January Exhibitions | Harwood Art Center

January Exhibitions

Friday, January 05, 6:00pm

Opening Reception: Friday, January 5, 6 - 8pm
Exhibition Dates: January 5 - 25, 2018

WHEN LIFE BECOMES FLORAL: ZAHRA MARWAN
Zahra Marwan creates artwork based on stories and imagery found in her immediate environment. The works in When Life Becomes Floral reflect Marwan’s recent loss of her father and the devastation she felt afterwards. While all the foliage around her was beginning to bloom, she found herself asking the question, “How can I feel so much pain and life be so beautiful?” Her work illustrates her value of lightheartedness, her humor and her ability to find optimism in face of adversity. {main gallery}

PATH THROUGH THE FOREST: BILL SKRIPS
Using a combination of carved and painted wooden forms, aged metal, found objects and various bits, Bill Skrips seeks to convey narrative in his sculptural work. At times literal and sometimes abstract, the “stories” the artwork tells can come across as apparent or obscure. Influenced by outsider and folk art, Skrips strives for a union between the humorous and the dark, which reflects his personal view of the world. The work rarely edifies or draws conclusions: He prefers to pose the questions and stand back. {front gallery}

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

BILL SKRIPS
Raised in the wilds of blue-collar New Jersey, Bill attended art school in NYC, then moving there for the art scene. He spent 27 years in NYC, eventually finding urban life overwhelming. He left Soho, returned to NJ and began to work with found materials (influenced by his father, who saved everything), combining these bits and pieces with painting, carving and welding. He married, bought a home and settled into domestic life. He began showing work nationally. He won a state fellowship, which temporarily freed him from part-time jobs. Selling work from both studio and gallery also helped with finances. A divorce, his parents’ passing and a milestone birthday prompted a move west to New Mexico with his then-friend, now wife, Laura. These days, he work out of a storefront in Cerrillos. For Bill, the effort spent making art is like breathing rather than a chore–not always pure joy, but never far from it.

www.billskrips.com

Bill’s reflections on the exhibition:  

“Using a combination of carved and painted wooden forms, aged metal, found objects and various bits, I seek narrative in my sculptural work. At times literal and sometimes abstract, the “stories” the artwork tells can come across as apparent or obscure. Influenced by outsider and folk art, I strive for a union between the humorous and the dark, which reflects my personal view of the world. The work rarely edifies or draws conclusions: I prefer to pose the questions and stand back. The resulting playfulness of this approach is balanced by the grittiness of my materials.

The gratification of transforming, mixing and mingling found materials into my work feels like I’m making good on some old promise or spiritual debt. The found elements and fragments, with their soiled qualities, imperfections and unknowable history, help to drive the work.

At times it seems like I’m channeling a character straight out of Dickens, a rag-picker, choosing up the broken down and the tattered, looking for a good fit….” – Bill Skrips

ZAHRA MARWAN
Zahra grew up in two deserts which vary drastically and have many similarities in culture. One close to the sea, the other close to the mountains. She studied the visual arts in France, and continues various pursuits to further educate herself. She currently lives in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and works in her studio at the Harwood Art Center, where she incorporates Kuwaiti tendencies into her daily life.

Zahra’s reflections on the exhibition:
“I create my work based on stories and imagery from whichever environment I find myself in. I grew up valuing being lighthearted, full of humor, and finding optimism in face of adversity.

Last Spring, I lost my father. It is my first experience dealing with the death of someone I love so much. When I returned from his burial and funeral, I was devastated. The foliage in Albuquerque was beginning to bloom, and the city changing with the season. A question I kept asking myself was “how can I feel so much pain and life be so beautiful?”

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HARWOOD STORIES

Karen Mazur
Karen Mazur

Current Harwood Artist


I have been a Harwood Artist since 2001. Four different spaces, four different lifetimes and across media. Sometimes my studio has been a graphic arts workshop, sometimes a painting studio, sometimes a production pottery shop, but being here is always wonderful. From late nights preparing materials for art students to mornings doing pre-natal yoga while I waited for the older child to be done with his work at Escuela del Sol, it is wonderful to reflect on all the art adventures I’ve had over the years at Harwood. The very first night I lived in Albuquerque was spent at a film program at Harwood and from that moment I knew this was an organization I wanted to be involved with. That was 17 years ago and the dream of that first night has blossomed into a reality and a community of which I am proud to be a part!

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