly drawing group with friends who would take turns posing (clothed, of course). Once she reached highschool age, she decided to favor other things over visual art. Later, at St. John’s College, Loomis realised that she never wanted to stop making art. She started a painting club and began attending a figure drawing group led by another student. This past summer, Loomis was awarded a scholarship to go to the Marchutz School of Fine Arts in Aix-en-Provence, France. She spent six weeks painting where Cezanne painted, and it was one of the best times of her life. The paintings she submitted to SITE are all from this trip; views of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire.
Krista Lynn Marquez, NMHU
Krista Lynn Marquez is an illustrator and fine artist who primarily works in watercolor, ink, and digital media. She has a fascination with myth and fantasy and enjoys romanticizing these stories through the use of vibrant colors, semi-realistic proportions, and bold graphic lines that she honed through technique and stylization. Marquez also specializes in exploring the female form and embracing femininity. She earned a BFA in Fine Arts and is currently pursuing an MFA in Cultural Technology at New Mexico Highlands University.
Elizabeth Mueller, St. John’s
Elizabeth “Birdi” Mueller has loved art in all forms since she was a child. Now in her first year at St. John’s College, she enjoys experimenting in oil and acrylic—particularly in portraiture, where her true passion lies. For Birdi, the point of art is to capture human experience and to relate to one another in the commonality of such experience—her journey is to relate to every subject’s story, one painting at a time.
Amy Pilling, SFCC
Having grown up in a family of artists and scientists, Amy Pilling draws from both worlds in her work. Although she worked as a ceramicist in her 20s and 30s, she began exploring bio-art and SciArt in 2015. Pilling collaborated with an artist friend on The Myco-planning Network, a citizen science-art installation teaming people up with collective organisms such as slime molds to address hunger and equitable food distribution. The Myco-planning Network won a juried award in The Land Mark Show at Muñoz Waxman Gallery at CCA. She was then accepted into the 2017 Santa Fe Art Institute residency where she realized that she needed a laboratory of her own. She received a Fulcrum Fund grant through 516 ARTS as seed funding for Life Arts Laboratory, a mobile life science laboratory for artists, citizen scientists and educators. Since then, she has been developing Life Arts Laboratory, and working to integrate art with science in STEAM education with Dr. Andrea Polli of Biocultura and UNM. Pilling also focuses on researching and making work that explores the natural world including collective intelligence, temporal phenomena, and hidden forces such as magnetic fields or surface tension.
Amy Traylor, UNM
Amy Traylor was born in Alabama and raised in Louisiana, where she received undergraduate degrees in anthropology and photography from Louisiana State University. She has lived in New Mexico for 19 years. Traylor completed her Master’s degree in Art Education in 2009 and is currently pursuing her MFA in Experimental Art and Technology at the University of New Mexico. Traylor’s primary medium is software, which she writes to investigate the intersections of art, culture, science, and computation. In her free time Traylor researches the history of computational art and the algorithm as philosophy, in addition to curating art exhibits. Last summer she co-curated the exhibit Digital Disobedience with Amy Hulshoff. Traylor has shown work at the Southwest Biennial, Albuquerque Museum, Currents New Media Festival, and the MIT Media Lab. When she has completed this degree, she looks forward to starting an interdisciplinary PhD in computational art history, computer science, and anthropology.
André Duane Ramos-Woodard, UNM
André Duane Ramos-Woodard is a proudly-black, usually stressed-out, anime-watching nerd who couldn’t step away from art even if he tried. In his own words:
“I mean, this may be selfish, but I make art about my own personal identity: my blackness, my queerness, my me-ness. It all comes from my direct experience. I investigate how I see the world and how this world sees me. This world that I so gladly inhabit is the same world that makes me the “other”. In the words of the beautiful Erykah Badu, “if we were made in his image, than call us by our name”. I just want people to know we’re important, you know?”
Behshad Yekkeh, NMHU
Behshad Yekkeh is an illustrator and graphic designer from Iran. She has been inspired by her country’s tremendously deep artistic culture, and her aim is to express social issues through her art. She creates story-driven illustrations that are adorably charming and emphatic. Yekkeh adores traditional sketching, which was taught to her by her father, as much as immersing herself into the latest digital tools. Yekkeh has illustrated and published over forty children’s storybooks. She is currently an MFA student at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
2018/19 SITE Scholars
Greg Ballanger, IAIA
Diné artist Greg Ballenger explores storytelling and artistic traditions from both Western and Navajo cultures. “I am interested in the parallels and diversions of Western and Indigenous storytelling traditions,” Ballenger states. His recent work is heavily influenced by cultural teachings, late-Renaissance painting techniques, and existential literature. After studying in Venice, Italy, he became interested in the merging of classical figurative art fused with violent postmodern painting techniques. Through figurative paintings and multimedia sculpture, Ballenger explores a dialog between Western and Navajo philosophies and the formulation of personal identity.
Harold Brenier, SFCC
Harold Brenier was born in France and has been working with a non-profit organization for the last 20 years, creating and running educational and support programs for children living in very low income communities in different parts of the world. During the last 4 years, Brenier designed a traveling science exhibition program that is used by schools in the area of Gallup NM. He started taking drawing and painting classes at SFCC about a year ago in order to develop his illustration skills, with the goal to eventually provide his work to children’s book publishers.
Georgia Foster-Cooper, St. Johns
Georgia Foster-Cooper was born and raised in Santa Fe and currently attends St. John’s College. She is co-running the school’s gallery that is being reopened this year and working to empower student artists. After attending the Marchutz School of Fine Arts in the summer of 2018, she has been experimenting with oil painting, watercolor and figure drawing. In the future she hopes to continue to be involved in the art world in anyway she can, perhaps pursuing a Master’s Degree.
Terence Garcia, Highlands University
Terence Garcia is a first year master’s student at Highlands University. He is studying Media Arts with a concentration on videography. For as long as he can remember Garcia has been interested in film. Over the last few years he has been able to collaborate on several high-profile projects. Garcia had work displayed at the Bradbury Science Museum, the New Mexico History Museum, and the Wheelwright Museum, to name a few. Now that Garcia has refined his skills as a filmmaker, he plans on creating a short fictional film for his field project as well as participating in other documentary projects at Highlands. He believes that motion pictures are one of the most important art forms in history and is honored to be able to participate in all aspects of this art form.
Michelle Goodman, SFCC
Michelle Goodman’s sculpture combines the ancient material of clay with the common material of baling wire to make woven, volumetric objects and three-dimensional drawings. Inspired by artists like Gego and Richard Tuttle, who have used wire to draw in space, chance and fire add character to the surface of the clay/wire. There is a quality of fragility even when the reoccurring themes are cages, traps or masks. Growing up in Reno, Nevada where nearby atomic bomb tests were a repeated occurrence in her childhood, the doomsday clock continues to be a shadowy reminder of our vulnerability and an impetus for making this sculpture. According to Goodman,“the delicate structure of clay/wire mirrors our human dilemma, the dire times that we live in. Making this work is an opportunity to address the sinister threats and occasional immunities of our lives today.”
Chaz John, IAIA
Chaz John is an indigenous artist and activist currently attending the Institute of American Indian Arts. Drawing from masters like Goya, Chaz works primarily in raw images, producing quickly-lined and illuminated paintings and drawings. He aims to capture and present a more emotionally complex narrative that is neither popularized rhetoric nor war story, but accounts of “indigenous poetry in the face of conflict.”
