SITE Santa Fe is thrilled to announce our esteemed Billboard Project jury has selected three silver linings submissions to reproduce on SITE’s West-facing exterior wall in early 2021. Congratulations to our finalists, Eleanor Stevens, Christine Sullivan, and Bette Yozell!
Eleanor Stevens grew up in Santa Fe and moved back to town in 2017 to study dual language education at UNM. At the same time she was learning to teach, friends and neighbors encouraged her to pursue her passion for drawing. Since 2018, Eleanor has been developing a style of “comic journaling,” combining figures with dialogue to record her experiences and comment on the world around her.
Eleanor was teaching second grade with the Santa Fe Public Schools when the pandemic hit. Her students’ families are the people who staff restaurants, clean houses and hotels, and build new buildings in Santa Fe. Many of them lost their incomes in March, and some had to seek aid for the first time. Since the onset of the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, the amount of food provided monthly by the Food Depot has increased by 80 percent.
Even though Eleanor’s students’ families were facing stress and uncertainty, they spent countless hours learning how to connect their children to online classes and countless hours more helping them with their schoolwork. COVID taught Eleanor that these dedicated families are the children’s first and most important teachers.
Eleanor tries to keep her work simple and vulnerable. She draws in pen so she won’t be tempted to erase. If she wants to change an image, she cuts out the mistake or pastes new paper over it. Sometimes she draws on paper scraps: old notes from her grandma, pages from her teaching notebook, to-do-lists. To add color, she uses the colored pencils she’s had since middle school.
“‘This Is What Resilience In Santa Fe Looks Like’ is a portrait of Eleanor’s students and their families–and the community members who have supported them during these challenging times.” – Eleanor Stevens
Christine Sullivan is a graphic designer, teacher and mixed media artist based in Lamy, Santa Fe County, NM. Her design practice, Cstudio Design specializes in arts, social justice and community projects. Some of her graphic design clients include The Guggenheim Museum, The Dangerous Speech Project and The New York State Council on the Arts. Christine also taught at The City College of New York as an Electronic Design and Multimedia adjunct professor.
Christine is currently working on a series of collages, posters and felt “church banners” inspired by the current political climate. More of Christine Sullivan’s work may be viewed on her Instagram page: @cstudionyc
“The messages and images coming out of our daily newspapers are powerful sources that allow me to create and touch on the current sentiment of the public at large.
My other medium of choice, felt, takes me back to the banners that hung in my seventies catholic school church (complete with nuns who sang and played guitar). I remember mostly hating catholic school and don’t care for organized religion now but I received so much joy making those corny felt banners. Each one was an opportunity to express an idea conceptually. And a lot of them were even cool-looking— think album covers and love & peace. And Corita Kent!
Those banners are probably what influenced me most during these formative years as I wasn’t exposed to any real art then. They were so inspirational to me, it’s no surprise that I grew up to become a professional graphic designer, creating posters and other print pieces. Today I am greatly inspired by the clean, graphic and minimal work of artists like Corita Kent, Agness Martin and Bridget Riley.” – Christine Sullivan
Bette Yozell grew up on the north shore of Boston. She attended the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy, the Boston Museum School and has a BS in art education from Tufts University. While in Boston in the early 1970’s, Ms. Yozell taught figure drawing at the Boston Center for Adult Education and schools in the area, while maintaining a stained glass, painting and printmaking studio. In 1976, she moved to Copenhagen, Denmark where she established a similar studio and taught in the Danish Adult Education system. She exhibited extensively in Europe during her seven years there.
Her move back to the US was to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1983. She taught first at the College of Santa Fe and then at Santa Fe Prep School, where she was Chair of the Art Department and taught for 27 years. Retired from teaching in 2011, Ms. Yozell is now full time in her studio.
While Bette’s work has always derived inspiration from the human form, the transition from glass work to painting, printmaking, and most recently to papercuts, provided a certain linear context, exemplified by clean vibrant shapes.
“‘Santa Fe Dreamers Project provides free legal services to immigrants to promote economic empowerment, community development, family unity, and liberation from detention. Supporting immigrants makes our whole community stronger.’
I was inspired for this piece by the above mission statement and by the headlines about the deplorable mistreatment of people seeking asylum in this country.
My image is of a bouquet of struggling humans and vibrant flowers, tied together by barbed wire. The flowers are reminiscent of the colorful embroidery typical of the regions from which many are fleeing. The figures are energized with the will to break free from the constraints of the barbed wire. Their spirit is both desperate and almost joyful in the context of strength and unity.
Borders are relevant to this theme and my piece is bordered by geographic references to come of the troubled areas.
Since the beginning of the Covid crises, I have been making papercut compositions. I find that clean, precisely cut shapes provide a sense of control and calm in such a chaotic time.” – Bette Yozell