Image: Proposal for an adobe sculpture titled Solstice, made with local soils and seeds by Ruben Olguin (Pueblo Spanish ancestry)

For Immediate Release

Where There Is No Name For Art, Ogha Po'oge (White Shell, Water Place)

Submergence Collective

Leah Mata Fragua

Bill Gilbert

Ian Kualiʻi

Ruben Olguin

Carol Padberg

Opening Reception, 17 August

Saturday from Noon till 4pm MDT

with musical performance by Laura Ortman

Randall Davey Audubon Center, 1800 Upper Canyon Road, Santa Fe

(Santa Fe, NM) ecoartspace and Randall Davey Audubon Center present an outdoor site-works exhibition, sponsored by The City of Santa Fe, Department of Arts & Culture.

Where There is No Name for Art, Ogha Po’oge (White Shell, Water Place), includes six artists and a collaborative working with natural materials, making ephemeral site-works that will gradually return to the land. Honoring the history of the site at Santa Fe’s Audubon Center, the homelands of the Tewa people and Apache, this “non-art” is centered on the more-than-human world, thoughtfully engaging in the land.

Lucy Lippard, writer and art critic, brought to our attention in the early 1970s that art was becoming more of an idea than an object. She created a bibliography of works by 90 artists who were more concerned with process than object making—what she referred to as the dematerialization of art, which began in the late 1960s. At the time, contemporary Earth Art was in its early stages and was often linked with prehistoric Native American mound builders. Since then, this movement of art-in-nature has taken many forms, including Land Art, Ecological Art and Eco-Art, with an increasing consciousness of our interdependence with the natural world.

As Indigenous peoples have known for thousands of years, our human relationship with nature can only be that of kinship. In the children's book titled Where There is No Name for Art: The Art of Tewa Pueblo Children (Hucko, 1996), he learned in the Tewa language, there is no name for art; that creative ceremonial making is an integral part of daily life that honors the earth and the spirit world, and was historically made with natural materials. The artist's site-works at Audubon will embrace this integration of aesthetics and ecology while honoring the past, present, and future caretakers of the Santa Fe River Watershed.

Collective and Artists

Submergence Collective (Kaitlin Bryson and Mariko Oyama Thomas) will perform an emplaced durational funerary ritual as part of their larger Piñon Project, which contends with the piñon’s extinction due to climate change and the co-extinction of their vital mycorrhizal fungal partner, Geopora pinyonensis. Centered on plant anachronisms, this performance reflects tendrils of care, grief, loss, birth and endurance, and asks how we humans might create new rituals as epitaphs for the loss of species we love, respect and cherish.

Leah Mata Fragua (Northern Chumash, resident of Jemez Pueblo) will create an installation titled Art of Dissolution: Paper, Plant, and Pigment that encapsulates the symbiotic relationship between art and the environment through handmade paper flags. The work will embody the principles of sustainability and environmental consciousness, creating a visually arresting narrative that celebrates nature's diversity and vibrancy.

Bill Gilbert will collaborate with Ruben Olguin on a land restoration project titled Seeds to Stars | Stars to Seeds that will embody a response to the Tewa/ Tano origin story of the cosmos in which a runner was charged with delivering a sack of seeds. Along his way he got curious and decided to stop and look in the sack. When the sack opened all the seeds spilled out and spread into the sky filling the heavens with countless stars.

Ian Kualiʻi (Kanaka Maoli Hawaiian and Mescalero Apache ancestry) will create a site-specific land art installation made with organic materials that incorporates aspects of Native Hawaiian traditional water pattern symbolism and Mo’o Serpent Deities; similar to Avanyu, the ancient Tewa Pueblo Serpent, guardian of water. Both honor freshwater and the protection of it.

Ruben Olguin (Pueblo Spanish ancestry) will create an adobe sculpture titled Solstice that presents the cardinal directions of the Four Sacred Mountains of Tewa culture and the spreading of stars in the sky as seeds in the wind. Fired micaceous clay "seed pots" and seeds will be placed within the adobe bricks to ensure that they will be distributed over time as the sculpture slowly erodes. With each rain, blow of the wind, and winter frost, the weathering away will reveal layers of color, seeds, and stone.

Carol Padberg will create a site-work titled Compass Rose that includes clay beads made from local clays, strung together to echo the tubular shape of wood branches from dead trees on the ground. Geometric patterns, words and imagery on the beads suggest an overlay of earth’s creature cultures including various human cultures enmeshed with this site; past, present and future beings. Loosely strung together, the handmade beads with fiber yarns and cordage explore deep time, cyclical time, interspecies connections, death and rebirth.

With musical performance by Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) who recently played for Jeffrey Gibson’s opening event at the US Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Italy. Ortman is a soloist musician and composer born in White River, Arizona, and is versed in Apache violin. She has performed her “sculpted sounds” at SITE: Santa Fe, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Ortman is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Brochure with essays by Dr. Lara Evans (Cherokee ancestry) and Patricia Watts is forthcoming in 2025, including documentation of the installations.

Program Schedule

Opening Reception: August 17 from Noon till 4pm, including natural mineral and botanical pigments workshop display by ecoartspace members

Performance: Laura Ortman at the David J Henderson Pavilion, August 17 at TBA

Durational Piñon Performance by the Submergence Collective, August 17 at Noon to 4pm

Making Circle: Earth and Fiber with Carol Padberg (cordage and clay bead making), August 17 at TBA, donations welcome

Workshop: Papermaking and Natural Dye with Leah Mata Fragua, September 21 at 11am. $75 per person, scholarship available. 10 participants max. RSVP

About Randall Davey Audubon Center: The Center encompasses 135 acres of incredible landscapes and wildlife. Bounded by thousands of acres of National Forest and Santa Fe River Watershed land, the Center provides a peaceful sanctuary for native plants, a variety of local wildlife and our visitors. Ranging from common to rare, approximately 190 species of birds can be found in or over the various ecosystems. Conservation goals include the engagement of the local community to ensure continued stewardship for the benefit of bird species; improving the function, ecological health and viability of western rivers, including the Santa Fe River; and creating bird-friendly communities to address threats facing critical avian species through outreach programs at the Center and other areas.

ecoartspace, LLC

Mailing address: PO Box 5211 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software