Monica Kennedy (MK), UNM
MK was born in Mississippi and raised in Sulligent, Alabama. She received her BFA from the University of Houston. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is attending the University of New Mexico while pursuing her Master’s Degree in Photography. MK’s work is heavily influenced by her upbringing and life experiences. Family dynamics, nostalgia, and memory are themes as well. She works in a variety of mediums, incorporating large format photographs, sculpture and printmaking. She firmly believes that photographs are not “precious” but serve more as entry points into the work. She has shown pieces at the Houston Center for Photography, The Menil Collection, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Gabriela Mendizabal, St. Johns
Gabriela Mendizabal is currently a junior at St. John’s College, where, for now, she is most intrigued with Kierkegaard’s Either/Or and La Rochefoucauld’s Moral Maxims. Mendizabal grew up in Mexico City, immersed in classical ballet. This exposure inspires the corporeal self that continues to impress itself upon her treatment of the visual mediums.
Cece Palaski, SFCC
Cece Palaski is a former social worker from Los Angeles, California. She studied photography at Santa Monica City College and Santa Fe Community College, where she received a Certificate and AA degree in Photography. Palaski creates mostly fine art photography, but she has also done commercial and alternative photography including: Kallitypes, Cyanotypes, and Platinum prints. She published two books of her digital photography and created two handmade books of Platinum prints. Palaski has shown her work at the Red Dot Gallery in Santa Fe, as well as the Santa Monica and Santa Fe School Galleries.
Hector Poveda Morales, St. Johns
Originally from Colombia, at the age of 16 Hector Poveda Morales was granted a scholarship to go to the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), where he started his photographic career. The idea of being able to capture moments in time was fascinating and exciting to Poveda Morales, but it wasn’t until his second year at SEA that he realized that photography was more than that. Two years later, Poveda Morales found himself working on different photographic projects ranging from truckers’ protests in Colombia to self-portraits about depression and anxiety. Now, he is an advocate for mental health issues and has worked with other artists in order to portray their feelings and to raise awareness of the prevalence of such issues. He is currently a sophomore at St. John’s College, where he studies Ancient Greek and Old School Sciences.
Christina Procter, SFCC
A writer and photographer training at Santa Fe Community College, Christina Procter grew up romping around the woods outside of Boston and lived in various countries before finding a homeland in the Southwest. She’s co-writer of the feature-length documentary Meow Wolf: Origin Story, accepted into SXSW 2018. Formerly an editor of arts magazine Trend, she was, in another life, a high school English teacher and trainer for Restorative Justice at NYC public schools. She’s now an Exhibition Content Writer for arts production company Meow Wolf and is working on narratives for the company’s upcoming, immersive arts exhibitions in Denver and Las Vegas.
Rebecca Sharp, Highlands University
Rebecca Sharp is an undergraduate student seeking a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Multimedia and Interactivity at Highlands University. She grew up in Albuquerque, NM and enjoys electronics, soldering, 3D modeling, museums and exhibit design. Sharp recently interned on the tech fabrication team for Meow Wolf and was able to work on their installations. She has a particular interest in conservation and technology, and hopes to some day use her technical skills to help the earth and the animals around us.
Robbie Sugg, UNM
Robbie Sugg is a poet and visual artist born in Berkeley, California. After spending early childhood in a commune in the hills of the East Bay Area, he was raised in Concord (California), and came of age in San Francisco. His interest in Japanese culture led him to Kyoto, Japan where he lived for the Autumn of 2006, studying the city’s history and urban geography, as well as its poetry, tea culture, philosophy, and art. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Printmaking and Painting with a minor in Japanese, from San José State University. While in San José, he embarked on a two-year research project investigating the several now-defunct and largely forgotten Chinatowns of that city, solidifying his interest in social geography and history. His artwork has been exhibited widely throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and New Mexico, as well as in New York City, Massachusetts, Texas, and the United Kingdom. After thirty years in the Bay Area, he currently resides in Albuquerque, where he is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking and Painting at the University of New Mexico.
Martin Wannam, UNM
Martin Wannam was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1992. His work and research address the influences of religion in Latin American societies, emphasizing the effect of repression that has been created in the queer community. Wannam uses subjects and objects that he encounters through his friends, drifting, or Tinder dates to deconstruct and disrupt religion by addressing issues of gender, sexuality, and race. The artist currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is pursuing a MFA in Art Studio in the area of Photography. Previous to coming to the United States, he received a BA in Graphic Design from the Universidad Rafael Landivar and a Diploma in contemporary photography from La Fototeca, both in Guatemala.
Jennifer Woehrle, CNM
Jennifer Woehrle was born in Monterey, California in 1990 and is currently working toward her Associates in Fine Art from Central New Mexico Community College. Her work was chosen for the cover of the school’s annual arts magazine, Leonardo, and she showed in a group plein-air exhibition in Wiesbaden, Germany. She currently lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Woehrle is predominantly a watercolor and acrylic painter and uses these mediums to explore a plethora of emotions, bad and good.
Anangookwe Wolf, IAIA
Anangookwe (Assiniboine and Ojibwe) is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in music, costume design, and metalsmithing. Their work draws from the past and present, utilizing historical objects and re-envisioning them in a contemporary manor. Current influences that can be seen within their work are: family—matriarchal—history, indigenous forms of trade and currency, and inspiration from artists like Keri Ataumbi and Cody Sanderson. They will be graduating with a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in May 2019.
Lucas Zuñiga, UNM
Lucas Zuniga is a multi-faceted, multi-disciplined artist living and working in Albuquerque, NM. His primary focus is finishing his undergraduate degree in Studio Art and Psychology at the University of New Mexico. As an art student he is specializing in painting and sculpture. While completing his studies, he is open and active in exploring many avenues of artistic expression, i.e. music production, furniture fabrication, photography, filmography and theatrical production.
2017/18 SITE Scholars
Jesus Avena is a student and practicing visual artist; he has seasoned his discipline since the age of eight. He attends the Santa Fe Community College and previously attended Capital High School in Santa Fe, NM. While exercising his skill, he was given the opportunity to intern for the Art and Leadership Boys’ Program at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and was honored by having his work included in Pick, an exhibition curated bySITE Santa Fe’s Young Curators in 2017. Jesus Avena aspires to continue broadening his knowledge of the arts.
Crystal Chronis is originally from Georgetown, Texas, a quiet, suburban town close to Austin. Her high school years were a formative period for her art, during which she competed in numerous art competitions. After graduation, Chronis attended Baylor University for three years where she studied interior design. However, she made a decision to change career paths and ended up moving to Albuquerque, where she now studies studio art at Central New Mexico Community College. She plans to graduate in the spring of 2018.
As a queer artist, Craig’s discourse revolves around his identity as a gay man and the commentary he has developed from growing up in a heteronormative society. His current work is about growing up between the LGBT and heterosexual community and how we live only in the world we fit in, never both, because we are specific from the molds we come from. This is expressed through the use of wall-hanging ceramic tile multiples arranged and painted in decorative or binary patterns specific to the two social realms; neither tile pattern is made to fit in to the other formation, but to add to the greater collective community they belong to. Craig utilizes the imagery and symbolism of weaponized words used against the LGBT community through time (e.g. the pink triangle appropriated for AIDS/HIV activism and the pansy which is used to demasculinize gay men) to give back power and help others better understand his commentary on discrimination.
Rachel Donovan is currently a graduate student at the University of New Mexico in the department of photography. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Santa Fe in 2004. Rachel has been residing in the northeastern United States where she worked as an antique photographic process printer until moving to Albuquerque in 2016. In her current work she is investigating social implications of the domestic space.
Haley Greenfeather English
Haley Greenfeather English is a visual artist living and working in New Mexico. In the spring of 2018, she will receive a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has taught in youth arts and education for eight years and plans to continue teaching upon finishing her degree. Haley comes from Red Lake, Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, and Irish ancestry and was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Outside of arting and teaching, she is a napping-in-nature enthusiast, Mariah Carey fanatic, and deeply devoted Puggle mother.
