Exhibition Runs: June 14 – August 31, 2023
Exhibition Reception & Artist Talks: Saturday June 24, 5:00p-7:00p, artist talks starting at 5:30p
Harwood Art Center is pleased to present SURFACE: Emerging Artists of New Mexico and Tears of My Ancestors by Cortney Metzger. SURFACE is an annual juried exhibition, endowed awards and professional development program presented by Harwood Art Center, to support the creative and professional growth of emerging artists and to expand their visibility and viability in our community. We have received hundreds of noteworthy submissions over the tenth application cycles to-date; as of this year, the program has served 127 exceptionally talented, committed artists, including the 10 we accepted for 2023.
SURFACE 2023 features: Carrie Botto, Petra Brown, Monika Guerra, Allison Jones Hunt,
Leviathan O’Neil, Leigh Oviatt, Louie Perea, Rocío Rodriguez, Row Särkelä and Zuyva Sevilla.
Public Gallery Hours
Galleries are accessible to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-3pm
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.
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
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.