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Art & Social Justice: A Reflection

September 12, 2018

by Jennifer DePaolo

Twenty years ago I was an art major at Houghton College in western NY, dreaming of ways to heal the world through art. My friends and I would sit up through the night pounding coffee and dreaming about running an art center for all the punk kids, like us, who really needed art. Fast-forward a couple decades (and experience as a social worker, a move across the country, the completion of my MFA and 10 years of experience in art as social action) to one of the best summers of my life. This summer, I led the launch of Harwood’s new paid Apprenticeship for Art & Social Justice.

After preparing for two years with our staff, I finally got to interview 13 of 40 applicants aged 15-18 from high schools across Albuquerque. Each was exceptional and I would have gladly hired all 13, if resources allowed. Meeting each of these young people, reviewing their portfolios and sharing conversation about the intersection of art and social justice was hopeful and energizing.

I was looking for 6 apprentices for our inaugural year and found 7 I just couldn’t do without. These 7 teenagers represented diverse viewpoints, experiences and skill sets all necessary to the work at hand. The work: to coalesce community input into a design for a public artwork that improves public safety and pride of place in La Mesa Park in Albuquerque’s International District, the most diverse neighborhood in the city.

This work, like so much of Harwood’s outreach, grows from needs expressed by the communities we work with. Since 2016, Harwood Art Center has run the Youth Mural Project at Hayes Middle School where I serve on the Community School Council and have come to know students, staff and families of the school as well as some of the challenges they face. In these meetings, I learned that students living within a two-mile radius of the school are required to walk to and from school. Their commute takes them through Mesa Verde Park where they report stepping on needles, being followed by strangers and being asked to transport parcels across the park. At the La Mesa Community Improvement Association meeting I learned that most of the neighborhood’s adults avoid the park, leaving our students to make this commute unsupported. The Park is notoriously under-lit and under-utilized, though it’s an expanse of rolling green anchored by a thriving community center.

In 4 years of running programs at various Albuquerque Public Schools, I’ve become aware of challenges I, and the art center that hires me, am unequipped to solve. But this problem called upon Harwood Art Center’s mission and the personal mission and skill sets of its staff in a way that made it impossible for us not to respond. We jumped into the work of getting to know the La Mesa neighborhood, 8 miles and myriad social determinants away from Harwood Art Center. Our team met with CABQ Parks and Recreation, Mesa Verde Community Center, families at Hayes Middle School, local representatives and activists and the International District Healthy Communities Coalition (IDHCC) to learn about the histories, economies and communities that shape this vibrant and diverse part of the city. We are still learning. 

This summer seven apprentices worked with Assisting Artist and Architect Joshua Lopez and Lead Artist Ryan Henel. Harwood Art Center’s 6th Street studio, housed in a historic church, became home base. Our team studied input from a community planning charrette held at Hayes Middle School and made a presentation and solicited feedback from the IDHCC. They made site visits and studied the history of Mesa Verde Park. Apprentices practiced daily meditation and received training in Visual Culture, Financial Literacy, Local History and Anti-Oppression Thought and Action as part of our program. In 6 weeks, this team coalesced their findings into a design for a public artwork that provides shade and seating, utilizes solar power, has a kinetic component, and honors the diversity of the International District as requested by our La Mesa neighborhood partners.

Their design for the sculpture, Unidos, celebrates diversity and survival. Utilizing the butterfly as a symbol of journey and change, Unidos honors the diverse personal journeys that shape the international district today. The main structure takes on the shape of an abstracted butterfly. Beneath its canopy, a panoply of handcrafted butterflies will flutter. We will solicit help from community members to decorate butterflies with the colors and themes of the flags that represent the many diverse residents of the International District. Within our public artwork, we’ll grow a native milkweed to attract butterflies and provide two natural wooden benches.

Harwood’s paid Apprenticeship for Art & Social Justice pursues equity and inclusion at every level of the program. We are not working alone. We have partnered with Hayes Middle School, CABQ Parks and Recreation, Mesa Verde Community Center, La Mesa Community Improvement Association, Pace Engineering, New Mexico SunPower and IDHCC to improve quality of life in La Mesa neighborhood. We will commit five years to this park, creating a series of public artworks that increase lighting and continue to solicit community collaboration. Next summer we hope to hire 10 apprentices for full time work across 10 weeks.

Our apprentices are young people with vision and conviction. Some hope for careers in art. Others are thinking about law, nursing, engineering and education. My commitment, beyond the public artwork we’ll co-create with our community, is to do whatever I can to see that each of these young people finds their path, and with it, every tool they may need to persevere, grow and thrive. Looking back across the decades that have brought me to my path is cause for relief and gratitude. There are hurdles I’d be glad never to meet again but my experiences have all helped prepare me for the work I love to do. It’s a small miracle to make a living full time in the Arts, doing the very work I dreamed of through college. And it’s a miracle I want every one of our apprentices to find for themselves some day, in whatever fields they pursue.

National Philanthropy Day Speech by Julia Mandeville

November 02, 2017

Julia Mandeville–Chief Programs Officer of Harwood Art Center–was awarded Outstanding Young Nonprofit Professional for New Mexico, 2017 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals New Mexico Chapter and Young Nonprofit Professional Network of New Mexico. On National Philanthropy Day 2017, Julia accepted the award and gave a beautiful, inspiring speech for the occasion. Listen to the speech and read the transcript below.



This is overwhelming, and I am deeply grateful – to the volunteer boards of YNPN and AFP who so diligently steward this annual program, to the peers who so generously nominated and selected me for this honor, to the mentors, colleagues and collaborators – all of whom I count as family – who so lovingly inform, inspire and grow my being as much as our shared efforts (especially the 19 of you over there), to the community members who so centrally spark, shape and sustain our work, and to everyone in this room for the vision, change and impact you generate in every moment of every day for the benefit of your fellow humans.

Collectively, you are a wellspring of hope. And, after contemplating a million different possible trajectories, this will be my guiding principle for the next three minutes. Though it does mean starting with antithesis.

We exist in a hierarchy that touts independence, individuality and mobility, but conditions us to be silent, to be small, and to be satisfied with what we have – even and especially when that is defined by what we have not. At every turn, we bear the realities of patriarchy, prejudice, bigotry, poverty and violence, of political, social, economic, educational and judicial systems that are structured to oppress, disenfranchise and disempower us – and disproportionately so, those who are most in need of being lifted up. Our nation is divisive by design of those in power; when we are fragmented into ‘others,’ we have neither the connectedness nor the capacity to advocate for our whole. And we are ultimately further marginalized, crying out for equity, equality and justice in static and passing echo chambers to those who share our wounds, while those in positions of authority turn blind eyes, passively sanction or actively advocate for the continued terrorization that calls for the presence of the It Gets Betters and the Black Lives Matters and the Me Toos.

Still and yet, the fortunate among us are blessed by people bell hooks describes in All About Love (a must read) as “enlightened witnesses,” those who see us for who we are, what we might become, where we are most vulnerable, and through their care and camaraderie, teach us what it means to love, to experience and to nurture mutual spiritual growth.

This gorgeousness, this healing, this discovery of potential – this is what happens in community. This is what’s happened to me in New Mexico, and how I found my true and inherent purpose, and why I am now standing here. I suspect that the same is resonant with all of you, which is why you are working in, with and for nonprofit, philanthropic and organizing spheres. Because underscoring all of your efforts and above anything else, you embody the recognition that we must cultivate and bloom humanity. And that we do this by not only meeting people’s basic needs, but by honoring, celebrating and illuminating souls. And that when we are successful, we activate citizens who can both envision and enact changing the world into one that is reflective, representative and protective of all of their fellow beings. To making a world, together, that is exactly what we want it to be.

For anybody thinking, hmmmmmm, Julia, you are naively idealistic and overly ambitious... I assure you, I am not. And to clarify why, I’d like us all to consider probability for a moment. It’s always struck me as miraculous that, given everything existence requires, any of us is able to get out of bed every day, let alone to go into the world and make beauty, whatever that beauty is for each of us. This awe was elevated when I saw the work of Dr. Ali Binazir, who calculated the likelihood of us each existing, to the parents of whom we were born, in the era we came to life; the odds are essentially zero – and exactly 1 in 10^2.685 million zeroes. Now please consider all of the decisions you’ve made over the course of your however many years on the earth – and how they led you to be precisely where you are. Think about how many relationships you have, how many organizations and projects you represent, how many cooperative efforts you’re involved with at any given time. Look around and hold the truth that every one of us has that same magnifying and multiplying ecosystem of our own. We being at all, but especially in and among communion with so many others – these are absolute miracles.