Jess O. Evans
Jess O. Evans is an animator and illustrator who enjoys fantasy and whimsy in a variety of mediums (particularly ink and watercolor) as well as putting odds and ends together to make them move. Her work is driven by story, novelty, humor, and the reality of imagined worlds. Jess believes in the philosophy that fictional characters and universes exist, that they matter, and that they can shape other kinds of reality. Jess has done concept art for a few animation studios, spends a great deal of time freelancing, and is currently a graduate student at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Daniel Forest is presently a full-time, degree-seeking student at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, NM, working toward an AA with a concentration in Ceramics/Sculpture under the tutelage of James Marshall, Head of Ceramics, School of Arts and Design. His work references oceanic and biological themes with an emphasis on the surreal, which is amply evident in all forms of nature. Currently, he is working on a large-scale installation which will bring attention to the bleaching of the world’s coral reefs.
Erin Galvez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from California State University Sacramento with an emphasis in printmaking. She has worked as a professional, freelance mixed-media artist since 2004. Her work is in the collection at California State University at Sacramento, the City of El Paso, and corporate and private collections worldwide. Currently, Erin is a Research Assistant as a curator for the Inpost Exhibit Space, as well as a drawing instructor at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She is working towards an MFA in Painting and Drawing at UNM.
Alec Goldberg lives in Albuquerque with his husband, on whose support and inspiration he relies. Spears received a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2013. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Studio at the University of New Mexico. Artmaking is a vent for the feelings of alienation and absurdity that define life today, but which we otherwise try to shove down inside of ourselves. Spears wishes to make work that tries to unify and explore his own feelings about this. As questionable and confusing as reality is, he would at least like to know himself.
Dominic Knight, a born Arizona native, grew up with a love of dinosaurs, video games, and books. He was educated on the reservation as well as off the reservation in a private boarding school and public high school. Knight has a close relationship with his family, who will always support him. He had a vast dream that, one day, he would grow up to be like his hero, Dr. Alan Grant, a fictional character from his favorite movie, Jurassic Park. Knight never considered a career in the art world until his junior year of high school when he received a small pack of coloring pencils and a sketchpad for Christmas; after that, his world changed.
Knight is currently living in Santa Fe and pursuing his BFA with an emphasis in Digital art (Digital Painting and 3-D modeling) at the Institute of American Indian Art. With his love of video games, he developed an interest in Concept art, a form of illustration that is used to create digital worlds that are vast and lush. He wishes to be a concept artist for a video game company in order to use his imagination to create worlds that others would love to see.
James Anthony Martin
James Anthony Martin was born in Denver, Colorado. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washburn University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture and ceramics. He was a Sibberson Award finalist (the highest academic honor given at Washburn University), as well as a Pollack Award recipient (the highest art honor given at Washburn University). He has shown his work throughout the United States and has work in the permanent collection of the Mulvane Art Museum. Martin is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at the University of New Mexico. He is interested in the transformative process of mold-making and casting. Using plaster, porcelain slip, wax, foam, bronze and resin, he creates installations dealing with fragments, the abject, flux and perception.
Hollis Moore investigates environmental injustices related to water scarcity with performative field research, printmaking, and installation. Currently, Hollis is a MFA Candidate in Printmaking at the University of New Mexico. Moore was recently awarded a Land Arts International Travel Grant with support of the Lannan Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to complete her MFA thesis on revitalization projects in the Colorado River Delta in Baja and Sonora, Mexico. The project will be exhibited at the Open Space Gallery Visitor Center in Albuquerque, NM. Moore has participated in place-based artist residencies with Land Arts of the American West, LEAP at the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, and Signal Fire Arts. Her work has been included in Emergency Index Performance Publication and in group shows at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Tamarind Institute, and Texas A & M University Islander Gallery. Moore completed her BA at Colorado College in 2013 in Studio Art and Anthropology, and she worked as an apprentice printer for Oehme Graphics Fine Arts Publishing in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Jocelyn Muniz is in her second year at Central New Mexico Community College, studying Fine Arts. She will graduate in the spring of 2018 and plans to move to Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2018 to attend Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC). Once there, she plans the further her studies in Drawing and Painting. Muniz would like to teach art at a college in the future, because she believes a human’s purpose is to learn and to teach.
Leah Naxon creates textile works that focus on process, color and the material itself. She was born in Dallas, Texas and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2014 to study at the Santa Fe University of Art Design, from which she will receive a BFA in Studio Arts in May 2018. Naxon’s original focus during her time as an undergrad was in painting, but she transitioned to fiber art during her junior year.
Mia Olson is a multi-ethnic, queer, non-binary person from the small southern town of Shawnee, Oklahoma. They are currently a third-year BFA student at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Mia has a focus in both Jewelry/Small Metals and Printmaking, although they are fond of multi-media pieces. Their spare time is spent doing intersectional LGBTQ2s+ activism and gardening. Mia has a love of learning and a love of all living things, so they try to center all work around those values.
Virginia (Ginny) Primozic is originally from Albuquerque but has been nomadic, both in her youth and married life. She is currently a student in Gallery Management at Santa Fe Community College but earned a BA in Philosophy from UNM. She grew up in an artistic and musical home and still loves the smell of oils and turpentine. While her own artistic interests are in paper arts, especially rice paper collage, she enrolled in Gallery Management because she never tires of visiting galleries and museums (her five children can tell stories) and is curious about their inner workings. She is intrigued by the infinite variety of human creativity and also hopes to better understand how the business of art works in the real world. Ginny will graduate in May, 2018.
Elaine Querry lives in Las Vegas, NM and is a graduate student at New Mexico Highlands University majoring in Media Arts. First and foremost a photographer, she has been involved with photography for over 35 years. She began her career as a photographer/photojournalist for small town newspapers around the state and, for the past 25 years, has focused on fine-art photography. Querry sees her work as a combination of documentary and fine-art photography. She has looked at the world through the viewfinder of her camera, and her images are the fuel for her work. More than mementos of her international travels, these images make up the journal of a life which she aims to explore and combine in ways that tell stories both real and imagined.
Alexis Reveles’ studio practice includes painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and video. Born and raised in Laredo, Texas (a small border town), he moved to Santa Fe to complete a Bachelors of Fine Art at Santa Fe University of Art. Being raised around flea markets and thrift stores, Reveles finds great inspiration in vintage memorabilia and incorporates these recollections into his work.
Rebecca Sprague is a Junior at St. John’s College where she studies French, calculus, physics, and philosophy. Originally from Rhode Island, she found herself in Santa Fe after studying oil painting and art history at The Marchutz School of Fine Arts in Aix-en-Provence, France. As a student of art, her goal is to develop visual art skills that she can eventually teach. As a student at St. John’s, she has been able to organize weekly figure drawing sessions, Art Seminars, and art-related field trips with school funding. Sprague recently received a Pathways Fellowship from St. John’s to attend a summer class at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) which taught art history and museum curation through the RISD museum’s collection. After graduating St. John’s she plans on returning to the Marchutz school to pursue a MFA. After completing an MFA, Sprague would like to work under her mother, Karin Sprague, a letter-carver and memorial gravestone designer who runs her business out of Scituate, RI.
Peter Stacey is in the photography program at Santa Fe Community College. He is relatively recent to photography, having spent the bulk of his career as a professor of Biology and Ecology. In Stacey’s work as a restoration ecologist, it became clear that people often make decisions about the natural environment based upon how they believe it “should” look, aesthetically. As a result, he co-taught a course with an artist at the University of New Mexico that focused on the “Aesthetics of Sustainable Landscapes.” This rekindled an earlier interest he had in photography, and he is now completely engaged in this work. Stacey is interested in the similarities and differences in the languages of science and art, between the personal and universal. Most of his photographs are landscapes at different scales. He is trying to explore how both simplicity and complexity can affect our perceptions and our connections to a place or a thing. Stacey also strongly believes that we take care of the things that we care about and that art can play a powerful role in creating and fostering that affinity.
