Exhibition Runs: June 14 – July 27, 2023
Exhibition Reception & Artist Talks: Saturday, June 24, 2023 5-7p, artist talks starting at 5:30p

Public Gallery Hours

Galleries are accessible to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-3pm

About Surface

SURFACE: Emerging Artists of New Mexico is dedicated to cultivating the creative and professional growth of artistic talents and to expanding their visibility and viability in our community. Each year Harwood Art Center invites emerging artists from around New Mexico to submit works for consideration in SURFACE.

SURFACE artists are eligible for four named awards and a solo gallery exhibition award, and all receive a special honorarium for their participation. SURFACE is open to individuals working in any media and from diverse creative fields, including drawing, painting, printmaking, jewelry making, fashion, design, architecture, digital media, etc. We encourage submission of new and / or experimental works. Harwood takes a broad approach to “emerging artist,” and applicants are asked to self-identify with this description. Applicants must be currently living, working and/or studying in New Mexico.

SURFACE enjoys a seven-week exhibition in Harwood Art Center’s Hall Gallery throughout June and July.

SURFACE artists also participate in a private day-long professional development workshop. Workshop sessions are led by professional artists, gallerists, public relations / communications specialists and local media, and focus on refining artist statements / written materials, developing a web and communications presence, audience and collector cultivation, as well as an exhibition walkthrough with feedback on each artists’ work.

Surface Awards

In addition to receiving the SURFACE: Emerging Artists of NM award and honoriam, artists juried into the exhibition are eligible to win additional endowed cash awards. Award Winners will be announced at the Exhibition Reception.

Reggie Gammon Award 

Since 2011, Harwood has honored the memory of painter, printmaker, and longtime member of our creative community, Reggie Gammon, by recognizing and presenting an endowed award in his name to a New Mexico-based emerging artist of exemplary caliber, character and dedication. 

This year’s Reggie Gammon Award winner is Monika Guerra.

Marion & Kathryn Crissey Award

The Marion & Kathryn Crissey Award was established and endowed to support the endeavors of emerging artists who demonstrate a commitment to their artwork, their on-going education, and the community in which they live. 

This year’s Marion & Kathryn Crissey Award winner is Petra Brown.

Meghan Ferguson Mráz Award      

The Meghan Ferguson Mráz Award celebrates an emerging artist based in New Mexico who explores themes of personal and social significance, exhibits noteworthy care for and skill in their craft, and invites reflection on connection, compassion, and gratitude. 

This year’s Meghan Ferguson Mráz Award winner is Louie Perea.

Valerie Roybal Award

The Valerie Roybal Award recognizes an emerging artist based in New Mexico who – with Valerie’s spirit of curiosity and courage – channels identity, circumstance, and experience into creative practice, generating work that considers transfiguration, metamorphosis, or transmutation. 

This year’s Valerie Roybal Award winner is Levithan O’Neil.

Harwood Solo Exhibition Award            

The Harwood Solo Exhibition Award is presented annually for artistic excellence, originality of vision, and dedication to practice, and culminates with a show concurrent to SURFACE in the following year. 

We are proud to present the SURFACE Solo Exhibition Award to Zuyva Sevilla.

SURFACE: Emerging Artists of New Mexico 

Carrie Botto

Artist Statement

“Working with paper allows me to create in a way I never have tried before…..creating vessels that in my mind depict ocean creators, or weaving a forest with paper on rock brings me so much joy.. and as always baskets… they are my fall back when I need to relax…” – Carrie Botto

About Carrie

Carrie Botto grew up always having something to keep her busy in hand. Being able to express herself in a number of mediums keeps her mind clear.


Petra Brown

Artist Statement

Petra’s multi-media practice is a coalescence of introspection and influences of craft traditions, with her primary medium being textiles. Petra is empowered by fiber arts, creating them is a reclamation of femininity and ancestral tradition on her own terms. Textiles allow her to be resourceful and self-sufficient, repurposing used and natural materials to create something utilitarian, allowing her to avoid reliance upon commercialism and fast fashion. As of late, Petra’s greatest inspirations have been the effervescent concepts of memory. Recently investigating her artistic linage has led to discovering textiles as memory keepers and story tellers. She is experimenting with ways to tell a story, letting texture, color, and imbued intention express emotion and recollection. Petra also draws from daily observations, from watching shadows dance across seats on a moving train, to universal emotions such as loss and repression, she lets lines and threads express what she cannot in words.

