The UNM-Taos Art Department Rag

The UNM-Taos Art Department Rag


The UNM-Taos Art Department Rag

Hello UNM-Taos Community,

Fall semester has started and everyone has been working hard. We have some serious Art Stars here at UNM-Taos and we are thrilled to share their latest achievements with you. We look forward to seeing you around the Art Department! Come by to check out the Found Wood Sculptures, and prepare to be impressed!

Sarah Stolar, Art Dept. Chair

UNM-Taos Arts Students Take the Art World by Storm!

Guess who won the Taos Glam Trash Grand Prize?

“In Dragon Skin” (Materials: scoby leather, discarded innertubes and tent, broken baby gate, skin of a paint tray) 
Photo credit: Judy Pearson and Daniel Smith 


Congratulations to Natalina!

Here’s a short clip of the 2018 Taos Glam Trash show. About half way into the video you will find Natalina show off her dragon wings! Afterwards, Natalina is immediately followed by her beautiful “fairy” daughter. 

But thats not the only show she featured in! Check out this video clip of Natalina’s work on the RD Runway in Albuquerque. -> “This powerful 9 look collection diverted hundreds of pounds of waste from the landfill by transforming inner tubes of all shapes and sizes…

Enough’s enough and we’re going to strut our stuff and we’re going to make the world a cleaner place while we’re doing it” – Natalina

UNM-Taos Art Students at ArtPrize!
ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days every other fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More than five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts. Any artist working in any medium from anywhere in the world can participate. Art is exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids—museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto body shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces. ArtPrize is free and open to the public and now attracts over 500,000 visitors. ArtPrize is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
ArtPrize will take place from September 19 — October 7, 2018.
The UNM-Taos Art Department is thrilled to announce that two of our current and former students, Nikesha Breeze and Kimberly Walker, are exhibiting at ArtPrize this year! Read about their work below and learn how to vote for them here

108 Death Masks:
A Communal for Peace and Justice 

by Nikesha Breeze @nikeshabreeze

To ArtPrize Vote for Nikesha Breeze CLICK HERE

The number, 108, is considered sacred in many cultures and religious teachings. The artist individually hand-carved 108 death masks as an act of prayer for her ancestors, whose lives and stories were lost to systemic racism, each face was sculpted from leather hard and beaten clay slabs, as a prayer for those who suffered and still suffer from violent oppression. From colonization and forced migration, to slavery and lynching, to the current state of police brutality and mass incarceration, black, brown and indigenous bodies have been the targets of the largest war on a people this planet has ever known. These death masks, become portals into the shared wound and the continued resilience that lives and breathes in people of color today.

This installation invites viewers to look directly at each of the 108 faces, to stand literally “face to face” with the reality of black death, and to allow for a moment of silence, breath, compassion and human connection. As viewers participate, they join in the communal prayer to end systematic racist violence targeting communities of color worldwide.

From intention into action, each mask is offered for sale at ArtPrize 10 as well as online as a way to continue the prayer outward into larger circles and the greater community. The purchase price of each mask is 100% tax-deductible. And for each sale 3 separate donations of $108 will be given to select organizations powered by communities of color, working for social and systematic change.

Pictured above is Nikesha’s Installation Artwork in progress

Locked and Loaded

by Kimberly Walker @kimberlywalker
Kimberly Walker is a former UNM-Taos art student who transferred to
the Art Academy of Cincinnati with a $55,000 scholarship.

Kimberly is the WINNER of the ARTPrize Pitch Night Grant, 
a competitive grant that awarded her $5000 to construct her installation.
Read more about the grant process here –

To ArtPrize Vote for Kimberly Walker CLICK HERE!

I am a 17-year retired, active duty Army Combat Veteran who is now claiming my voice as an artist; my work is focused on sexual assault in the military. During my research, I discovered that one out of three women who join the US military will be sexually assaulted or raped. Even more alarming are the deaths of women Soldiers in combat following their rape. The military has characterized each of these incidents as sexual assault followed by “death from non-combat related incident” with the subsequent addition of “suicide.” Specific US Army units and certain US military bases in the Middle East have an inordinate number of women Soldiers who have had their deaths classified as such. The families of the women whom the military has declared to have committed suicide strongly dispute the findings and call for further investigations into the deaths of their daughters.
It is my duty as an artist, Veteran, and U.S. citizen to inform the people of the United States about military women that are abused by their brothers-in-arms. Though my extensive research, which dates back to as early as 2001, I have discovered 46 cases that were swept under the rug. With the proliferation of #metoo and #sayhername, now is the time to talk about military sexual assault. I am using my life-experience as a Soldier and my artwork to draw attention to these findings.
Lock and Loaded is an installation artwork of 46 military-issue duffle bags. These 46 duffle bags are mounted on wooden pallets and stacked to form a wall — a symbolic wall that draws a line between the military and civilians. The bags are supported by an internal structure of rebar and concrete for stability. They are stuffed with recyclable garbage as a hallmark that these women were treated as such — like trash. On the bottom of each bag the woman’s name and rank are stenciled, in essence creating a conceptual portrait of each woman. The top of the bags are padlocked referencing permanence and secrecy. A 2×2’ block of cement with 46 keys imbedded into its surface sits beside the duffle bag wall communicating that these women are gone and cannot return; their duffle bag “coffins” can never be opened.

Pictured is Kimberly’s Installation Artwork in progress


Exhibiting Artists

Two of Alma Quillian‘s (Dual-Credit Instructor and Ceramics student) pieces were accepted into the juried show, “Resonations In Clay-Life on the Bosque,”  sponsored by NM Potters and Clay Artist. The show ran July 7th-September 30th and was held at Albuquerque’s beautiful Open Space Visitor’s Center. Alma,shown here with her sister, Shannon, won an honorable mention for her raku fired piece entitled “Sandhill Crane- Ragged Plate series #1.”

Fiber Artist Jana Greiner features in FIBER MANIA II

13 Artists feature art at:

218A Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos, NM 87571

The show is up until October 31, 2018

The two pieces in the Fiber Show are the abstract response to my “Drill Thrills”
project from Art Practices II. The black one is titled ‘Pressure’ which is a hand touched chiffon fabric. The pink Satin one is titled ‘Willing,’ it also includes some hand-made texture. Both pieces are about form and texture.

– Jana Greiner


Come support all of the UNM-Taos Art Department’s amazing Printmakers! Also, notice the FREE Print Making Workshop on Saturday September 22, 11am-4pm

Recently Past Exhibitions

El Prado Barn“, oil on canvas by Dwarka Bonner
Dwarka Bonner was recently featured at Magpie!

Sometimes I suspect that every view has the potential to be painted wonderfully, that any composition can be brought into harmony through the resolution of more or less detail on different parts of the canvas and through the play of materials themselves
– Dwarka Bonner

Pictured above is Artwork by Merle Derse
Raku Show
Over the Summer semester, Lee Akins and his Raku students presented work at Vagrant Heart! The show was well attended and many students sold work. Raku is a unique Japanese firing process that result in cracked metallic finishes. 

As a personal tribute to Jose’ Guadalupe Posada, I have created my own calaveras in the form of mask making. With the process of Raku firing, I can achieve the contrast, color and depth to enhance the personality and character of each mask.
– Merle Derse, Masker and Potter

Anything exciting happening in your art world?
Let us know!

Follow the Art Department on social media!



Thank you for reading! Stay creative!

Copyright © University of New Mexico-Taos

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