Aaron ‘Arrow’ Yazzie
Aaron ‘Arrow’ Yazzie was born in Gallup, New Mexico. He attended the University of New Mexico before transferring to the Institute of American Indian Arts in the fall of 2015 to pursue a B.F.A in Studio Arts. Yazzie is an established artist whose primary choice of medium is two-dimensional, which encompasses techniques of drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, screen printing, and mixed media. His additional practices include weaving, writing, ceramics, and photography. By layering intricate patterns, organic forms, vibrant palettes, and gestural mark-making, Yazzie creates dynamic images that are inspired by nature, memory, culture, mysticism, and the metaphysical. Yazzie is currently getting ready to graduate in the spring of 2018 from IAIA.
2016/17 SITE Scholars
I am a graduate student in my last semester at NMHU in Media Arts with a focus in film. My Master’s project is a television pilot written by a local author. Land of Heirs is a supernatural drama set in a small New Mexican town, with religious and psychological themes based on local folklore. I assembled, directed, and filmed with a small production crew, bringing together fellow students and volunteer local artists. This semester I have been working on post production.
I am a recent convert to film. My father has a background in theater and I basically grew up in one, learning a little bit of everything on stage and off. My mother has a background in Anthropology, which also fostered my curiosity in humanity, history, and my desire to explore the human condition. I started off working in theater before getting my Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. I use my experience of working with space, color, and light to apply to my film environments. Before starting graduate school I worked for my husbands local ISP, which broadened my understanding of technology, my ability of what I could learn, and how to be a member of a community. I hope to find a role in my local New Mexican community with my new skills.
Born David Duane Beams on February 8, 1979 in Spokane, Washington. ddbeams served in the United States Army from May 2002 until May 2006. Then attended Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas where ddbeams received an AAS in Metal Fabrication in 2015. Studying at Johnson County Community College ddbeams began his artistic career drawing and painting, and transitioned to three-dimensional work in the late 2000s. After a brief art hiatus ddbeams continued working in three-dimensional work at the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2015. Transitioning to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico ddbeams work has began to take on elements of installation and public artwork. ddbeams will receive a BFA in Studio Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in December of 2016.
Justus Benally was born in Casa Grande, Arizona in 1994. An enrolled member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe Benally expresses mythological creation from his cultural heritage through Photography, Printmaking, and Contemporary art. Benally is Apache (San Carlos), displaced by colonialism to be developed by bombing-graffiti, punk culture, skateboarding culture, and Guerilla Journalism. Benally is currently a senior enrolled in his fifth year attending the Institute of American Indian Arts seeking a BFA in Studio Arts. Benally embraces the lifestyle of graffiti-esque missions, violent misfortune endeavors, and large scale mixed-media murals. As a student Benally has been focusing on Black and White Photography, large scale printmaking, and painting. By applying Platinum-Palladium emulsion to 100% cotton rag or raw wood, Benally creates photographic prints that clearly show cultural impact of Mineral extraction on the American Southwest. Benally continues to collaborate as a contemporary artist by working with members of the Kant Stop Mobbing Collective. In order to understand what you do not know or comprehend you must become it.
Sarah Canelas is a BFA Studio Arts Major at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Having a strong interest in process as well as a need to satisfy her curiosity, much of her work attempts to analyze aspects of the world while experimenting with methods and media. Her practice currently involves a usage of multi-media installation and performance in order to better engage the viewer and encourage discussion. Canelas’ work has been exhibited at Wade Wilson Art, Outdoor Vision Fest, and Currents, and she recently participated in the July 2016, SFAI 140.
I was born in June of 1995 in Torrance Ca. Over the next 10 years my family moved to Delaware, Houston, and Los Alamos. I studied at Los Alamos High School, and was a member of the national art honor society. I graduated from LAHS and moved to Santa Fe in 2013. I am a visual artist primarily focused on drawing, painting, and printmaking. My work explores patterns of growth, through gesture and improvisational mark making.
Kemely Gomez is a Guatemalan-born studio artist who currently lives and works in Santa Fe, NM. She immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve along with her mother and younger sister. Her work is influenced by her childhood experiences in her native country. Gomez’s studio practice include sculpture, painting, performance and installation art, which focuses on themes of memory, absence, and displacement. She is presently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Isaak Hoffman is a Santa Fe born artist, who has relied on his imagination as a tool to translate the world around him from a very young age. He is currently studying at the Santa Fe Community College in the Fine Arts Department with a focus on painting. He uses a variety of materials, primarily 2D mediums, to illustrate both the emotional and physical realities of his everyday life.
Owen Kobasz is a Junior at St. John’s College. Growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, he became interested in film photography at a young age. Developing this passion he moved from creating images of centuries-old tombstones to the abandoned factory spaces that compose the city skyline, focusing on composition and the return to nature of human creations. Moving to Santa Fe motivated him to expand on this subject with a new color palette and sense of space found in outskirts of the city. Owen has also been moving from photography to sculptures composed of found objects as his main medium. His first venture in this world was a temporary display created out of trash found in the desert composed to show the waste created by the constant flux of once cutting edge technology. He plans to continue these themes while exploring different mediums.
Daniel McCoy Jr. (Muscogee Creek / Citizen Band Potawatomi) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received his formal Art Training at the Institute of American Indian Arts, graduating in 2016 with a degree in two-dimensional arts. Daniel worked under the direction of commercial artist Chuck Osborne for eight years in Tulsa painting everything from television backdrops to hand designed billboards before returning to the southwest to continue his career as a painter. Daniel continues to work now in the southwest. His focus in the upcoming years will be to produce monumental life works. He currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his family.
Nami Okuzono was born and raised in a small district in Osaka city, Japan. Her dream while she was a child was to become a mermaid to live in the ocean. She loved swimming in the ocean as much as drawing from observation. Still to today, her works are heavily inspired and influenced by childhood experience swimming in the ocean and observing life under water. Currently, Okuzono lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico pursuing her education with BFA in an emphasis of Jewelry Metal making and Printmaking at Institute of American Indian Arts. Her works are influenced by the ideas of parallel realities and dynamics of cultural differences. Simultaneously, she observes cultures and history as patterns and studies historical and social conflicts of human actions particularly against indigenous people of the Americas. Through her study, she focuses on ignored and unacknowledged aspects of life.
Hello my family and my people and my friends I am called Eric-Paul Riege. I am born to Red Running Into The Water born for the Metal Hats. The Towering House People are my mom’s dad, the Metal Hats are my dad’s dad. In that way I am a man. I walk around where the bridge crosses the Puerco river. I reside where the bells hang down. I am studying art and the Navajo language. Thank you.
Kristen is currently making fragile images and susceptible objects in Albuquerque while in pursuing her MFA from the University of New Mexico. She most sweepingly investigates such notions as human fallibility and the precariousness of identity. Her work has been featured in publications including Creative Loafing Magazine and the Lenscratch States Project and included in group exhibitions at the Centre Gallery and William & Nancy Oliver Gallery in Tampa, Florida, The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, and most recently as an invited artist for The Santa Fe Art Project curated by SCUBA Collective. She received her BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Psychology from the University of South Florida in 2014.
I am from the Dallas area of Texas. Drawing was easy to pick up as a child as my mother is a ceramist and my father is a graphic designer. I prize humor and my work reflects a bit of that. I create theatres or theatre tableauxs to depict areas of failure in communication. Some of my biggest influences include M. C. Escher, Do Ho Suh, and Nathalie Djurberg.
Alexandra Rose moved to Santa Fe by train. She goes to school here. She works in a restaurant. She hangs out in darkened rooms making photographs. She has a pet bunny. She grew up swimming in the Yuba River. She lived in Normal. She lived in Pittsburgh. She is afraid to drive a car even though she drove one across the country. She loves floral pattern.