About Petra

Petra grew up along the Great Lakes. Fields, forests, and rivers filled her childhood and fed her imagination. She comes from a family of artists where creativity was seamlessly incorporated into daily life. A rural upbringing also instilled an insatiable hunger for what is beyond small-town America and encourages Petra to discover alternative realities. This has led her to pursue opportunities such as an internship with a fairtrade clothing company in India, a Work-Away to learn European weaving practices, apprenticing at a Japanese weaving studio in Manhattan, archiving textiles and cultivating indigo at a Cleveland fiber cooperative, and working as a rug repair technician in Albuquerque.


Monika Guerra

Artist Statement

The works included in this exhibition concerns itself with reincarnation, spirituality and co-existing universes. Derived from a larger body of work titled, “Does Anyone Know if Any of This is Real?”, Guerra voices personal experiences and questions within these subject matters. The pieces incorporate Guerra’s double in ambiguous settings, where one opens a dialogue about spirituality, and the other about reincarnation. The works are also seen as windows into different realities from which the doubles look out from – looking back into the viewer’s eyes. This proposes that the figure notices us just as much as we notice them. “Does Anyone Know if Any of This is Real?” encourages viewers to open their minds, perceive the world around them with a little extra curiosity, and not be afraid to ask questions regarding this reality. We are the universe experiencing ourselves. We are all interconnected.

About Monika

Monika Guerra is a Mexican-American contemporary artist born in Southern California and raised in Southern New Mexico. Guerra’s studio practice explores and creates different planes of existence through painting, photography and print – where she constantly questions her position in this reality and her state of the human experience. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Certificate in Business & Entrepreneurship from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2022.


Allison Jones Hunt

Artist Statement

Born with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and congenital hip dysplasia, Allison was frequently confined to a wheelchair or relegated to the sidelines of childhood activities. Frustrated by her physical restrictions, she found the hope of liberation in disabled artists using their creativity to transcend their limitations. In her early years, her creative work was predominantly figurative—photorealistic portraits, large-scale ink illustration, and elaborate woodcuts of desert flora and power lines. But as her disability progressed, she began to lose the ability to grip a carving chisel or sustain the small repetitive motion of finely detailed illustration without pain. In 2019, she pivoted to painting large-scale abstract works that allowed her grip to relax around larger brushes wither more open motion throughout her body. Her art continues to explore themes of physical inclusivity in the art world, and she is digging deeper into creative ways of adapting her creative process to a progressive disability.

About Allison

Allison Jones Hunt is an abstract painter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her work uses bold color, intuitive form, and layers dancing between chaos and control to channel the entire emotional spectrum, offering viewers permission to feel it all. As a disabled woman, her creative practice uses the dynamic and embodied act of painting as somatic processing and healing for herself, the viewer, and the world at large. Her work and creative process serve as vibrant examples that art will always be able to meet us where we are (both physically and emotionally) if we are willing to explore new methods of creation, new visual concepts, and innovative ways of sharing our gifts.


Leviathan O’Neil

Artist Statement

Leviathan Elliott O’Neil’s works serve as a means of examining past and present, pleasant and unpleasant. Everything is fleeting, the good, the bad, and the in-between. In order to portray life in an authentic way, these works take inspiration from the mundane, the natural world, and personal emotions during the time they were created. The piece make your bed and lie in it, is inspired by works by fellow New Mexican artists. Elements of Eli Levin’s Lonely Bar and Jerry West’s Prairie Dreams lend to the exploration of childhood fears and preoccupations in this work. Leviathan Elliott O’Neil’s art is a baseline form of communication and emotional processing. Each piece examines a moment in time and what it feels like to live within that moment. From little comforts to deep internal struggles, these works aim to capture segments of time, hold them close, then release them from his mind.