But none of this is by accident. We are all here, now, together, for a reason. This is already a movement. In this very room, we illustrate the makings of a peaceful, evolved revolution. And we have an extraordinary opportunity in New Mexico. We are an allegory for everywhere. We face the most poignant and excruciating problems, but we also possess – you are my evidence – the most creative, collaborative, genuine, generous and loving people, vigilantly striving towards meaningful solutions, lasting outcomes and a more perfect shared future. And if we can figure it out here, which I believe with every fiber in my being we are on the path towards, we will absolutely change the universe. Our whole entire universe.

My aunt, Alexandra Munroe, offered us the words of Yoko Ono, an artist and activist she collaborates with, to close: “A dream you dream alone is just a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

Thank you for giving me this clarity, thank you for giving me this tenacious hope, and thank you for giving me this very moving recognition. I will spend my life giving it back and forward.

The Women of Duality

September 08, 2017

Each September, we focus on the intersection of Arts and Social Justice in our exhibitions at Harwood. This year, we are thrilled work with and showcase Jodie Herrera. Her current exhibition, Duality, features inspiring portraits of three local women and their stories of hardship, survival, and resilience. Herrera’s paintings strive to serve and celebrate the beauty and resilience of the women she has the honor of working with. She hopes that the paintings can provide a source of strength and inspiration for others, especially when it comes to seeking help.

For this exhibit, Herrera collaborated with three local initiatives to source her subjects: The Refugee Well Being Project at The University of New Mexico, Solace Crisis Treatment Center and with the creators of Walking the Healing Path, an indigenous activist documentary film. This collaboration was formed with the intention of highlighting just a few of the many helpful and educational resources New Mexico has to offer and to demonstrate the powerful effects they have on the people of our community.

The women Herrera worked with and painted are extraordinary individuals. Saree, Jaycee, and Hope are strong women who have continued to serve their communities and families, even when faced with extreme adversity. To see the paintings alone, you can sense the women’s power and spirit: Herrera masterfully renders her subjects, capturing the essence of the women she paints. When you read the stories of the women, the paintings become even richer in meaning. We hope you will be as inspired by these amazing women as we are. Below are the stories of these women and the way their lives have been translated into paintings.



This painting narrates the story of Saree, a refugee from Kabul, Afghanistan. Saree arrived in the United States in 2013 with her ailing mother and two nephews, all of whom she is responsible for at the young age of 23. The forward facing pose in the painting portrays the confidence and will power she has found, and must continue to find, within herself to push ahead.

Before coming to America, Saree was in a refugee camp for seven years in Pakistan. At one point, already malnourished and without shelter, the family belongings were destroyed in a flood. They were left with nothing. In the depths of this desperate situation, Saree met a kind and generous man who contributed his time and resources to help her, her mother, and two nephews through the laborious process of applying and coming to America.

Saree and her family have experienced extreme loss due to the catastrophic violence in her country. Her father was killed by the Taliban. After losing his eyesight and his job as a government artist, he “allowed” his wife to work for the state, which the Taliban prohibited. To the left of Saree, the painting reads “father," with one letter in the shape of a paintbrush to represent that for which he lived and died. To the right reads “brother”, with three symbols surrounding to represent her three brothers. Tragically, one of her brothers was murdered, along with his pregnant wife and unborn child. The day when they were killed, dozens of their turkeys mysteriously died. The feather in the middle of “brother” symbolizes this great loss. He left behind two children that are now in Saree’s care here in the states. Another brother was abducted by armed men from their home and has never been seen again. Her mother still prays and hopes every day for him to reappear. Below “brother” reads “hope,” a small prayer for his return. Saree’s third brother was in hiding for 10 years because he was afraid the same would happen to him. During this time, he had no contact with his family. He now lives in Kabul with his wife and seven children, facing death each day in order to support his large family. Not only is his life threatened by the extremely dangerous political landscape, but he also receives death threats and abuse almost daily for his family’s “betrayal” in relocating to America (it is a common belief in Saree’s home community that those who fled to America have betrayed Afghanistan and Islam).

Saree, her mother, and nephews pray each day for the safety of her brother and his family. The outer circle of the painting reads “be safe.” The inner circle reads “family Reunited” – her one and only wish.

Saree and her family have been through an emotionally and economically exhausting relocation process. We are seeking help in any way shape or form to lighten the load for this family but most importantly to gather resources and information necessary to reunite her with her brother and his family here in New Mexico. If you feel like you can contribute in any way please contact Sari at the email or phone number below.

+1 (505) 639-1020




This painting narrates the story of Jaycee. Jaycee is an advocate and educator at Solace crisis center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jaycee teaches Trans 101 and consent workshops for high schools, businesses, and native youth. Her life's work is represented in the painting by the equality sign running horizontally though painting.

Jaycee, a transgender woman, has known her true identity for as long as she can remember. Her earliest relevant recollection is her feeling of joyful exhilaration when she dressed up as bat-woman at age four. The golden cuff she wears in the painting represents her heroine-ism on her journey through life. Jaycee states "the hardest thing is getting through the door each morning." Facing people's prejudice each day for simply being who she is, is challenging.

In the background of the painting, two triangles represent the duality of her sexuality and heritage. The downward facing triangle represents female and the upward, male. Together they illustrate the beautiful story of her transition. 

The triangles also symbolize Jaycee’s mixed heritage. She never knew her Hispanic, biological father and was raised by her single, Anglo mother in Texas. Although she felt a lack of access to her Latina identity growing up, she has since been able connect to that side of herself through her current community. This duality of self and culture is represented by the two triangles overlapping each other.

Jaycee was in a heteronormative relationship, married and with two children. When coming out to her children and now ex-wife, they were very supportive. Her son and daughter not only fully support Jaycee, but also enthusiastically advocate on her behalf. In the painting, the two flowers represent her children and their growth together in life.

Elephants are Jaycee's favorite animal and are known to be emotionally intelligent and stick with their herd. Although it was difficult for the rest of her family to digest at first, they now fully support Jaycee. The elephants on each corner of the triangles symbolize Jaycee’s relationship with her family. The golden dots on the underside of each elephant represent Jaycee’s partner, who has made her feel loved and appreciated for who she is and feel beautiful inside and out. Before Jaycee's transition, she was very reserved and admits to not having taken care of herself emotionally or physically. She was depressed and felt misrepresented. Now Jaycee is healthy and outgoing. She had found happiness and self-love through support and the power to fully express who she is. This love-born, self-empowerment is represented in the painting by golden beams radiating from her crown.



This painting narrates the personal story of Hope. Hope is a survivor of homelessness and both domestic and sexual abuse.

Hope's first encounter with abuse was at the age of 5. Sadly, she would have to experience such trauma again and again. She withstood of cruelty perpetrated by family members, care givers, and those exploiting safe spaces. The symbols at the bottom of the circle to the right and left are renditions of a survivor symbol, comprised of a unity symbol, an infinity sign, and a mountain range to represent her strength and defiant refusal to break under such immense pressure. 

Hope also struggled by not having a stable home. By the age of eleven she, her little brother, and her single mother had moved multiple times all across the US. The Tee-pee in Hope's painting represents a "temporary shelter" to illustrate this demanding transience. Eventually her family settled in Albuquerque, where she began another battle.

In order to escape her mother's abusive boyfriend, who also tried to sexually assault her, Hope found herself without a home. While homeless and in and out of shelters until the age of 18, Hope continued her schooling, volunteering, and working; maintaining a 4.3 GPA. Hope also remained politically active, and was a key player in passing a bill that gave free educational tuition to those who were in foster care for over a year. The eagle feathers above her head symbolize her remarkable strength, wisdom, and perseverance in soaring above adversities and reaching her goals.

Over the years, Hope has become a leading activist and advocate for many causes. One particularly close to her heart is the NO DAPL movement. She has fought to protect the most vital element for the sustenance of life, water. The rain cloud symbol above her head signifies this fight, as well as renewal and change, and is also a magical symbol to promote good prospects in the future for the Diné.