Photographs are documents, mementos, and reflections; a reminder of times past and passing. Alexandra Rose uses this medium to offer a glimpse into the intimate moments of the human self. Memories, feelings, and form dictate who we are as individuals. These intricacies are captured on film and rendered on photographic paper, where the monochromatic tones allow the viewer to see the abstracted form of a person. A person who carries within themselves mysteries, stories, and unique personalities. All people can unite in this commonality of being singularly alive regardless of our idiosyncrasies. The recordings that A. Rose creates honor the human spirit, in all of its fluctuations and manifestations.
Molly Zimmer pulls on her upbringing in the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico to influence her passion for making work with a direct connection to land and place. Much of her studio work revolves around the Southwest landscape, investigating the effects of the technologically constructed environment, poetry of sound, the the making of tools in natural materials for site specific performances. Through the lens of construction, gestural marks and the movement of graffiti she transforms the urban and natural surfaces to become a question about how we create a sense of place that resonates with story and personal experience.
She is currently teaching introductory Art Studio courses as she pursues her Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to be completed in May 2018. In 2014, Molly received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Painting and Museum Curating. She is currently living in Albuquerque, NM.
2015/16 SITE Scholars
Alok Adhikari is a senior at St. John’s College and an aspiring filmmaker. Growing up in Nepal, Alok was surrounded by cameras from a young age and started working with his father, who has made a number of documentary films, early on. He learned video editing after graduating from high-school and has edited short films as well as worked on feature film sets. Over the past three years at St. John’s he has focused on cinematography and editing which he sees as two parts of filmmaking where one can choose what information to give, or not to give, the audience in order to tell the story well and keep them interested. Alok wants to tell stories through photography and film and is interested in the different aspects and stages of bringing a story in his head out onto the screen.
George Alexander (b.1990) is a Muscogee (Creek) Artist who lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was raised in the state Oklahoma and moved out to New Mexico to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. George’s painting style is inspired by the cosmos, philosophy, science, futurism, modernism, and modernist graffiti. His paintings study the connection of time, space, thought and spirituality. George’s work is dynamically pleasing and has started to make a name for itself.
I am named after my maternal great grandmother Amanda, and my middle name Delora comes from my maternal great great-grandmother. On April 17th, 1992, my Mother Christine gave birth to me at the University of New Mexico Hospital, where my Father, maternal grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin and two older brothers greeted me. My Mother is Choctaw, Chickasaw, Laguna, Seneca, Mescalero Apache, and German. My Father is Hopi. Being many different tribes is a result of BIA boarding schools. A few years of my life was spent living with my parents in Merced, California, Austin, Texas, and Madisonville, Louisiana. Recently, I became a recognized member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. I am fortunate to have a home in Laguna Pueblo and one in Albuquerque, so my lifestyle is both traditional and modern, just like my artwork. Some related experiences in my field of art include visits to Hopi-land to spend time with my father’s family. There, I indulged myself in the exploration of the living symbols of tradition through attending ceremonies in the plaza. For many years my Hopi family has sponsored a clan ritual that enables me to view the motifs and symbols that display the traditional wisdom that the dancers’ movements embody. Through the dancers’ regalia I see forms, colors, shapes and texture. I’m fortunate that these rituals are still available to me as they enhance my ability to create art.
Brendan Barrett officially started his journey and training as an artist/designer/craftsman when he moved from Pittsburgh to Santa Fe in 2013. Since then he has received his Associates Degree in Fine Woodworking from SFCC and immersed himself in life changing educational experiences inside and outside of the classroom. He currently works too hard paying rent, but he has hopes to save enough to continue his studies and receive a BFA in Furniture Design. His friends might tell you he’s a little too obsessed with furniture, but he believes the functional object holds amazing potential to convey information and ideas, not to mention comfort and beauty.
Kaitlin Bryson was born and raised in the high desert country of Reno, Nevada. In 2012 she graduated with a BFA from the University of Nevada, Reno.After receiving her undergraduate degree, she spent the next three years working on Biodynamic and Permaculture farms. The act of cultivating strengthens the intimate experience she shares with the landscape which in turn, greatly informs her subject matter and materiality. She works with natural materials harvested within her immediate environment in order to focus on locality and ephemerality. Often her work is made specifically to decay so that it showcases the life that grows off of degradation. Operating in this area of tension, Bryson sheds light on the fragile and vital balance between life and death systems, which usually exist as an unseen part of our lives and daily experience. Bryson is currently pursuing her MFA in Art & Ecology at the University of New Mexico.
Maggie Carson studies fine art at the Santa Fe Community College. A native of New Mexico, she spent her childhood fervently drawing and exploring the desert landscape with her twin sister. She spent her formative years in Taos, and began honing her skills while attending Chamisa Mesa High School. In addition to her creative medium, Maggie enjoys art history, classical antiquity, philosophy, and punk-rock. In her work, she attempts to address forms, figures, narratives, and ideals present in classical art, while capturing a tongue-in-cheek sense of modern angst and youthful folly.
David Campbell was born in Santa Fe, NM. Through his work he seeks to examine the human quest to place oneself in the universe, both on a day-to-day scale and a cosmic scale. He finds the absurdity of this desire for understanding to be both incredibly beautiful and massively frustrating, and his practice is inspired by this futility. In his recent work, this takes the form of interventions on NASA imagery, physically removing and accentuating the individual stars through the use of graphite, embossing techniques, and digital means.
Much of my works are renderings of issues I faced growing up in Church Rock as a child, a girl, a Diné woman, a Native American, a person. There is a slightly strange humor that hints at Diné culture through out my work. Utilizing traditional Diné materials and elements, I try to reinterpret these mediums in a contemporary style. I draw ideas from the many layers of knowledge such as cultural, political, institutional, environmental, and psychological.
Erin Fussell is an intermedia performance artist interested in ineffable connections and relationships between people, animals and places. She draws on dance, music, film and science experimentation to bring the non-verbal, experiential undertow into the seen and heard. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she’s working on her MFA in Art & Ecology.
Jim Hunyadi is a graduate student in Media Arts at Highlands University, and a retired journalist. He spent the last 25 years at Dow Jones LMG as a senior editor and senior systems analyst, where he was lead analyst on the largest project in the company’s history – the selection and rollout of a company-wide content management system. As senior editor he played key roles in the development and launch of new print and digital products, such as the award-winning Ulster Magazine.
Tania Larsson is of Gwich’in and Swedish descent and she was born and raised in France. At the age of fifteen, she moved to Canada with her family with the goal of reconnecting to her culture and her land. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus in digital arts and jewelry at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Tania is a founding member of Dene Nahjo, a non-profit organization that focuses on cultural revitalization projects. She constantly seeks out opportunities to learn traditional practices such as tanning hides on the land, making tools and sewing. Combining her traditional skills and contemporary arts education, she strives to create pieces that are inspired by her culture and delivered using digital technologies.
Phat Le’s work expresses his interest in using math and language to communicate the relationship between different cultures through materials. He is currently a BFA Studio Art major at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Le’s studio practices include sculpture, drawing, painting, film and installation. His artwork has been exhibited in “The Young Curator” at Site Santa Fe, “Currents” the Santa Fe international New Media Festival, “Stubborn Matter” at Wade Wilson Gallery, Outdoor Vision Fest at Santa Fe University of art and Design, AHA Festival, Raw Earth exhibition at Red Dot Gallery, “Range” exhibition at Chile.
Born in Seattle, Washington, of half-Japanese and half-Caucasian heritage, emerging artist Nagisa Leonard uses precious metals, gemstones, and enamels to create unique pieces of art jewelry. Incorporating the spirit of many different influences, she balances the clean elegance of wearable jewelry with the Japanese concept of wabi sabi (rustic beauty) into her work. Working with contemporary creative ideas and carefully executed craftsmanship, Nagisa strives to produce one-of-a-kind pieces of unusual and beautiful art jewelry.
