May Exhibitions | Harwood Art Center

May Exhibitions

Friday, May 04, 5:30pm

Artist Talks in the Galleries: Friday, May 4 @ 5:30pm
Opening Reception: Friday, May 4 from 6 - 8pm
Exhibitions Run: May 4 - 24, 2018


Natalie Voelker’s exhibition, Fortitude: Portraits of the Perseverant, is a collection of large-scale portrait paintings depicting the complexity of human experience through the lens of the intimate, personal, and specific. The subjects are possessors of fortitude – the courage to persevere when faced with pain or adversity. Painted on loose unstretched canvases, these life-size, full-body portraits imply ambiguous narratives; viewers are compelled to reconsider their first impressions. These works elevate the assumed mundane and invite viewers to look more deeply and compassionately at their fellow human beings.

Depicting local women – a friend’s mother, an intriguing woman seen on the evening news, acquaintances, and friends – Voelker’s paintings honor the fortitude of people around her. Without revealing the details of each subject’s story, these works allow the viewer to contemplate the meaning of fortitude and the circumstances under which it is ignored, acknowledged, or celebrated.


James Black draws digital caricatures, focusing on the people he sees daily in Albuquerque. His friends, family, and community. Random faces, memorable expressions, and unforgettable mugs. He is obsessed with creating a quick process for capturing likeness. The exhibition will feature prints of these caricatures, along with video loops of the recorded renderings.


Natalie Voelker
Natalie Voelker creates emotionally and psychologically engaging portraits of seemingly ordinary people. Having met and worked with people on 3 continents, she conceives of our human experience as both uniquely specific and shared via a visceral emotionality. Her work has been featured in multiple publications including the anthology, BARED, and the French-English magazine, VolUp. She has produced commissioned works for the Harwood Art Center, 508 Mural Festival, the City of Albuquerque, and various private collections. Her painting, Ethan Sleeping, was selected as the featured work for the state of New Mexico by, a national juried figurative art competition. In addition to her art practice, Natalie teaches workshops, ongoing classes, and individualized private art instruction. She has a BFA from the University of Wisconsin and currently works out of Albuquerque, NM.

“I use painting and drawing to investigate the human body as a physical form, a symbol, and the contact site of human experience. Often colorful and always expressive, my work embraces a lush aesthetic sensibility while at the same time unflinchingly acknowledging the dark and painful aspects of existence. I believe that to be beautiful, work must contain the full breadth of life - the dark as well as the light. Residing in the tension between representation and abstraction, my work reaches toward both physical reality and the subjective ephemeral. Through the physical process of creating, I find aspects of visceral truth. My works are the material result of an exploratory, process-oriented, approach to art-making. Presenting these to the viewer, I invite each viewer to participate in a shared recognition of our essential humanity.”  – Natalie Voelker

James Black
James Black graduated from UNM with a BFA in studio art in 2004 with concentration in printmaking, specifically working with Monotype relief prints, Intaglio etchings, and Serigraphy. James quickly adapted to the Serigraphy or Screen Printing process and began to work on a small studio to create prints. This small studio has grown into a larger artist collective with a strong interest in unique graphic design and production. James is an active community member, musician, local artist, teacher, and published illustrator. James has led many workshops and tutorials for local youth and community centers, including Amy Biel High School, Wells Park, ACE Leader Ship High, Harwood Art Center, and the Hispanic Cultural Center. James started the screen printing program at Albuquerque’s, Warehouse 508, is the head of 111 Media Collective, and leads the live screen printing event team T-Shirt Lab.

“I am Printmaker , Illustrator , Educator, and community member.
I see people.
Many times I will not forget their face until I have exaggerated it.
I had a dream once that I drew all of my friends.
I decided to keep dreaming that dream again and again.” 
– James Black

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Former Director of Harwood

When I started the building was primarily a studio center for artists with very little public programming. The only staff members were the Building Manager Marshall Kovitz and me, and we were both part-time. I worked to expand the reach of Harwood through lots more exhibitions, classes and events, and the Harwood Summer Arts Camp. I focused on community involvement and marketing, which transformed Harwood from a mostly quiet studio center into a public venue that was always buzzing with activity.

I am grateful to the Harwood for launching my career in arts administration over 20 years ago and for serving as the umbrella for 516 ARTS in our first year.

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