RezArtX preview rolls out welcome mat for indigenous art experience
An upbeat “Fun-raising” preview party held last Friday night at a downtown hotspot gave a great taste of what’s to come during this year’s Rezilience Indigenous Arts Experience (RezArtX), April 29-30.
There was music, dancing, paintings in the making by well-known native artists, fashions, poetry, and some of the best brew in town.
As reggae-rock band Innostate set up, DJ Way Fonkey, Jemez, warmed up the cozy interior of the DUEL Brewery with drum-rocking sounds.
Throughout the creative mix, RezArtX executive director Warren Montoya, Santa Ana/Santa Clara, said the events both the preview and upcoming ones, are all about having a good time with family and friends, new and old.
“That’s why we called it a Fun-raiser,” quipped Montoya referring to Friday’s preview.
Showcasing some of the RezArtX experiences to come, several artists were busy at work creating on-the-spot paintings and original designs for an art auction that would be held later that night.
With his paint brush hitting the canvas in tune to the music, a dramatic face of a great, red wolf emerged in a work by Patrick Burnham, Diné/Hopi, a painter, musician, and dancer, whose known in the art world as CloudFace.
Set up next to CloudFace, Vanessa Bowen, Diné, brought to life a strong indigenous woman through geometric dimensions.
“I want her to be powerful, breathtaking – enough to stop you in your tracks,” she said as she turned her attention back to the canvas she was working on.
Nearby, renowned Laguna potter Josephine Seymour demonstrated her more contemporary work called Wearable Art.
Leaning back in her chair, a light illuminated a delicate figure of a lizard Seymour was painting on a brand new Converse tennis shoe.
Across from her, a striking black and white image of a native elder from the 1920s surfaced as George Alexander, Muscogee Creek, added finishing touches.
And then, a haunting depiction of Chaco Canyon by Joseph Stacey, Hopi/Laguna, sent out an enticing message that Mother Earth is calling out to all of us to protect her.
“It’s to get people thinking of what’s going on at Chaco Canyon,” said Stacey referring to federal efforts to expand mineral drilling in the area.