Amanda D. Romero grew up in Santa Fe where she enjoyed exploring the vast landscapes and culture of New Mexico. She has always had a fascination with sound and the way it enhances an environment in both literal and metaphysical terms. Amanda’s work investigates the continually evolving relationship between humans and various environments and the way in which technology can serve as a mechanism of communication throughout these interactions. Amanda uses her background in music, video, and photography in such a way that permits her to explore these relationships. As well as interpersonal parallels, Amanda is interested in social practice and the way that art and sound can be used as healing mechanisms in both natural and self-generated environments. She has done extensive studies and practices in various art modalities and how they can be implemented as mechanisms for change and healing in individuals with varying forms of trauma and disabilities. Her passion for social practice and her affinity towards the recurrently progressing connection between humans, technology, and environments has shaped her work and created a commentary on the spectrums of these interactions. Amanda is currently in her senior year at the University of New Mexico where she is pursuing a BFA in Art Studio with an emphasis in Electronic Arts as well as a Minor in Arts Management. She will begin work on her Honors Thesis this Spring.
Chase Matthew Stafford is currently a Senior at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He is interested in using drawing as a device to navigate space, and transforming the perception of the viewer. Recently Chase has shown his work in Trace Matter at Wade Wilson Art and at Fresh Santa Fe. His video work has been included in Currents 2015 at the Santa Fe Railyard as well as the annual Outdoor Vision Fest 2015, held at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
2014/15 SITE Scholars
Miranda Blas has always been creative and artistic. Her earliest memories involve messy paints, brushes, crumbly chalk, and the intense want to make things. As she has grown older and into her intelligence, she come to know art as a dynamic way of life. Her experience at St. John’s College these past four years has deepened her appreciation for a creativity and her personal relationship to art. She is grateful for the recognition of this from the St. John’s community and SITE Santa Fe.
Brian Clinton came to Santa Fe from Northern California in 2012 to attend the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Arriving at school as a painter he quickly moved into sculpture employing a variety of media, most recently including video and audio components. Exploring each medium thoroughly in his work, Brian aims to apply them uniquely and successfully to convey his concepts. His work is greatly identity based, linked to personal experience and executed to connect to a broader spectrum of concepts and relate to the greater viewing public.
Andrea Gallegos was born and raised in Las Vegas, NM. She grew up working on a ranch, which is where she gained the appreciation of working and building projects with her hands, using mostly wood. She worked as a Production Manager and AD Operations Manager at an online advertising company for 4 years in Colorado Springs, CO. After the company downsized due to the economy collapse, she moved back to Las Vegas to finish her degree at NMHU. Andrea graduated with a BFA and is currently working on her masters degree in the MAC program at NMHU.
Jesse Garcia was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is where he currently resides. He did not have any formal training in the arts prior to attending CNM Community College (2010), and now attends Santa Fe University of Art and Design (2013-2015), perusing a BFA in Studio arts (final year). His work consists of narrative paintings encompassing personal a deep personal narrative exploring his own existence both here on planet earth in the physical and within his own mind. His work in progress associates with what he believes to be existence in four parts memory, being, waiting, and light. He often recreates scenes, incorporates symbology of his own design to examine not only the creation of his own narrative but to understand (or try to) how it can play a role on how the story unfolds.
Erik Gellert is an artist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His aptitude for the arts first emerged out of the medium of clay leading him to pursue the study of drawing and painting. He applied these skills working as a preservationist, working with historians to recreate wall textures and color schemes in many notable homes including the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. He moved from Chicago to Santa Fe in 2011 to pursue advanced studies in ceramics at Santa Fe Community College.
Lara Goldmann moved to New Mexico in 2013 from Berlin, Germany with a Stipe from the DAAD. Interested in the multi-disciplinary approach towards the arts here, she decided to continue her studies and pursue a MFA within the Arts & Ecology department at UNM. In her work she tries to re-interpret the differences and layers of individual perception, mainly in installations, using rhythm and repetition, fragmentation and quotations, single elements of various media to create a space that reaffirms and negates itself; an open end, a line of thought that moves in circles.
Emma Goos in her final year of studies at St. John’s College, is an emerging artist. She grew up in the town of Aurora, CO, where life is often more a question of surviving than of thriving. Encouraged to put academics first throughout high school in order to escape said living conditions, a natural aptitude for the visual fell to the back burner. It was not until pursuing higher education at St. John’s College that she was able to stoke the creative fire within her and, for once, allow that unrestful inner voice to express itself. Tentative at the idea of throwing oneself into pure expression, she has fiddled with different mediums, including charcoal drawings, fiber arts, and music composition. One medium which has risen above the others is photography. Just this past summer, she picked up a camera and began looking at the world through a tool which allowed her to simultaneously distance herself from the world whilst actively arranging what a viewer will see of it. She is now using the lens to explore anonymity. By portraying emptiness and silence, photography has enabled her to understand not only how she sees the world, but also how the world sees her.
Abbey Hepner is a conceptual artist investigating the human relationship with the landscape and technology. Using the mediums of photography, video, public art intervention, web interaction and electronic processes, she considers issues related to population growth, man-made disasters, and the complex and often contradictory roles surrounding technological progress. She addresses the psychological motivations existing in the gray area between political extremes and the complexity of hyperobjects. Hepner holds bachelors degrees in Art and Cognitive Psychology from the University of Utah. Her work on the topic of nuclear energy made her the recent recipient of a Puffin Foundation grant. She is an international exhibiting artist, recently finishing a body of work in Japan and participating in a residency and solo exhibition in Berlin, Germany. She is currently an MFA student in photography at the University of New Mexico.
Ian Kerstetter is an artist of Oneida and European-American heritage. He is currently completing his BFA in Art & Ecology at the University of New Mexico with a minor in Sustainability Studies. As a queer indigenous artist, Ian is passionately interested in the intersections of identity, food, community, healing, and storytelling. Ian is trained in a variety of traditional and digital media, and often works in interdisciplinary, collaborative contexts. His most recent work includes a mural in downtown Albuquerque created with young artists to celebrate growth and collaboration as central to healthy communities, and creating a food + identity workshop as part of his undergraduate thesis work. Ian is a founding member of Vecinos Artist Collective, a group of New Mexican artists who work to strengthen the endeavors of local organizations and communities through powerful artistic collaboration.
Betsy Leonard was born on April 5, 1991 in Montpellier, France. Her interests lie in the three-dimensional. The materials that she uses for her sculptures and instillations vary as the idea generally manifests itself before the construction. Although she doesn’t favor any material over another she spent seven years building ponds. The familiarity with stone can be seen in her work. Leonard also has a fascination with light and shadow. The content of her work is directly affiliated with her past and present being. Because she traveled extensively as a child one can see ideas of displacement, longing, fear, and uncertainty as well as beauty. Her work also touches on sexuality as she has a fascination with multiple phallic forms. She equates these with death as well as they are also reminiscent of maggots. Leonard attended Maryland institute College of Art and design for a year and a half before transferring to Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She is inspired by many artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Tara Donovan, Bruce Nauman, and Sandy Skoglund.
Monty Little is studying at the Institute of American Indian Arts with a double major in Creative Writing and Studio Arts. His current work reflects on his experience of war and duration as a rifleman. Little’s paintings and prints are his understanding and observations of his service during and after war. His multi-application of acrylic and oil, sand, joint-compound, and charcoal are the marginalia to his obscured memories. Little uses each medium as erasure, where unsettling truths reveal personal components and texture is integral, yet disruptive to find his past chaotic.