While protesting at Standing Rock, Hope's Grandmother spotted a herd of buffalo. Hope is wearing the blanket of her grandmother, whom she has always been incredibly close with. Hope is also adorning her great mother's turquoise jewelry. Just as the buffalo are being reintroduced into the land, so is the strength of the indigenous people, and our union with the earth. The two buffalo within the circle symbolize this connection.

At the top of the painting is Hope in Diné along with a ring of arrowheads and rainbow, partial elements of Diné symbols. The arrowheads represent protection, while the rainbow represents harmony and vitality. There are also two hogans, permanent dwellings, at the end of each side of the rainbow. This is to represent a home and prosperity for Hope, something she has worked very hard and against all odds to provide for herself.

Hope's name is a symbol itself. Without hope she couldn't have come this far. Hope is how she moves forward. Now, she seeks to help others find hope.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Come see the works in person in the front gallery of Harwood.

We are open Monday - Thursday, 9:00a - 5:00p and Fridays, 9:00a - 4:00p. Duality is on display through September 28, 2017.

5 Years of SURFACE

May 22, 2017

SURFACE: Emerging Artists Past & Present

by Staci Drangemeister

It’s hard to believe this is the 5th year of SURFACE: Emerging Artists of New Mexico > at Harwood Art Center (and 8th year since the inaugural program at Creative Albuquerque)! Each year, the SURFACE exhibition features some of our state’s most talented emerging artists. But what is an “emerging artist”? Though we don’t impose strict qualifications for the term “emerging artist,” we do ask artists to explain why they identify with that title when they apply for the program.

We have seen a broad range of “emerging artists” over the course of the program. Some identify as emerging because they have not had much public exposure, recently finished formal education, or are working to establish an online and communications presence. Others have returned to their creative practice after many years and are ready to dedicate time and energy to their work.

The artists from the last five years have worked in all types of media, from painting and printmaking to sculpturing and fashion design. Although SURFACE alumni are different in so many ways, they are all dedicated to their craft and to elevating their careers. If you’ve ever been to a SURFACE exhibition, you know this to be true. We are consistently blown away by the beautiful, original, ingenious work that is submitted to SURFACE. Seeing the works of these artists together in our galleries is magical.

This year’s SURFACE show opens on Friday, June 2 from 6-8p. This energetic opening is one of our favorite nights of the year (this year we’re having food trucks, live music, and art making, too!). After the excitement of the opening—and the very next day—SURFACE participants gather back at Harwood for a private day-long professional development workshop. The workshop sessions cover important topics like refining artist statements / written materials, developing a web and communications presence, and audience and collector cultivation. The workshop ends with a group walkthrough and critique of the exhibition. I could babble on about how wonderful the professional development workshop is, but instead, here are three alumni responses to the SURFACE program:

“I credit the Harwood with launching my career as a professional artist. In 2014, months after finishing my BFA, I was selected for SURFACE, which would be my first curated exhibition. I made three sales on opening night, including one to renowned art collectors who have since become my champions and friends. But it was the professional development workshop–a whole day with critics, curators, artists, and arts media–that provided the first crucial insights into how to build a sustainable arts career. One of the panelists, Nancy Zastudil, gave me my first solo show at her gallery, Central Features. A week after SURFACE, I made business cards, built a website, and followed up with my new contacts. In the year since Surface, I have had a sold-out gallery show, gained representation in Albuquerque and San Francisco, been featured in Hyperallergic and Colores!, received a prestigious artist’s residency, and sold numerous artworks to collectors nationwide. None of this would have been possible without the Harwood and its support for emerging artists like me.” – Jami Porter Lara, 2014 Emerging Artist

“I wanted to thank you all for the SURFACE opportunity afforded me and express my appreciation for your efforts in making the experience vital and rewarding. I expected that the show would provide some welcome exposure for my work, but I had no idea how much valuable information would be provided at the workshop, or how many knowledgeable panelists would be presented to us. I really learned a lot.” – David Disko, 2016 Emerging Artists

“The professional art world doesn’t have to be intimidating, and Harwood’s SURFACE program does a wonderful job at providing a stepping stone for emerging artists who have questions about taking their artistic careers to the next level. Harwood provides a dream team of artistic professionals ready to answer any questions you may have. It’s not often, if ever, you get the opportunity to blatantly ask a handful of artistic professionals how they do what they do. They give you the answers, people! I highly recommend this program to emerging artists that are ready to face the art world head on.” – David Santiago, 2013 Emerging Artist

The willingness of our arts community to educate, collaborate with and support one another is inspiring, and we feel fortunate to work with so many talented, intelligent, giving individuals. This year, we are excited to launch the SURFACE Alumni Circle for participating artists, program alumni (there are now more than 100, including artists who participated in the program when it lived at Creative Albuquerque), and workshop panelists past and present.
We’ll leave you with the full list of SURFACE artists and panelists. We hope to see you at this year’s opening on Friday, June 2 from 6-8 as we celebrate a new group of wonderful emerging artists!

Inaugural Program – 2011 (at Creative Albuquerque)
Sondra Diepen, Cindi Gaudette, Kristin Gentry, Eso Robinson, Ralph Rudolph, Molly Schell, &
Linda Mae Tratechaud

Abstracts – 2011 (at Creative Albuquerque)
Annie Marie Abbott, Stephen Ausherman, Kristine Brockel, Jill Christian, Christian Gallegos, Jessica Kennedy, Annie Nash, Paula Scott, & Rachel Zollinger

Figuratives – 2012 (at Creative Albuquerque)
Marian Berg, James Black, Marilyn Drake, Regina Guerrero, Niya Lee, K.A. McCord, Cornelia Oliver, & Zak Rutledge

Surface – 2013
Courtnee Bennett, Adam N Billie, Molly Bradbury, Katie Carillo, DeVon Fox, Jane Gordon, Laura Green, Hilary Heyl, Renee McKitterick, Katherine Minott, Ben Roe Jr., Maria Ross, David Santiago, Justin Yazzie, Jessica Zekus
In Turn - 2013
Sarah Dewey, Haley English, Tina Yara-Nieto

Surface - 2014
Issac Alarid Pease, Mia Casesa, Chris Casey, Jessica Chao, Xuan Chen, Christa Dalien, Beverly Fisher, Holly Grimm, Bryce Hample, Dani Jeffries, Georgina Latino, Jami Porter Lara,
Tera Muskrat
Parched - 2014
Jane Gordon

Surface - 2015
Emma Difani, Henry Hutchinson, Robin Kalinich, Alexis Kaminsky, Joanna Keane Lopez, Julia Lambright, Amy Mann, Stephanie McCloud, James Meara, Aziza Murray, Robbie Pino, Sophia Torres, Ben Utigard
Canta Con Pintura – 2015
Tera Muskrat

Surface – 2016
Joshua Atlas, Katelyn Bladel, Dorielle Caimi, Joel Davis, David Disko, Letitia Hill, Christopher MacQueen, Eric J. Martinez, Ruben Olguin, Rachel Rivera, David Saiz, Sophia Sanchez, Molly Zimmer
Promised View 2016
Julia Lambright

Surface – 2017 >
Meghan Arcaro, Jazmyn Crosby, Margaret Farrell, Michael Gomez, Jessica Gross, Kathryn Jaroneski, Shaelin Jornigan, Malcolm King, Cecelia McKinnon, Gwen Miller Wagner, Gaspar Salazar-Mendez, Jeremy Salazar
GhostPrism 2017
Christopher MacQueen

Sherri Brueggemann, Andrew Connors, Erin Elder, Meghan Ferguson, Viviette Hunt, Grady Jaynes, Jami Porter Lara, Reyes Padilla, Peri Pakroo, Kymberly Pinder, Nancy Salem, David Santiago, Valerie Roybal, Nancy Zastudil

We are deeply grateful to The FUNd at Albuquerque Community Foundation, Bernalillo County, City of Albuquerque / Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, McCune Charitable Foundation, New Mexico Arts and National Endowment for the Arts for their support of SURFACE: Emerging Artists of New Mexico, as well as to Marion & Kathryn Crissey and Reggie Gammon for establishing our endowed awards for this program. SURFACE would not be possible without our extraordinary local business partners Albuquerque Art Business Association, A Good Sign, Tractor Brewing Company and Westbund West.