About Leviathan

Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Leviathan O’Neil’s body of work is informed by the New Mexican landscape and life in Albuquerque. They are trans-masculine and use he/him and they/them pronouns. The driving force behind his artistic practice is healing in many forms: identity, processing trauma, and grappling with spirituality. They want to break the cycle of generational trauma, using art as a tool. He was born with a cleft palate, originally turning to art to express what couldn’t be said aloud. Art remains a lifeline throughout struggles with mental health and healing. Leviathan has had a deep appreciation for plants, animals, and nature from a young age. They are always eager to learn more about herbalism, ethical harvesting methods, and all things environmental. This love of nature shines through in the use of plant symbolism within their artwork. Lately, he has been focused on resiliency through grieving.


Leigh Oviatt

Artist Statement

While Leigh has had past success with her beloved photography career, her passion now lies with fiber art. Weaving is a very slow, thoughtful process and has become Leigh’s meditation practice, rhythmically layering multiple textures, colors and shapes line by line to create a modern take on an ancient art form. Each piece begins with a bold color palette and naturally unfolds as the colors flow into soft, tactile patterns. The tapestries blend many types of fiber including small batch, kettle dyed Merino wool, Color Core yarn from Love Fest Fibers, and an assortment of colorful and textural rope, wool, cotton, bamboo, and hemp yarn from around the globe.

About Leigh

Leigh Oviatt grew up in a family of artists, farmers, and educators on a cattle ranch in Bozeman, Montana. She spent most of her adult life in the Pacific Northwest, and moved to New Mexico from the rugged Oregon Coast in 2017. She has been immersed in art since she was a small child. Throughout her life she has explored weaving, painting, jewelry fabrication, film and digital photography, and has degrees in Landscape Design and Film Production. She was an active member of The Darkroom Group at Lightbox Photographic Gallery in Astoria, Oregon, and has shown her photography in multiple group and solo shows in Oregon and Texas. She is continually inspired by her travels, road trips off the beaten path, and the natural environment. She now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she weaves, grows succulents, takes photos, and spends time exploring with her crazy rescue animals.   www.leighoviatt.com

Louie Perea

Artist Statement

Louie’s work attempts to reclaim the tool of photography and shift its colonial history of othering in order to illustrate the vastness of the black experience and its complex relationship with the white gaze. Wielding the camera as a weapon for expression and critique, Louie aims to disrupt and challenge the dominant narratives surrounding identity and representation. Through this decolonization of the lens, Louie attempts to rebuild their identity as a Black and Queer individual while generating commentary on what ‘Blackness’ truly is.

About Louie

Louie Perea (Santa Fe, NM, b. 1999) is an artist based in New Mexico. With a deep interest in self-expression and identity, Louie creates work focused on building new narratives of representation for other Black, Queer, and Underrepresented individuals. In many instances, Louie’s work uses photography to embrace the uniqueness and identity of those in front of the lens while deconstructing conventional perceptions of beauty and self-expression. Louie believes that photography can be used to reclaim the action of image-making and its connection to ‘othering.’ Louie instead views the camera as a tool to build relations of care that allow others to self-actualize their pleasures and themselves. Louie received their BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Psychology from the University of New Mexico.   www.louieperea.com

Rocío Rodriguez

Artist Statement

Rocío’s work is very personal, her work represents inner struggles and different versions of herself. She categorizes her work into three kinds. The first is “the blocks” which are a kind of a diary, each “block” represents an emotion, a memory, or a feeling, and these blocks combined form who she is. Then we have the “creatures”, which she considers self-portraits, they represent her past and her childhood growing up in a poor neighborhood in Mexico. Plants are a constant inspiration, twigs are weak and break easily, but roots can be very strong and can break concrete foundations, a contrast that she often uses in her pieces. Lately, Rocío has been experimenting with digital photography self-portraits where she has become her own muse. She says “No one will see me the way I see myself”. Rocío hopes to inspire others to find beauty in dark places with her art.

