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The Harwood Museum of Art

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January 25, 2013

SPIRIT OF NORTHERN NEW MEXICO CELEBRATED AT THE HARWOOD MUSEUM OF ART



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 25, 2013

SPIRIT OF NORTHERN NEW MEXICO CELEBRATED AT THE HARWOOD MUSEUM OF ART

Taos, N.M. -Red Willow: Portraits of a Town, Eah-Ha-Wa (Eva Mirabal) and Jonathan Warm Day Coming and Eli Levin: Social Realism and The Harwood Suite open at the Harwood Museum of Art Saturday, February 9 and will remain on view through Sunday, May 5, 2013. The exhibitions tell the stories of some of Northern New Mexico's most interesting people.

"We stagger the exhibitions at the Harwood in a pendulum type fashion-from Red Willow: Portraits of a Town which is home grown and local-to international and unexpected," says Harwood Museum of Art Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Jina Brenneman. "This spring, it's all about Northern New Mexico. Our permanent collection has a strong representation of traditional portraiture-many of which have not been out of storage. There are also some magnificent examples in local collections - and we have many generous lenders in this community. Each portrait in the exhibition is a narrative waiting to be told - both subject and artist are often important historic figures."

Red Willow: Portraits of a Town in the Mandelman-Ribak Gallery presents portraits of the many compelling historic and contemporary members of the Taos community. Artists from around the world have visited Taos to capture the iconic and exotic faces of the people. Portraits include both the native Tiwa people from the Taos Pueblo and the Hispanic and Anglo populations that now form the majority of Taos' population. Taken together, these three groups have made Taos a tri-cultural and tri-lingual community.

"With Red Willow: Portraits of a Town, we celebrate the heart of Northern New Mexico and the region's tri-cultures, "says Brenneman. "The material for portraiture was, and is, plentiful. ‘The Man in a Green Hat: Portrait of Raymond De Puy' by Leslie Brown is like much of the work in the exhibition because of the story the portrait tells. I want to stand in front of a painting and be able to story tell with my own imagination-this piece elicits the best of your imagination."

Eah-Ha-Wa (Eva Mirabal) and Jonathan Warm Day Coming in the Peter and Madeleine Martin Gallery explores the work of Taos Pueblo artists Eah-Ha-Wa (Eva Mirabal), one of the first American female cartoonists and a renowned muralist, and her son, the celebrated artist, storyteller and writer Jonathan Warm Day Coming.

"We are fortunate to be able to do very grassroots driven ‘research exhibitions' such as Eah-Ha-Wa (Eva Mirabal) and Jonathan Warm Day Coming, planting the seed for what we hope becomes a subject for a larger museum exhibition," states Brenneman. "This exhibition is an example of this, and it also ties closely to the efforts we are making to exhibit local and regional treasures during this time of the year."

The telling of stories through storyboards and the expression of cultural history through pictures were central to Eah-Ha-Wa's style. Her murals would serve the same ends as her cartoons. Eah-Ha-Wa's mural work began as early as the late 1930s. Eah-Ha-Wa received instruction in working on large murals at the Santa Fe Indian School, often working with political themes, and became a sought-after muralist. Eah-Ha-Wa's art tradition is being carried on by her son Jonathan Warm Day Coming, a Taos Pueblo artist, storyteller and writer. Jonathan Warm Day Coming is considered a deeply influential voice for his family's homeland, the Taos Pueblo. He is primarily known for his colorful acrylic paintings, which provide a visual narrative of the daily experiences and spiritual life drawn from his many childhood memories. Currently Warm Day Coming is devoting part of his time to researching and gathering a collection of his mother's artwork, holding true to the Pueblo's religious and cultural traditions, and looking forward to the completion of his first novel.

Eli Levin: Social Realism and the Harwood Suite in the George E. Foster, Jr. Gallery of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs focuses on some of the iconic, dramatic illustrations that Levin created to depict Northern New Mexico. Eli Levin was born in 1938 to Meyer Levin, the well-known author, and Mabel Schamp, scientist and dedicated communist. He was raised in New York in an intellectual milieu, went to Music and Arts High School, and was influenced by the artistic movements of Social Realism and Regionalism. He studied with several politically leftist realist painters, including Raphael Soyer and George Grosz.

The Mandelman-Ribak Foundation Oral History Project in the Caroline Lee and Bob Ellis Gallery originated in 1999 as a collaboration with Douglas Dreishpoon, Chief Curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. The project's initial concept called for a series of videotaped interviews with individuals who had been associated with the Taos Moderns, a group of artists living in Taos during the 1940s and 1950s that included Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak. As the Oral History Project evolved, the objective for the interviews broadened to encompass subsequent generations, including the influx of artists and writers who came to Taos in the 1960s and 1970s, and others who have contributed to the culture and arts in Taos. The project has recorded 44 interviews, all of which have been transcribed. For this installation, selected videotaped interviews will be looped on three flat screens. Interviewees include Larry Bell, Malcolm Brown, Ron Cooper, John DePuy, Ted Egri, Rosa Ellis Clark, Dennis Hopper, Paul O'Connor, Robert Ray, Mildred Tolbert, Jenny Vincent, and Jim Wagner.

Curator's Wall: Deborah Rael-Buckley The Curator's Wall is reserved for imagination and the creative process. Deborah Rael-Buckley has responded to this challenge by creating an installation based on the dimensions of this wall, keeping in mind the impact on the viewer. "Deborah took this challenge to new ‘heights' utilizing the space with individual sculptures that span the length and height of the wall," states Jina Brenneman. "The pieces combine to create an individual work of art."

Joyce and Sherman Scott Gallery: Taos Clay: Hank Saxe
Hank Saxe has been a dominant figure in the Taos clay scene - having provided the means and technique for a better part of the anagama advent, an enigmatic process of clay that stems from a blend of wood kiln firing with erratic color and intricate texture compositions. Saxe is known for public art, primarily ceramic work that he produces for architecture.

New Acquisition Installation John DePuy
When John DePuy first moved to Taos, still under the influence of his teacher, Hans Hofmann, his painting was entirely abstract. Over time Hofmann's influence receded, but his advice to paint from nature remained. For DePuy, the influence of New Mexico on his art was "mainly the land" and the inspiration provided by Taos Pueblo Indians' connection with that land.

OPENING RECEPTION INFORMATION
Alliance Members' Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 5-7 p.m.
Director's Circles Preview: Friday, February 8, 4-5 p.m.

Hours
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m; Sunday, 12 - 5 p.m.
General Admission
$10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and students; Free to children age 12 and under, members of the Harwood Museum Alliance, University of New Mexico students and staff, and Taos County residents on Sundays. $25 Museum Association of Taos ticket is available for admission to the Harwood Museum of Art, the Taos Art Museum, the Millicent Rogers Museum, the Blumenschein Home and Museum, and La Hacienda de los Martinez.

Where: The Harwood Museum of Art , 238 Ledoux Street, Taos, NM

Info: 575-758-9826, www.harwoodmuseum.org

Contact:
Jennifer Marshall
505-231-1776
jennifer@jmarshallplan.com
www.jmarshallplan.com