April 10, 2017


Programs & Communications Coordinator, Ebony Isis Booth, wrote about printmaker and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett for the online magazine Griot’s Republic this month. Throughout her career, Catlett produced an extensive body of work, earned multiple degrees and awards, and made her mark on the contemporary art world. Much of Catlett's artwork depicted the African American experience in the 20th Century, and her work was centered around activism. Catlett's career impacted the not only the art world, but global conversations on oppressed populations in the way she highlighted the expereience of women of color and emphasized the importance of education. To read the full story about Elizabeth Catlett and her extraordinary life, visit Griot’s Republic>.

IMG: Elizabeth Catlett. Wikipedia. Fair Use.

IMG: Elizabeth Catlett. University Museum and Art Gallery UMAG and the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection. Wikipedia. Fair Use.

La Joya 2017

February 20, 2017

by Staci Drangmeister

There’s *almost* a new mural on the block!

In the last few years, Harwood has been honored to have installations and murals adorn our main building. In 2015, Hand Eye Collective (members Christopher Blaz, David Cudney, Joel Davis, Mandy Hanks, Lance Ryan McGoldrick and Casey Warr) created “Immiscible Polarity.” Last year Nani Chacon created a wheat paste mural, “An Homage to Wells Park,” that blanketed the brick of the building with images of tattoos from people in the neighborhood. This year, Reyes Padilla and Natalie Voelker are going to continue the tradition of murals on Harwood’s facade with the installation of  “La Joya 2017.”When our Chief Programs Officer, Julia Mandeville, saw a collaborative piece Reyes and Natalie completed at a community member’s home, she was in awe of their work and wanted to bring the same magic they had created to Harwood. This birthed the idea of having the two create a large-scale mural for the Harwood.

[An Homage to Wells Park by Nani Chacon.]

[Immiscible Polarity by Hand Eye Collective.]

[Example works: Synesthetic #11 by Reyes Padilla and Harwood Ghost #1 by Natalie Voelker.]

Reyes and Natalie have collaborated on a few projects together, but the mural at Harwood will be their largest collaborative work to date. The two artists have very different styles of work. Natalie’s art > is primarily figurative and expressive, while Reyes’ > is more abstract with flowing lines. Although their work is very distinct, the combination of their styles is impactful.

When deciding what to do for the Harwood mural, Reyes and Natalie knew they wanted to do a painted mural, as they both work most often with paint. Painting directly on our historic building is not an option, so the artists decided to paint on panels ahead of time and install them onto the building. When installed, the panels will emphasize the vertical lines of the building. The background of the panels is painted with soft pinks, peaches, and blues—reminiscent of clouds in an Albuquerque sunrise.

The artists also wanted to honor the history of the Harwood building in some way. In their brainstorming and research, the two looked through old yearbooks from the days when Harwood was a girl’s school (1925-1976) that served young women of New Mexico of all ages and from all backgrounds.  The yearbooks were all entitled ”La Joya.” Reyes and Natalie decided to create a mural that was a tribute to the women of Harwood Girls School > in the 1920’s and 30’s, and commemorated their inspiration and visual reference by naming their mural “La Joya 2017.”

Natalie spent many additional hours with the girls’ school “La Joya” yearbooks. She chose images of four young women to include in the mural.  She imagined each figure she chose to have a strong individual story, even though the exact history of each figure is not known.  The viewer can, however, imagine the figure’s story—what she might have liked or some of her personality traits—through viewing.

These four figures are rendered near the base of the painted panels. Emanating from the figures, the viewer will see Reyes’ line work—black and white painted lines that dance and radiate above. This part of the mural represents the energy of the figures and the presence these women still have, even though they no longer physically reside at Harwood.

Reyes and Natalie are currently finishing the last of the panels for “La Joya 2017.” The mural panels will be installed from Friday, February 24 through Thursday, March 2, dedicated at our Encompass event > on Saturday, March 4 and live on the building for up to a year. “La Joya 2017” is a beautiful homage to the women of Harwood Girls School and serves as a reminder of the rich history here at Harwood.  It celebrates the spirit of this special place that is now Harwood Art Center.

Collective Memory

January 23, 2017

Community Outreach Coordinator Jen DePaolo finds hope in beauty.

Cardboard templates and sketches for Collective Memory by Jen DePaolo and Annika D.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King

“It’s a long time coming, but I know, I know change is gonna come.” Otis Redding

"Tell me of despair, yours ~ and I’ll tell you mine.” Mary Oliver

I don’t think I need to enumerate my despairs here for you. I expect that you, like me are feeling thin and overwhelmed. Maybe you wonder what issue to take up (there are so many) or where to apply your efforts (is anything going to make a real difference?) But if you believe in the power of community and art, stay with me.

I had lunch with a dear friend today whom I’ve known for almost 20 years. He asserted that we are making progress while I suggested the Machine seems to be winning. In the end we met in the middle- each reminded that we have in fact bent the moral arc toward justice and yes, it has so much farther to go. He said, “If we look at everything we’ve done so far and decide that it’s made no difference, we’ll give up.” I haven’t given up. So there must be some optimism fueling my long hours, my passionate appeals, my community meetings.

I returned to my office at Harwood Art Center with my mind fixed on finding hope. Soon I was busy returning emails and compiling lists in support of Harwood’s newest community collaboration: the Collective Memory project. I put Otis Redding on and began to envision a community sculpture installation taking shape. Soon I caught myself bobbing around in my office chair. Office dancing, you might say. It suddenly became apparent to me: My path forward is through beauty. It always has been. It’s how I came to be an artist/ community outreach coordinator to begin with!

Let me share the beauty we envision in its latest iteration. It might encourage you, and you may be able to help.

The Collective Memory project is designed to bring our community together to share stories of loss and survival through art. Harwood Art Center will run free* workshops at social profit organizations across the city for artists of all ages and abilities. (Are you a social profit organization who’d like to partner with us? Contact me at Jennifer@harwoodartcenter.org)

We will introduce some of the fish that have disappeared from the Rio Grande through illustrations and cardboard templates. Participants will reconstruct missing fish and will add fins, tails, and details to make their own unique “species”. We’ll use text, collage, painting, and drawing to enhance our fish and communicate our own stories of loss, challenge, recovery and survival. As a community, we will practice healing and hope by making something beautiful.

Finished fish will join a larger “school” of fish created by participants across the city at an exhibition at Harwood Art Center for Encompass 2017. Then, fish will return home to reside with their makers to remind us of who we are, and what we’ve survived. We’ll hold memory and share knowledge of the place we call home.

If you want to host a workshop or support, get in touch with us. Materials can be donated at Harwood’s front desk. We are looking for:

Cardboard boxes, broken down
Old Magazines of the National Geopgraphic sort, no fashion mags please.
Paper of all sorts!
Fabric Scraps
Paint brushes
Pencils of all sorts
Plastic containers with lids from yogurt, cream cheese etc
Tape: packing tape, duct tape, painters tape, masking tape- we’ll take it all!

Hope then to belong to your place by your own knowledge of what it is that no other place is, and by your caring for it as you care for no other place…” Wendell Berry

Thank you!

*Free workshops are made possible by those who help fund Harwood’s Creative Roots Outreach Programs. We thank the Albuquerque Community Foundation, the City of Albuquerque 1% for Public Art Program, the Kerr Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation for making this work possible!

Through the Lens of - Edition 2

January 03, 2017

by Rapheal Begay

As the end of the year comes to a close so does my internship at the Harwood Art Center.  With community development at the heart of my minor in Arts Management, my time spent at the Harwood has allowed me to observe, collaborate, and contribute to this great organization.  Not only did this experience open my lens and eyes to the idea of community, I was able to become a part of it.

I believe that everyone is capable of creating something fantastic or imaginative; this is the greatest aspect I’ve grasped during my time with the Harwood staff. To create #CommunityNotAudience is a new found goal that I have fostered.  A fellow creative told me: “to change a community, one must first understand and be a part of that community.”  Little did I know, I was capable of playing a role within the Harwood that enabled me to understand and contribute to the community within a short period of time. 
Looking back, I recall my first day at the Harwood where I stressed the importance of my desire and passion for the arts in the community and myself.  As the months progressed, I soon found myself immersed in the creative and accepting environment that was not only informative, but enlightening.  Each day offered new insight that I believe I would not have been able to realize if it were not for this opportunity.