About Rocío

Rocío Rodriguez is a freelance artist and photographer. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, she has lived in the United States for almost 8 years. She has a Master’s degree in architecture and works part-time as a project manager. Rocío is studying a sculpture and a painting certificate taking one or two classes per semester at the Santa Fe Community College. For her sculptures she uses simple materials that would have ended up in the trash, such as paper from delivery packages, twigs cut from gardening, and even leftover construction materials to create self-portrait-inspired sculptures that she calls “creatures” and blocks that represent emotions and personal experiences. Other aspects of her work include self-portraits using a digital camera to capture different sides of her.   rociorodriguez.studio

Row Särkelä

Row Särkelä Death Clown // Crone Dance. 2023, Churro wool and discarded chicken wire, dancer feet. Dance Collaborators: Sean Alvarez, Tay Hernandez, Jeremy Salazar, Megan Santos, and zj. Cinematography: mk. 

Artist Statement

Row Särkelä makes costumes and performances that are playful, kinky, creepy, and sometimes disgusting. Costume and adornment are gateways for experimentation and ritual, rather than products to purchase. Bodies can enter Särkelä’s needle-felted garments and feel tightly animal, interacting with the barnyard/graveyard/compost scent of the raw churro fleece. Bodies can enter Särkela’s larger-than-life sculptural environments constructed from fleece and discarded chicken wire and embrace the body’s capacity to shed, disintegrate, and slither. The garments’ tightness allow the ribs to feel their edges against the animal feeling of the felt, while the looseness of the massive sculptural form allow breath to navigate the gap between body and costume. The tight and loose spaces (outfit/habitat) embrace the repulsive and alluring in order to facilitate different forms of discomfort and pleasure, expand the breath in different directions, & break habitual patterns of moving and storytelling. Särkelä’s work emanates a death clown energy.

About Row

Row Särkelä is a textile and performance artist from Tiwaland. Särkelä’s work explores the transformative potential of adornment as a thresholding practice into other ways of being. Särkelä’s practice centers on creating wearable textile and fiber-based sculptures and movement rituals that adorn, protect, and extend the body. Särkelä is currently an apprentice in the Rio Grande style of weaving with Centinela Traditional Arts, is a participant in hide tanning rituals, and has shown large-scale wet felted churro work at Currents New Media. Särkelä’s dance work has been commissioned by Wise Fool Santa Fe and OOZE Albuquerque. They have shown butoh work internationally, been in residency at Fiberhouse Collective, were a featured textile artist at PASEO Festival 2019, and were a 2020 Brooklyn Arts Council grantee. Särkelä is a 2023 Fulcrum Fund recipient, alongside collaborators Joseline Mendoza and Isabel Tafoya, for their movement and costume design work.



Zuyva Sevilla

Artist Statement

Zuyva Sevilla’s work explores the fundamental infrastructure of existence and perception through sculpture, video, and digital media. They create new interpretations of universal chaos and engage with consumption concerns, highlighting the paradox of producing energy-focused work. Sevilla’s sculptures dissect light and heat movement into active choreographies, utilizing industrial materials, repurposed tools, physical computing, and digital fabrication. In his video work, computer simulations offer windows into new possibilities and control of elementary units. Ultimately, Sevilla’s practice is an auto-didactic exploration of elusive concepts, emphasizing an experimental and experiential self-study using tools of perception and creation.

About Zuyva

Zuyva Sevilla is a semi-sentient collection of atoms feebly trying to understand everything around them. As an interdisciplinary artist, his work aims to compose, collect and culminate in an interpretation for the inherent chaos of the universe, inspired by everything from the proto-scientific to the metaphysical. Methods within digital fabrication, sculpture and physical computing are key research tools. Sevilla studied New Media Art at the University of North Texas, working on research projects in intermedia performance, projection mapping, and virtual reality. He was named one of Southwest Contemporary’s 2023 Top 12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now, as well as one of the 2023 SURFACE Emerging Artists by the Harwood Art Center.


Exhibition Catalog