Siera Reisler relocated to Santa Fe from Northampton, Massachusetts in 2013. She is a multimedia artist currently in her last year of undergraduate studies at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Persistently exploring the thematic capacities of accumulation and endurance, her work is about the process of working. Often performance-based, her art objects reveal themselves through obsessive curiosity and extended duration. As of late, she is concerned with impulsiveness, inefficiency, and sparse functionality. She is especially interested in information and objects that are only useful in acutely specific situations, or those which were realized in an equally urgent and tedious way. Franco Andres makes work located at the intersection of the naturally occurring and the manufactured while drawing from his own experience as source material. Andres grew up in Miami, FL and after a stint as a pre-medical student at the University of Miami moved to NYC where he studied at SVA and embarked on a career working with interiors. A move from San Francisco to Santa Fe prompted a shift in sensibility contributing to his current work’s decidedly post-minimalist, gestural aesthetic.
Elizabeth Starks‘ background is in Studio Art: Drawing and Painting, and she has spent the last ten years designing for both print and web for such employers and clients as the San Diego Natural History Museum, La Jolla Historical Society, School for Advanced Research IARC, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Haak’u Museum, and others. Her interest in exhibit design and cultural preservation led her to the Institute of American Indian Arts where she completed the Museum Studies Certificate, and she is currently in her last year of the Software-driven Systems Design Master’s program at NMHU, developing digital and physical interactive applications for cultural institutions. In her own art, she is interested in combining traditional art making techniques with accessible electronics and exploring how, “smart,” devices influence how we learn about our own cultures and express ourselves.
William Thoms was born in southwest Washington State in 1974 and raised in a failed timber community on the edge of the Chehalis Indian Reservation. Since receiving his B.S. in Motion Picture Studies from Emerson College, Thoms has parlayed his education and film experience into a broader study of the visual arts. Inspired by the special effects industry and applied sciences, his work pairs industrial and commercial arts mediums with an exploration of the traditional Coast Salish native motifs of his homeland. Thoms has exhibited in a handful of minor galleries on the west coast, spurring the emerging artist to invest in more formal art studies. He currently attends the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico concentrating in sculpture and fabrication.
Mira Woodson work embraces design through multiple lenses: textile + graphic design and photography + architecture all inform and reform her relationship with the built and imagined environment. She attempts to explore sensory experiences, narrative, identity, adjacency, and memory through storytelling. One of her interests is the storytelling role of textiles in historical narratives, and their continuing relevance in pop culture and couture today. Fibers chronicle emotional landscapes cultivated throughout the seasons. Whether in Peruvian embroidery, Japanese indigo, the soothing memory of a childhood blankie, or a runway show by Yohji Yamamoto are territories where personal and cultural stories are being told.
2013/14 SITE Scholars
Biographical information about the scholars: Lea Marta Andersson moved to New Mexico in 2003 from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico in 2008 and is currently an MFA candidate working within the disciplines of Art & Ecology and Painting & Drawing at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Andersson has traveled widely, bringing notions of place, both geographical and cosmological, to her minimalist paintings.
Seiya Bowen is a Japanese-American student at the University of New Mexico, pursuing a degree in Studio Arts, Photography. Coming from a multi-racial background, Bowen is mainly interested in the theme of identity. His work questions our inability to relate as human beings and the barriers within ourselves that keep us separate.
Destini Duran is a fashion design student at the Santa Fe Community College and has been designing for about a year now. Destini loves fashion and creating beautiful garments for women of all shapes and sizes. She strives to make the woman wearing her clothes feel beautiful, elegant, sophisticated, but also a little edgy and sexy. In 2013 she was chosen to show for Santa Fe fashion week as an emerging designer. Destini’s line is called Destinista Fashions.
Julia Edmonds is from the Kiowa and Caddo tribes of Oklahoma. She grew up in Southern California and has been attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the last 4 years. She is a senior majoring in Studio Arts, with a focus in painting. Her work leans towards Abstract Expressionism. She was inducted into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society on October 22, 2013.
David Estrada is an independent filmmaker and photographer, currently based in Las Vegas, New Mexico. He received a BFA in Film Production from the University of Central Florida and later served as a cinematography lecturer to UCF undergraduates. David worked as an editor and camera/photo assistant at Deeb Studios in Orlando, Florida, and as a freelancer and production assistant for various directors in New York City. He spent two seasons living in Denali National Park, Alaska, where he served as a photographer, cinematographer, and video editor for Aramark Sports, LLC, editing documentary-style videos for clients. David won the Best Cinematography Award at The Freak Show Film Festival in 2009 for the short film, “The Sleuth Incident”. He won third place in the Cannes Young Lions competition in 2008 for his original commercial, “Our America,” and his short film, “Tears in the Rain,” won the Bronze REMI award at the Houston Worldfest. He has spent three years documenting the economies and lives of coffee farmers in Latin America. David has led photography workshops with National Geographic Student Expeditions programs in Alaska, Iceland, Greece, Italy, Ecuador and the Grand Canyon. He is interested in how photography is changing with emerging technology, and he wants to experiment with interactive media while he pursues his MA in Media Arts at New Mexico Highlands University.
Since childhood, Sango Imai-Hall wanted to be a cartoonist. After high school he attended the Center for Cartoon Studies, a new college dedicated to comics. After graduation, Sango enrolled at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where he hoped to improve his skills as a visual artist and creative writer. At SFUAD he became preoccupied with the questions every artist must face: Who am I? What inspires me? What is my message? He began exploring these questions in his work while also experimenting with different mediums and aesthetics. He has used his studies in art history and contemporary culture to understand his role in the artistic canon. Today, he sees a general discord between the arts and entertainment and wishes to rectify their differences in his work, utilizing both pop and academic culture to create meaningful yet accessible stories and artworks. Sango’s work can be viewed at: sangoart.nfshost.com.
Shelbie Loomis grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and currently attends Santa Fe University of Art and Design on a full scholarship. Shelbie uses monochromatic colors and themes to create large-scale charcoal drawings and sculptures that express controlled environments of life and death. She also utilizes materials such as graphite, ink, charcoal, light bulbs, copper, water, bug life, and plants. Shelbie is currently a senior and plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 2014 to further explore studio arts and social practice.
Diana Padilla is originally from Mexico City. She is now in her last year of college in the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, with a major in Studio Art. She loves painting, but her main interest is in museum and curatorial studies. Diana was an intern in the Education Department at SITE Santa Fe in 2012, and she is currently working as an intern at ARTsmart.
A.J Peters was born and raised on Bainbridge Island, a thirty-minute ferry ride from Seattle, WA. He began to dabble in digital photography in high school, and in little time, pulled his mom’s Minolta out from the dusty shoebox it lived in and constructed a makeshift darkroom in the bathroom. At first he loved the ability to chronicle what was happening around him, but he slowly started to realize that his photos were actually more personal than that and shared an inward vision. After high school, A.J. spent seven months traveling in South America and felt at home with just a camera in his hand. He’s since continued to shoot, using mostly digital photography. A.J. Peters currently attends St. John’s College. His photos can be seen at http://cargocollective.com/torpedofish.
Elizabeth Shores is currently working on several projects under the umbrella of a faux institute called ‘My Presence is Productive, Inc.’, exploring different aspects of production, agency, and power through a series of projects ranging from performances and video archives to educational pamphlets, guided tours, drawings and paintings. Shores is seeking not only to understand the societal frameworks that define her by what she makes as an artist and as an individual, but also the ways in which these structures illuminate foundational concepts of society. Having received her BFA in Intermedia from The University of Iowa, she is currently pursuing an MFA at The University of New Mexico and has exhibited in museums and galleries both nationally and internationally.
Laura Walkingstick is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, NC. In 2005 she completed an AFA in Studio Arts at Institute of American Indian Arts and is now completing her BFA in studio arts, with her concentrations in ceramics and jewelry. At the age of 10 she learned how to sew pieces of scrap materials to make doll clothes. In 2006 while working an internship for the Museum of the Cherokee Indians she decided to create her own unique cloth dolls, fashioned in 18th century style clothing. Her inspirations come from Cherokee doll makers, Richard and Berdina Crowe, who made wooden dolls. Her work reflects various Cherokee traditions with unique contemporary ideas. While dolls are her main interest, she continues to explore historical ceramic works from a variety of cultures to incorporate new ideas and designs into her doll making.