Each day, I knew in my heart that I was a part of something larger than life. During my time at the Harwood, I met several creative individuals renowned in their craft and discipline. I mention this because, as a student and emerging artist, I have always felt discouraged to say hello to the people I respect and admire. However, to meet fellow artists and to realize that they are human just as I, was one of the most inspiring moments I’ve had. Interestingly, I saw myself in the many individuals committed to their craft, their passion, and their dream; something I thought I lacked in life.  Knowing this, I shall embody a core of bravery, equality, and acceptance that each individual associated with the Harwood exudes. 

With the dedication to community and art in mind, I realize that the world is full of possibilities. My ultimate goal during my internship was to learn how to develop and sustain a community within an arts center, yet, I now realize that is exactly what I do.  As a photographer and visual artist, I approach reality with the fantasy in mind.  I strive to create a space within my work that allows the viewer to experience and become something other than themselves; just like the Harwood.  I will no longer ponder my role and mission in life, I have found a home in the creative community and I am determined to make my dream a reality.  To quote the wisdom of Robert Heinecken, “I am not so concerned with the photographic medium as a smooth rectangular window out, but as a variously shaped and surfaced vehicle in.”  Similar to a photograph, the Harwood Art Center is a stage of discovery, fantasy, and humanity that, like myself, aims to inspire

With Love and Art,

Rapheal Begay, UNM BFA Undergrad

Why do you 12x12?

December 02, 2016

by Staci Drangmeister

If you have ever been to Harwood’s 12x12 Exhibition and Fundraiser, you would probably agree that it is like the Black Friday for art in Albuquerque. If you haven’t been, however, don’t let that description scare you away. I must admit, I am NOT a person who does Black Friday. I don’t like shopping or crowds or getting up at the crack of dawn for any reason. But 12x12? I adore it. It is a magical, beautiful, crazy, exciting, enjoyable, loud, entertaining, wonderful night! Yes, it is crowded. Yes, people are “shopping.” But as local artist, educator, and Harwood studio artist Michael Hudock told me, “it’s nice to see people aggressively buying art.” 

For 12x12, artists create works of art that are sold or auctioned off in support of Harwood Art Center. These artists are all ages and come from all walks of life. They are professional artists, staff members, studio artists, students at Escuela del Sol, emerging artists, and middle school children in our Creative Roots program. They all contribute their time, creativity, and self-expression to the fundraiser.

Each year, we are overwhelmed by the wonderful artworks these artists donate to support the Harwood. We are fortunate to have so many talented people willing to participate in the exhibition. I had an idea about why these artists are willing to contribute, but I wanted to ask them and hear their thoughts about the show. With the wide range of artists participating in 12x12, I wanted to talk to a range of artists about their involvement. I had the opportunity to speak with studio artist Michael Hudock, Harwood Arts Education Coordinator Drew Kirkpatrick, and Escuela del Sol Jr. High student Julia about the 12x12 Exhibition and Fundraiser. Here are their thoughts on the show and the reasons they participate:


Julia, Jr. High Student at Escuela del Sol Montessori

Why did you chose to donate work to the 12x12 show?
I really like making art, and I wanted to participate since I’m a new student at Escuela del Sol. I think it is a really great fundraiser that helps Escuela and Harwood. I ended up making the best piece of art I’ve ever made for the show.

What was your experience creating work for the exhibition and fundraiser?
I thought of an idea of what I wanted to do. I drew it out on a blank piece of paper. Then I drew a pencil outline on the board. Then I painted and made paper mache. It took quite a while to mix the flour, water, and glue to make the paste. I used over 100 strips of paper for the paper mache. It was quite a long process. It look 6-8 days.There were many steps involved.

What are your overall thoughts and feelings about the event?
I have never been to 12x12. Harwood does a lot of events, but I have only been to one; open studio night. I think 12x12 is a great idea and a great fundraiser. When we first talked about doing 12x12, I thought it was going to be 12 feet x 12 feet. When we got the panel, I was like “Oh, okay.”


Drew Kirkpatrick, Arts Education Coordinator at Harwood Art Center

Why did you choose to donate work to the 12x12 show?
I chose to participate in this year’s show after my initial experience at last year’s 12x12 exhibition. Having fully experienced the show’s process and completing my first year as a Harwood staff member, I felt confident enough to contribute this time around. As much as I enjoy working “behind the scenes,” as a visual artist, I couldn’t reject the opportunity to participate knowing how much fun I would miss!

What was your experience creating work for the exhibition and fundraiser?
My work is largely representational with cartoonish/pop-culture influences, so I knew my piece for 12x12 would follow this convention. My work is also almost always personally reflective with elements of symbolism. I opted to create a mixed-media/collage piece because I find this “cut and paste” approach works well with my personal aesthetic.

What are your overall thoughts and feelings about the event?
12x12 is a very special event. The show features the works of nearly 200 artists from our incredibly diverse and talented community. In contrast with our larger community event, Encompass, 12x12 provides guests and participants with a more intimate but equally varied artistic experience.


Michael Hudock, Studio Artists at Harwood Art Center

Why did you chose to donate work to the 12x12 show?
I participate in 12x2 because I am asked. I like that I’m asked by the place where my studio is to participate, and it is nice to contribute. Before the 12x12 Fundraiser, artists would donate existing works to the show of varying sizes. I prefer the format of the 12x12 Exhibition and Fundraiser.

What was your experience creating work for the exhibition and fundraiser?
I like making work specifically for this show. 12X12 plywood isn’t a material I typically use, and it is nice to work in a different way. I always learn something new when I make a 12x12. I enjoy the process of creating for 12x12.

What are your overall thoughts and feelings about the event?
12x12 is like Black Friday for art. It’s nice to see people aggressively buying art. I’ve never seen galleries as full as they are at 12x12. It’s a little crazy, but that the way a fun party should be. It’s part of the spirit of the whole event.


12x12 is only a day away, and we can’t wait to share this wonderful exhibition with you! Thank you to all of the amazing artists for donating work to the show, including Julia, Michael, and Drew.

Saturday is sure to be an amazing night of art, music, friends, family, food and fun. Tomorrow will be my second 12x12 as a staff member as first as a participating artists! I can’t wait to see you all there and share in the magic that is 12x12!

For more information about 12x12, visit the event page >.

Through the Lens of - Edition 1

October 03, 2016

by Rapheal Begay

Hello, my name is Rapheal Begay. I am an up-and-coming visual artist currently pursuing a BFA in Art Studio and minor in Arts Management at the University of New Mexico with an emphasis in photography and community development.  With a creative passion, I approach both life and art by means of experience and knowledge.  I am currently a recipient of the UNM Arts Management internship at the Harwood Art Center, and this is my story:

As I walked up to the front entrance of the Harwood Art Center on my first day, I was overcome with excitement and motivation to showcase my passion and will to learn.  I was eager to understand all that this collaborative experience between Harwood and the UNM Arts Management minor has to offer.

During a welcoming interview, I stressed the importance of my desire and passion for the arts within the community and myself.  I firmly believe in the freedom found within creative expression and hope to channel all that I learn into the pursuit of my creative and professional career.  In short, I wish to obtain the necessary knowledge and understanding of how a community within the arts can exist and flourish.  My lifelong dream is to open my very own community arts organization on the Navajo Nation; this dream is what makes the Harwood Art Center the perfect choice for my internship.  With the support and guidance of the Harwood staff, I believe that my time spent here will be incomparable to anything I have experienced.  I truly believe in the mission of the Harwood and look forward to working within this organization.

During an informative tour of the campus and facility, I was able to understand the immense presence that Harwood has within the community. With this in mind, it was clear how and why Harwood embraces its role within the creative community.  Harwood as an organization, like me as an individual, believes in the transformative power of art.  The facility radiates with acceptance and diversity as it embraces artistic energy in and outside its walls. 
Later that evening, I returned for the opening reception of Harwood’s 7th Annual Bridge: Arts & Social Justice exhibition which included Song of the West: Erin Currier, Replacement System 5.1: Jane Gordon and Home/Abroad: Latent Image Collective.  Little did I know that the evening would be filled with so much creative talent and a shared appreciation of the arts.  It was truly an exciting moment for me, as I normally try to avoid large crowds, to be in a room full of inspired people. I was able to see the interest and support fellow community members had for the outreach of Harwood.

