Raven Series: Ravens appear as tricksters and storytellers in many Native American cultures. They have also inhabited Chaco Canyon and the surrounding area for hundreds of years, laughing and playing in the sunlight. These constructed ravens are made from random abstract prints, first deconstructed, and then reconstructed by sewing the pieces together with silk thread. The finished ravens are meant to represent the individuality of the birds I saw in flight in the canyon.
Dance Wand Series: Artifacts made of fabric, fibers, feathers, and wood are rare finds as they deteriorate quickly in archaeological contexts. Miraculously there are a number of wooden objects preserved in the Maxwell Museum’s collection. One of these oval shaped pieces was painted with mineral paint and had a handle underneath. I imagine it as something of ceremonial use, so I am calling it a dance wand. This object inspired a variable edition of four prints with silver leaf featuring reinterpreted patterns from its surface.
Sherd Series: Lithics and sherds fill space in museum collections, measured by pounds and cubic feet. They are remnants of a different time. I have often marveled at the fragments, and try to imagine under what circumstances they were made, who made them, and how the whole vessel came to be in pieces. The sherds become pieces of abstract art, painted by someone whose patience, skill, and energy still resonate.
Light Echo Series: The Light Echo series consists of three gold-leafed paintings. The cosmological significance of Chaco Canyon primarily inspired these paintings. Similarly to my previous tapestry work, I continue to layer color but in a new medium. I see these paintings as visual echoes of what has gone before, the reappearance of ancient light.
Architectural work is still one of my special interests as I get to work with teams of people on large-scale projects in a variety of materials. Each client and project is unique and involves engineering and structural design that is not part of my normal studio art making. There are different challenges to be solved and the end products have a different kind of permanence and signature.
Over 30 years ago I opened my studio weaving tapestries. This continued through 2009 when I began exploring other media. I wove tapestries that were based in traditional Native American aesthetics as well as my own contemporary design explorations. My studio also wove select tapestries for contemporary artist Kenneth Noland, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright (for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation). The expression of woven elements, fabric, and layered color now continues in other media.
In addition to my artwork I have designed products for the Smithsonian Mail Order Catalogue, Pendleton Blankets for Dewey Trading, and specialty accessories for museum shops.
As an extension of my art and design work I have been designing a line of homewares and accessories. The Rain and Sun silk scarf will be available in an upcoming Smithsonian Institute catalog.
The Chaco Mug was available at Tai Modern gallery in Santa Fe from August 11 to September 23, 2017. SOLD OUT!
I have always been infatuated with the contours and decorations of ceramic vessels from Chaco. I have dreamed for some time of making things that are both artful and useful, and my participation in the Chaco Heritage project through the Maxwell Museum inspired me to make the Chaco mug. Look for another original Chaco-inspired, limited edition piece coming next year.