Exhibition Runs: June 14 – August 31, 2023
Exhibition Reception & Artist Talk: Saturday, June 24, 5:00p – 7:00p, artist talk starting at 5:30p

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

Each year one artist receives the Harwood Art Center Solo Exhibition Award, presented for artistic excellence, originality of vision and dedication to practice. The selected artist works for a year with support from Harwood staff to make a new body of work to exhibit the following year during our SURFACE Emerging Artists program at Harwood. In SURFACE 2022, Cortney YellowHorse-Metzger received the Solo Exhibition Award and this year, will be showcasing her new work in the Front gallery.

Theh-wah-ho^ Pah-hun^-leh Kah-xah Be

(Keep Respect for Your People First)


Cortney YellowHorse-Metzger, member of the Osage Nation, confronts the histories her people experienced during colonization and the removal of the Osage names through a combination of storytelling utilizing ceramic objects, performance, and the reclamation of her traditional name.
Theh-wah-ho^ Pah-hun^-leh Kah-xah Be addresses  ideas of cultural identity and connection to those that came before. As a registered Osage citizen and daughter of a white cowboy father, Yellowhorse-Metzger confronts the pain of colonization while paying respect to her ancestors. Letting the clay speak for itself by keeping most of it unglazed she opens a dialog with the clay and her hands. She purposefully leaves each finger print in the clay to strengthen the connection to the material. Using the handprint, a symbol that when worn on Osage regalia means friendship, Yellowhorse-Metzger invokes reciprocity with her ancestors. The cutting of her braid is a rejection to the term “half breed” or mixed blood and is a way of healing her own personal pain tied to those words. Comparing her braid to that of a horse tail she hopes to create a conversation about blood quantum and the hurtful history of otherness. But is also a nod to the deep history that horses have played on both sides of her family.

About Cortney

Cortney YellowHorse-Metzger is a mixed media artist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in ceramics from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri in 2016. She recently completed her Masters of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics at the University of New Mexico in 2020. Cortney is of Osage decent and spent her summers growing up on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma. Drawing themes from her heritage, Cortney works in many media including video performance, textiles, and raw clay materials harvested from the lands sacred to her and her people.

“I spent my summers growing up on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma learning the traditions of my people. A way of life that has influenced how I navigate the world and my artistic practice. “Drawing from and inspired by my heritage, I work in a variety of media, including video performance, textiles, and raw clay materials harvested from the lands that are sacred to me and my people. I use my body to explore these ideas of identity and create a visual language that conveys the sense of duality that I am experiencing. “My work functions as a bridge within myself to these remembered and forgotten places. It creates a conversation for people who are also in the in-between with me. I’m interested in how the human body can be compared to a vessel and how that relates to culture and tradition.” -Cortney YellowHorse-Metzger

Exhibition Catalog

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 a solo gallery exhibition award and all receive a special honorarium for their participation.

SURFACE enjoys a six-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 a group walkthrough and critique of the exhibition.

Surface Professional Development Workshop & Alumni Circle Reception

We have an amazing network of program alumni and panelists who have served in the workshop in years past, and we will work with them to adapt content and dialogue with the recognition that there are not yet experts and best practices for this current landscape, that we are treating SURFACE as a collaborative laboratory to experiment and explore them, and that we can all benefit from a circle of support and camaraderie.

Surface Awards

Artists juried into the exhibition are eligible to win endowed cash awards. We will also distribute aditional microgrants ($250) to each participating artists with help fro the City of Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund. These microgrants will support each participant in acquisition of new tools, trainings, or subscriptions that could facilitate visibility and viability in this era of distance.