Notably, the Latent Image Collective, founded by Nick Tauro Jr. and Karen Mazur, had a very interesting exhibition of photographs centered on the notion of “home.”  The images alone were visually captivating, and the accompanying stories incited a full range of emotions. As I paced through the gallery, the exhibition moved me in a way that I had not anticipated; I began to question my own notion of “home.”  Immediately, the work of Francesco Di Marco, Italian photographer, captured my attention due to his aesthetic and photographic eye for scenery and atmosphere.  In his artist statement, Di Marco says “Photography saved my life.” Conversely, photography is my life. 

In the end, my internship at the Harwood Art Center is off to a fantastic start.  This is the first time that I am able to exercise and finesse the skills and mindset needed to accomplish my dream of developing and operating a community arts organization.  Working as a member of a creative community, I hope to grasp any and all facets of this experience to inform my life as a student, artist, and above all, as a human being.

Play Pétanque in Burque

September 20, 2016

Wouldn’t it be lovely to escape the mundane this weekend? Maybe hop on a jet to France and wander the streets of Paris at night? Imagine waking up early in the city and strolling down to the local café where the barista bids you “bonjour.”   You nibble on a croissant before heading to the countryside for a leisurely game of pétanque…

Okay, okay.  You probably don’t have it in your budget to just spontaneously fly to France for the weekend, and you might not even know what pétanque is—but don’t worry! A weekend out of the ordinary is possible right here in Albuquerque.  Join us this Sunday, September 25, for the 2nd Annual Burque Pétanque Tournament where you’ll experience French culture and friendly competition.

What is pétanque, you ask? Pétanque is a yard game that originated in France at the beginning of the 20th century.  Game play is fun and easy to learn for all ages!  To play pétanque, first divide players into two teams.  Teams can range from singles to triples.  Each team selects their boules, which are metal balls.  Next, flip a coin to see which team goes first.  Now, to play! There is another type of ball used in pétanque called a cochonnet or a jack.  You toss this small wooden ball 20 – 30 feet from within a small plastic circle to begin.  Then teams take turn throwing their boules from within the same circle, trying to get as close to the cochonnet as possible.  The team whose boule is closest to the jack wins a point. The first team to 13 points wins!

If you’re still confused, think bocce ball or curling.  Or just come a bit early to the tournament for pétanque mini-lessons!

Are you ready to play? Then be sure to come to the 2nd Annual Burque Pétanque Tournament this weekend!

Here are the details:

What: 2nd Annual Burque Pétanque Tournament
Where: Old Town Farm in the north valley, 949 Montoya Street NW, Albuquerque, NM
When: Sunday, September 25, 11a to 2:30p (Pétanque mini-lessons will be held from
10:30a-11:00a, so come early!)
Who: ALL AGES! While the tournament is open to adults and children ages eight and above,
there will also be plenty of child-friendly activities for younger family members.
Why:  Pétanque is a blast!
You can win cool prizes!
Lunch is included!
Proceeds benefit Escuela del Sol Montessori and Harwood Art Center!
How: Register online here > 
Kids are $20 per person, adults are $30 (which includes a box lunch).

It may not be the French countryside, but we’d argue Old Town Farm is even more beautiful!  And we may not be actually going to France, but let’s skip the jetlag and pretend.  We can’t wait play pétanque and enjoy a beautiful Sunday with you. À plus tard!
Au Revoir!

Youth Mural Project: Hayes Middle School

September 12, 2016

By Staci Drangmeister

When I walked into the cafeteria at Hayes Middle School last week, the room was abuzz with excitement. The cafeteria is the site of Youth Mural Project’s mural at Hayes, and the students were hard at work.  Students were pouring paint and mixing unique colors.  They were adding a coat of paint over the graphite mural outline and asking each other and the teaching artists for input and suggestions.  Although this is the first year of Youth Mural Project at Hayes Middle School, the students in the program acted like old pros that knew exactly what they were doing.

The Harwood Art Center started Youth Mural Project because we recognized the need for a creative outlet for middle schoolers.  Middle school can be a difficult time of transition for adolescents, and art provides a positive impact on their lives.  By providing students with an opportunity to engage with art, work with professional artists, and contribute murals in their communities, we hope to provide students with a fun, educational experience that enriches their lives.  Art can empower children by giving them a space to express themselves and take pride in the places they inhabit.

In the first year of Youth Mural Project at Hayes, students are working with local artist (and Harwood studio artist) Shawn Turung.  Shawn’s playful style of painting and laid-back nature is a perfect fit for working with middle school students.  When walking around the cafeteria at Hayes, I was impressed with how she managed to keep the students engaged and working while they were simultaneously having so much fun. Our Creative Roots Program Assistant, Helen Atkins, also helps guide the students through the mural making process, providing extra support as the students undertake this massive endeavor.

When visiting Hayes, I got to ask the students directly about the mural making process thus far.
Students informed me that the first couple weeks, they talked about their ideas for the mural and drew a design.  The design is a food landscape.  There will be a large hamburger in the middle, a spaghetti river, fields of crops, and of course, red and green chile.  The students had drawn the mural outline the previous week, and the day I visited was the first day of painting. As I walked around observing and talking to the students, some of their responses were simply wonderful. I will share them directly:

SD: “Why did you choose to do this kind of food landscape?”
Student: “Well, we’re making the mural in the cafeteria, so it just made sense.”
Student: “We wanted to show all the kinds of food you can find in New Mexico.”

SD: “Was it hard for everyone to agree on the design?”
Student: “Not really. We had a lot of ideas, but we just picked the ones that went together. It wasn’t hard.”

SD: “What have you enjoyed most about making a mural so far?”
Student: “It’s really cool because they let us do what we wanted.  We got to pick what to make and that was awesome.”
Student: “There aren’t a lot of murals here, so I like that we get to make one and come up with our own idea.”

SD: “How do you think your classmates that aren’t in Youth Mural Project will react to the mural?”
Student: “They’ll think it’s cool.”
Student: “They’ll think it looks hideous and it will make people feel sick.”
Student: “They’ll be shocked and really excited.”

The students in Youth Mural Project were thrilled to be painting last week.  It seemed to me not everyone is sure how the final mural will come out, but the process in new and exciting.  Students feel like this is their mural, because it is.  It is their idea, design, and hard work that will allow the mural to be completed.  Even though not all of the students are confident in their work, I know it will come out great.  I can’t wait to go back to Hayes at the end of the semester to see the mural! And to share it with you all of course!

Our Creative Roots Programs, including Youth Mural Project, are made possible through grants and individual contributions.  You can support these programs by donating here>


Art is for Everyone

August 31, 2016

A Reflection by Staci Drangmeister

Most people have come across a few extraordinary, magical books in their lives.  The type of book you read and subsequently can’t get out of your head. I was fortunate to encounter one such book this summer.  While talking to my sister on the phone a few months ago, she recommended I read “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

“Elizabeth Gilbert?  That name sounds familiar…”

“She’s the author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ I’m not sure if you read that, but ‘Big Magic’ is about living a full, creative life and is totally different that ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ I think you’d love it.  You should check it out.”

That evening I bought the audio book, put in some headphones, and ended up finishing the book by the next day.  Many of the sentiments addressed throughout “Big Magic” resonated with me. In her book, Gilbert explains, “the universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” She reminds us that we are all creative, and by choosing to listen to our urges to create, we are honoring ourselves.  She encourages the reader to create without expectations and without fear. It was just what I needed to hear at that moment in my life, and I am grateful Gilbert shared her work with the world—and that my sister helped me to find it!

Some of the beautiful thoughts Gilbert shares throughout the book came flooding back into my consciousness today while chatting with colleagues about this month’s upcoming exhibitions. September is Harwood’s annual Bridge: Arts & Social Justice exhibition.  During our discussion, we agreed that it is essential to make space to celebrate and honor the creative process.  Further, providing access and opportunity for people to create empowers them.

In Big Magic, Gilbert addressed the concept of creative entitlement.  Although “entitlement” usually has a negative connotation, the creative entitlement Gilbert discusses is completely wonderful:

“Creative entitlement doesn’t mean behaving like a princess, or acting as though the world owes you anything whatsoever. No, creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that—merely by being here—you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.”