Lauren Addario, AmeriCorps Cultural Technology Coordinator at New Mexico Highlands University
Scott Marshall Anderson, Painting and Drawing Professor, University of New Mexico
Ezra Estes, Program Head, Fashion Design, Santa Fe Community College
Mark Herndon, Studio Arts Chair, Institute of American Indian Arts
Adrienne Salinger, Photography Professor, University of New Mexico
Linda Swanson, Chair of the Art Department, Santa Fe University of Art and Design
Charlene Teters, Chair of the Art Department, Institute of American Indian Arts
Diane Tintor, Associate Professor of Art History and Jewelry and Metal Arts, Santa Fe Community College
Mary Tsiongas, Associate Chair & Graduate Director, Associate Professor Electronic Arts, Art & Art History, University of New Mexico
Edward Walpin, Assistant Dean, St. Johns University
2012/13 SITE Scholars
Biographical information about the scholars: Brandee Caoba is mixed media artist, blurring the line between painting and photography. Her work alternates between analog and digital, and explores the relationships of how we relate to the narratives of myth and mythologies as individuals and as a society. She is the former apprentice of feminist artist and activist May Stevens, and most recently interned with Bostick and Sullivan furthering her exploration of hand crafted photography and alternative processes. She is in her final year at The Institute of American Indian Arts.
India Cochrane is from Baltimore, Maryland and is currently a sophomore at St John’s College. She has been drawing her whole life, but she picked up art more seriously in high school where she built a portfolio of mostly charcoal drawings, oil paintings and a few pieces in fashion design. She rediscovered her love for visual art and took many painting and drawing classes in 9th and 10th grade, then in 11th grade she learned to design and create clothing. She decided upon a different route for college and chose St John’s where she passionately studies the Classics of the Western world through the Great Books Program. Art is not offered at St John’s; because of this she has once again rediscovered her love for making visual art and her need for a creative outlet.
Nina Dubois is an artist whose work and research focuses on the ways in which the built environment is informed by and reflects our understanding of natural systems. Through sculptural and architectural installations, she explores the pragmatic, phenomenological, and symbolic aspects of those relationships. After receiving a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, she participated in the Land Arts of the American West program at the University of New Mexico, where she is currently finishing her MFA with a focus in Art & Ecology. Current projects include collaboration with Jeanette Hart-Mann and Chrissie Orr on the SeedBroadcast Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station, and SOUND COLONY, an outdoor sculptural/sound installation sited at the Alvarado Urban Farm in conjunction with ISEA 2012 Machine Wilderness.
Katherine Goldman started off as an art student, then changed course and spent a number of years traveling and working as a chef. She has recently become involved in making art again. She is currently attending Santa Fe Community College in preparation to complete her bachelor’s degree in linguistics and art at the University of New Mexico.
Hannah Hoel’s current work emphasizes repeated action, employing fiber arts within a formal setting while exploring the relationship between the handmade and the geometric. She is pursuing her second bachelor’s degree at Santa Fe University of Art and Design in Studio Art after previously earning a BA in Visual Culture from Goldsmiths College, London, and an MA in Eastern Classics from St. John’s College, Santa Fe.
A product of the Peace Corps, KB Jones was raised in the US and Africa. She received her BA from Columbia University in 2002 and lived and worked in the New York art world before moving to New Mexico for her graduate studies. A second year MFA candidate at UNM, she is primarily a painter. Her work is about the figure, culture, and the practice of painting: her connection to everyone.
Lucy Madeleine is a multidisciplinary artist working in performance, sculpture and installation. She is interested in the relationship between language and the body and makes work that explores this dynamic through visual metaphor. Recently relocated to Santa Fe from Los Angeles, CA, she is completing her BFA in Studio Arts at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
KaiLani Mayer holds on to things. Her installations are carefully constructed spaces that incorporate both personal belongings as well as found objects. Focusing on preservation and the human impulse to keep things, she is interested in how we collect pieces of evidence of our past in order to have a way of understanding ourselves. She pushes her honesty, authenticity and vulnerability in order to establish an intimate experience with the viewer. Playing with both revealing and hiding, she strives to connect with the viewer while also maintaining a distance or sense of longing. Currently, she is working on her honor’s thesis work for her BFA at the University of New Mexico.
Jessica Minnich moved from Portland, Oregon to Santa Fe where she is a junior at SFUAD. She is interested in ideas of morbidity and the uncanny and explores notions of gender identity through her performance.
Conor Peterson is in his final year of studies as a graduate student of Electronic Art at the University of New Mexico, where he moved after studying at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Though primarily raised by roving packs of coffee and semi intelligent tree moss, Conor has taken a liking to the relics of nuclear science that litter the desert of New Mexico. Inspired by the historical complexity of the area, Conor has been transmuting the concerns of new media into novel technological works by applying his background in computer science and engineering. He recently helped to organize the Underground Symposium of Electronic Art, a metashow coincident with ISEA 2012 that emphasized local experimental art.
Alycia Smith was born in Oregon. She completed her BA in Philosophy at University of Oregon and is currently working toward an MA in Liberal Arts at St. John’s College. Her primary focus in art is poetry and photography. She is interested in the notion of transience in art, and artwork as interactive and evolving activity.
Miles Tokunow is a multimedia storyteller. He is both an artist and educator. Currently a Masters Candidate at Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM, Miles is interested in creating interactive performance spaces combining dance, film and sound. Miles has worked at and with non-profits in Santa Fe teaching elementary, high school and college students how to tell their own stories through different forms of media. He is currently in the process of making collaborative art that focuses on social change through multimedia performance.
Trang Minh Vu was born in Saigon, Vietnam. One of 11 siblings and the youngest of 7 girls, she immigrated to United States after the Vietnam War. Trang earned her MFA in 1995 from UC Irvine in Video Installation with an emphasis on Marginalized Identity. She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is pursuing a degree in photography at the Santa Fe Community College. Her approach to exploring gender and the body utilizes a personal photographic narrative: a silent dialog with the camera. The subject is the viewer’s perception of sexuality, emotion, cultural and social restraints. The visual language includes abstract elements, ordinary objects, fetish images and the human form. Nuance, innuendo, and symbolic constructions are all present and important.
Crystal Demientieff Worl is Raven moiety, Sockeye Clan, from the Raven House from the Chilkat region in Southeast Alaska. From her mother’s side, she is Deg Hit’an Athabascan from Fairbanks Alaska. She was introduced at a young age to her traditional arts, practices, and story telling. Today she is a senior in both Studio Arts and Moving Images at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Crystal works in jewelry metals, glass, and painting. The forms Crystal focuses on are based on traditional Tlingit form line (aka Northwest Coast Design.) Today at IAIA Crystal utilizes her education to apply new techniques and ways of presenting that have not been done before to traditional designs and stories. It is her responsibility to carry on her ancestral knowledge of creation and life through contemporary story and art and pass it down to the next generations.
Lauren Addario, AmeriCorps Cultural Technology Coordinator at New Mexico Highlands University
Michael Hoffer, Design Chair, School of Arts + Design Program Head, Sculpture, Ceramics Assistant Professor, Fine Woodworking Santa Fe Community College
Scott Marshall Anderson, Painting and Drawing Professor, University of New Mexico
André Ruesch, Chair of Arts, Professor of Photography, School of Arts + Design at Santa Fe Community College
Adrienne Salinger, Photography Professor, University of New Mexico
Linda Swanson, Chair of the Art Department, Santa Fe University of Art and Design
Charlene Teters, Chair of the Art Department, Institute of American Indian Arts
Mary Tsiongas, Associate Chair & Graduate Director, Associate Professor Electronic Arts, Art & Art History, University of New Mexico
Edward Walpin, Assistant Dean, St. Johns University