Artist Talk: Friday, January 11 at 5:30pm Opening Reception: Friday, January 11 from 6 – 8pm Exhibition Runs: January 7 – 24, 2019
Rachel Rivera and Lea Anderson’s exhibition, Dark Lush, embodies the idea of embracing growth and the ability to flourish in the face of darkness and personal turmoil. Rivera’s intricate large-scale figurative graphite drawings are inspired by her experiences navigating grief and single-motherhood. Her figures are burdened by large masses obstructing their face or limbs, yet remain they poised and calm, as if to accept their challenges and keep moving forward. Lea’s installation “Fallout Flowers” is indicative of tenacity and survival. Her paper sculptures are gorgeously crafted and incredibly dark. Up close, the beautiful details and complexities of her work are revealed. Intricate black on black patterns, exquisite shadows and a subtle colorful glow emanate from behind each flower. This work does not reflect the cliché ideas of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, but rather the more pragmatic optimism of resilience, peace and strength in the face of adversity. Rachel Rivera and Lea Anderson have common themes and inspiration behind their artwork, ranging from personal loss to resilience and vitality. Also, their mark-making is remarkably similar in its intricate lines, tiny circles and organic quality, despite having a very different approach and overall artistic vision (Anderson’s work is colorful, abstract and sculptural. Rivera’s work is monochromatic, figurative and 2D) “Dark Lush” highlights how both artists pieces work together and speak in a similar voice.  

About the Artists

Lea Anderson, a San Diego native, has lived and worked in the New Mexico art community since 2003. She has exhibited throughout New Mexico and the United States, as well as internationally in Bangkok, Thailand in 2010. She recently created MERIDIAE, a monumental installation piece for the Atrium windows of the Albuquerque Museum as their 2015 Summer Artist-in-Residence. In 2017 Anderson completed artist’s Residencies at Bullseye Glass in Santa Fe and at the Vermont Studio Center. “My art is like a visual seed that is planted in the observer’s eye, taking root in his/her mind. This generative process is guided by what I consider to be a living, formal language that is given substance by the anamorphic forms I create. The pieces exhibit organic or biological characteristics. The forms expand and pulse with life seeming to mutate and spread. Encapsulated within are textures and patterns: elements that comprise an inner language.” – Lea Anderson Rachel Rivera grew up in Albuquerque, NM. She curated and produced multiple exhibitions for the experimental arts organization High Mayhem in Santa Fe. Her artwork has been shown in several notable galleries and art centers throughout New Mexico. For over a decade, she honed her skills as a high-end frame maker. She restored antique originals and created period replications for museums, galleries and collectors throughout the country. She lives and works in Albuquerque. “I use art as a means for meditation, often repeating a mark or pattern such as scales, feathers, hair etc. I start with a figure and build hundreds of rows of texture with my marks, like coils of a pot, where the figures head should be. The result looks heavy, awkward and suffocating. Collectively, these marks represent my personal struggle: the very burden that I am able to relieve by meditating and creating art.” – Rachel Rivera