This type of creative entitlement is something I hope everyone can posses in their lives. It is also a value we embrace at Harwood.

While thinking about social justice, we couldn’t help but contemplate the corresponding injustices in the world. Turn on the evening news, and we are inundated with images and stories of violence and suffering.  We see, hear, and experience personal, social, political, and economic strife. We witness injustices committed against our friends, neighbors, and families, both at home and abroad.

Creative entitlement helps combat these injustices, however, by reminding us that everyone has the right to be here.  We all have the right to have a place in this world, to have our own ideas, and the freedom to express and create.  This understanding also provides an opportunity to build community. 

When we come together to experience the Bridge: Arts and Social Justice exhibition this month, we will have the opportunity to connect and converse.  We will honor the voices and visions of others, think critically about what we see and hear, and maybe even be inspired or enlightened.  The world is far from perfect.  But if you ask me art—whether it be your favorite book or your most treasured painting, sewing a quilt or wheel throwing pottery—makes everything better.

The Whole Person Workplace

July 21, 2016

Personal Reflection by Community Outreach Coordinator Jen DePaolo

After today’s regular staff meeting two things became clear: We’re headed full swing into a new and busy school year and we – the staff of Harwood Art Center – feel genuine gratitude for where we’ve landed in the work force.

I met the Harwood Art Center as a graduate student at the University of New Mexico. Friends and colleagues held exhibitions of their work at Harwood and in September of 2008 I held my MFA exhibition here as well. Home Economics was a month-long foray into the art of living. I set up the main gallery as an artful domestic interior and throughout the month, I served meals in the gallery for participants that had signed up at the opening. We gathered around a table covered in hand made linens and pottery to enjoy locally grown ingredients and my blend of Italian and New Mexican cuisine carefully prepared in Harwood’s industrial kitchen. Home Economics was every bit the bombast an MFA exhibition should be and through the course of it, I fell in love with the Harwood. As I learned about the staff and programs beyond the gallery, I saw the art school dreams of my late teens take shape in the form of this non-profit. 

In the years to follow I stayed involved as a volunteer and art teacher. In 2011 I came on board the Harwood staff as Community Outreach Coordinator during a time of loss and upheaval in my personal life. As I adjusted to new and challenging job duties, new colleagues and the constantly shifting sands of adult life I was met with compassion, grace and encouragement.  In this way, the Harwood Art Center became the backdrop (and sometimes the stage) of what I often think of as “my new life.”

In the last five years many faces have come and gone from around the circle of our staff meetings but what has emerged is a genuine camaraderie that supports a whole-person work place. Each staff member is encouraged to envision, to experiment and to bring their full set of strengths and interests to the table. And each of us is encouraged to nurture whole and meaningful lives.

In the end of June, I packed up my work, hugged my team tearfully and boarded a one-way flight to Buffalo, New York to join my family during a time of loss. I was able to BE there, and to BE FAMILY – not just sashay into town for the big events, as I’ve had to do in the past. I spent three weeks with my family learning to love and let go in new ways. In addition to tearful embraces and difficult conversations we made time for brunch, counting fireflies from the porch after dark, cheering on our small athletes at baseball games, back yard camping and throwing water balloons at bare feet on hot afternoons.

These weeks in Buffalo proved to be among the most challenging and rewarding weeks of my life and they would not have been possible without my Harwood team behind me. I was able to meet grant deadlines from Buffalo and continue plans for the start of our fall outreach programs. Feeling connected to my life and work in New Mexico helped anchor me in the storm my family faced. I don’t know any other job that would have allowed me to embody my life in this way.

I landed in Albuquerque on a blazing Tuesday morning after a red eye flight. After fetching my dog from the sitter’s, I headed straight to Harwood Art Center, bleary-eyed and hazy. I had come home and I was relieved and grateful to find it all in tact.

In times of loss and uncertainty, it is easy to imagine everything we hold dear evaporating.  And of course, my family isn’t the only one experiencing loss. I have many colleagues carrying their own burdens. Nationally, we have much to grieve as we fight for justice and unity. But it’s a fight of love and we’re in it together. We’re not perfect. We’re a human institution and like any, we fumble as often as succeed. But in a whole person work place we can be honest about the whole picture as we pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. So I raise my glass of iced coffee to that small peace and wish the same for you as you resume your fight, weather your storm and prepare for your new season. And if you need a little boost, come find us at Harwood Art Center where there will always be, at the very least, a hug and some good local art waiting to greet you.

Jen's family making art together during her June visit.

Jen having brunch with her siblings in Buffalo.

Jen's nephews playing baseball as she cheers them on!

Jen with the students and artists of Youth Mural Project, a program she manages as Community Outreach Coordinator at Harwood. 

In the Studio with David Santiago: What Do Surface, St. Jame, and My Hair Have in Common?

July 14, 2016

by Staci Drangmeister 

I’ve not so secretly always wanted to shave my head.  I’ve thought it would be liberating to cut off all my locks, and that it would make me feel like a rebel.  Although I’ve always had this desire, for some reason, I was reluctant to cut it all off myself.  Instead, I’d dare friends and boyfriends, challenging them to shear my head.  I wanted someone else to do it. This is a bit bizarre, I realize. But recently, I got what I’ve always asked for.  Well, almost. Let me rewind a bit, though, and start with the art.

As you may know, summertime at the Harwood Art Center is Surface time.  Surface is Harwood’s annual Emerging Artists juried show, professional development workshop, and endowed cash awards program.  I’ve been to the Surface opening multiple years, but this is my first summer experiencing Surface as member of the Harwood staff.  Each year, the Surface show is phenomenal.  The artists exhibiting in Surface are truly some of the best up and coming artists in the state, and quite frankly, some of the best in the nation.  If you’ve been to Surface, you can definitely back this statement up. The part of Surface the public doesn’t get to see, however, is equally, if not more, magical.

The Saturday immediately following the First Friday Opening is the surface professional development workshop.  This all day workshop focuses on how artists can further themselves as professionals, looking at business practices as well as social, commercial, and communication frameworks. Expert panelists graciously speak at the workshop to provide valuable insight and real world knowledge to Surface participants. 
The program begins with a panel about refining the artists’ language and narrative. This year, the three panelists in this section were Eric Christo Martinez, Valerie Roybal, and David Santiago. All three of these accomplished artists have deep roots at the Harwood, and are members of our community that we are incredibly lucky to have. Although all three have interesting stories to share, for the sake of this blog post and your time, I’m going to focus on Sir David Santiago.

If you are not familiar with David Santiago’s work, do yourself a favor and check out his art>. Santiago is native of Albuquerque, specializing in mixed-media female portraiture.  His layering of mediums creates dreamy effects that are highly attractive.  Constellations of freckles, striking hair color, and doe-eyes contrast handsomely against wood grain backgrounds.  If you’d like to see his art in another way, swing by Tractor Brewing> for a beverage and check out his artwork featured on their cans and hanging on their walls, as he is their exclusive artist.  David’s work is all around Albuquerque, and it is not difficult to see why.

I met David for the first time the day of this year’s Surface Workshop.  On that same evening, my dear friend, Chloe, and I stopped by Winnings for the “1x1x$100” show featuring David Santiago, Reyes Padilla, and Justin Yazzie.  During their school days, Chloe worked at Bookworks, a local independent bookstore; and David worked at Flying Star, the adjoining local eatery.  At the Winnings show, Chloe and David reminisced about the old days off Rio Grande, when Chloe used to beg David for free coffee, and David used to peruse art books.   After rekindling their old camaraderie, David invited Chloe and me to check out his new studio in the Sawmill district, so we agreed to reconvene soon.

A few weeks later, I met Chloe and David at David’s studio after work.  David’s studio is beautiful.  It’s a bit like an Ikea ad, but with a good dose of personal charm and lots of lovely ladies.  Bins full of Urban Decay makeup (David is sponsored by them) and Nars blushes were enough to inspire envy in any make up lover.  In fact, Chloe and I happen to use the same blush David uses in his art on our own faces. So naturally, we rifled through his things, looked at his art, and bombarded him with questions.

David was working on a larger piece, and the figure’s hair was not yet painted in.  Chloe and I predicted she would be a platinum blonde named Matilda Star. David informed us that she was in fact a brunette...but we weren’t quite willing to give up on her name.  Our conversation turned from talk of art and work to life, friends, and the weird.  I somehow segued to explaining my odd tendency of trying to talk people into shaving my head. Ten seconds later, David simply volunteered: “I’ll shave your head.”

I was so surprised, that all I could say was, “Okay.”  We spent the next few minutes talking through the logistics of the cut.  Being that David doesn’t cut people’s hair regularly (or ever, for that matter), he didn’t have clippers readily available.  David was willing to go pick up clippers; however, the three of us decided to go for an old fashioned, mechanical cut with a pair of scissors that were already at our disposal.  As we were about to begin, David suddenly seemed a bit nervous, perhaps realizing that I might turn into a monster and freak out after the first snip.  To calm his nerves, I put my hair up into a ponytail, and did the honors of sawing the first six inches right off.  David looked at the chunk of hair in my hand, and calmly said, “Looks like I’ve got a new paintbrush.”  With the first cut out of the way, David took the scissors and got to work.

If I ever had to have an untrained almost stranger cut my hair, I’d hope it was David Santiago.  David’s female portraits are stunning and made with the highest level of craftsmanship, and I feel like he gave my hair the same meticulous attention.  In his portraits, David layers materials with care and precision.  In his haircutting, he did the same.  Even though he had never before cut hair, he gave me an elegant, short new do that I couldn’t help but love! Even though it wasn’t shaved, it gave me the same feeling of wild, reckless, rebellious beauty.

To be a bit cliché and a touch sentimental, I have to say that one of the best things about Albuquerque is the people in it, specifically, the lovely artists.  Artists who are willing to share their expertise with others, support their friends, and even cut a stranger’s hair.  Surface is a wonderful program and I am honored to have been a part of it. David is an amazing artist who has both benefitted from the Harwood Emerging Artists Program and given so much back to our community.  I’ve walked away from this year’s Surface with a new pal, a new hairdo, and a beautiful new memory.  I am pleased to say, my head is David Santiago’s latest creation, a further testament that art can bring people closer together.


Chloe inspecting the final cut in David's studio.

Action shot of the haircut, along with Matilda Star in the background. 

Art Camp Scholarship Fund

June 01, 2016


One of our core beliefs at the Harwood Art Center is that “equitable access to the arts is an integral part of a vibrant community.”  For our annual Summer Art Camp, we carry this belief with us.  We have made an effort, with the support and commitment of our community, to make sure every child who has a desire to attend camp can do so, regardless of his or her family’s financial situation.  This year, we are honored to provide Art Camp financial aid scholarships to campers that demonstrate need though the generosity of Marble Brewery, A Good Sign and private donations.
This past Saturday, May 28th, we held a Fun(d)raiser at Marble Brewery to benefit Harwood Art Camp Scholarship Fund. A portion of Marble’s sales from the afternoon were donated to this worthy cause.  Friends, family, neighbors, and community members came together to enjoy the warm spring afternoon with drinks, music, a raffle, and art making!  It’s always nice to chat with friends and enjoy beer at Marble, but this past Saturday was an exceptional day to spend together in support of art education. 

We were pleased to have DJ Matt, Joanie & Darin, and the Kevin Herig trio grace us on the Marble stage all afternoon. Their music set the tone for a fun, relaxing day.  Nothing quite like some great, live music to lift your spirits.  To raise more money for the scholarship fund, Harwood held a raffle at Marble.   100% of the ticket sales went directly to the scholarship fund, and local businesses and musicians donated beautiful prize packages for the raffle.  Harwood, the recipient campers, and the winners all appreciated the generous contributions.  The donors of prizes were:

Sarah Bridger of Pretty Please Salon
Olo Yogurt Studio
Izzy Martin
Kevin Herig Trio
Maude Andrade Designs
Stone Age Climbing Gym
Pop Fizz
Joanie of Combo Special
Taj Mahal Cuisine of India
Cheese and Coffee
Quixotiqui by Juli Kois
Adelita Jewelry
Le Chat Lunatique

In addition to live music, a raffle, and of course, really good beer, we also made art on Saturday!  The Harwood staff set up a button making table, and kids of all ages made buttons to adorn themselves with.  There were children who donned dozens of buttons in an array of bright colors, and adults who made quirky sayings to pin on themselves and their loved ones.  There is something wonderfully nostalgic about making and wearing a button!

Through the Fun(d)raiser on Saturday and the support of A Good Sign and private donations, we were able to provide financial assistance to every child that applied this year!  Giving children in our community the opportunity to attend Harwood Summer Art Camp is such a beautiful gift, but it gets even better.

This year, Harwood’s Chief Programs Officer, Julia Mandeville, was the keynote speaker at The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce’s annual Education Excellence Awards Banquet, a banquet presenting scholarships to deserving students.  At the end of her speech, Julia presented the inaugural vanGils Summer Arts Scholarship.  The vanGils Summer Arts Scholarship is a full ride scholarship for a session of Art Camp awarded to a deserving student in our Creative Roots Program.  This year, the lead artist from the Garfield Middle School Mural Program > received the vanGils Summer Arts Scholarship for her outstanding leadership, artistic vision, and commitment to the arts!  This young, driven artist will now be able to continue her art education over the summer at Harwood.  We are so excited to see the amazing things she will create this summer, and we are thrilled to be able to offer her a scholarship to attend camp.   

Thank you to everyone who came together to support the Harwood Art Camp Scholarship Fund! Because of your generosity, we can help children learn and blossom through the arts.  Our hearts are thankful.

Q & A with Harwood Artist Will Geusz

May 04, 2016


As we celebrate Harwood’s 25th anniversary in 2016, we are thankful for those members of our Harwood community that make this place so remarkable.  We are grateful to every single member, past and present, young and old, who have had an impact on our community.  This month, we would like to honor and recognize Will Geusz for his contributions to Harwood.  Will is a local artist and UNM alumni who has been involved in multiple Harwood programs.  He has been an apprentice and lead apprentice in the Mayor’s Art Institute, worked as the teaching assistant in Creative Roots, worked on the Hahn Arroyo Lithomosiac project, and participated in multiple Encompass shows at Harwood.  We had the pleasure of chatting with Will about art, life, and the Harwood this last week:

How did you first become involved in Harwood?
I applied for the Mayor’s Art Institute > in Spring 2009.  My older brother had applied for the program previouslt, but didn’t end up doing it.  My ceramics teacher at Albuquerque High told me I should apply, and I got in.  That was the summer after I graduated high school.

In what ways have you engaged with Harwood?  What is your “Harwood Story?”
I was in the Mayor’s Art Institute for a lot of years.  I was an apprentice and later worked as a lead apprentice.  I started working with Creative Roots > as the teaching assistant in 2010.  I worked with the program for two years, and came back to the program when the current Community Outreach Coordinator, Jen DePaolo came to Harwood.  There were programs at Wells Park and Barelas when I first started Creative Roots in 2010. 2014 was the first year of the mural project at Garfield Middle School, and I worked with that program, too.
I was part of the Hahn Arroyo lithomosaic project >.  We did a few Community Outreach days with that project, and the community helped put together some of the mosaics that were used.  I’ve worked at other Community Art Days and been involved in multiple Encompass shows.

What has been the most rewarding or creatively invigorating part of your work at Harwood?
Working with the Mayor’s Art Institute, it was cool to see the finished product at the end of each summer.  With Creative Roots, I liked being able to see students grow up in the program.  I ran into a 6th grade student while working at the Garfield Mural project who had done Creative Roots as Wells Park as an elementary student. It’s been fun to see cute, dorky kindergarteners turn into hell raising 3rd and 4th graders.

What projects are you currently working on, and what are your current artistic interests?
I’ve been making a lot of maggot mugs.  They’re mugs that have faces that are covered in maggots. I first started making those for the gross factor and to get a reaction out of people.  I’ve also been getting back into making olla jars for planting and growing vegetables. I’m going to be in a group show at Small Engine > over the summer.  I’m planning to show my mugs and some other new artworks including these little house tiles I make. My band also has an album coming out May 20th.  Our music is performance based and includes flamenco. 

What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions time or money what would you create?
I would cover a whole room with tons of clay slabs that had bunch of my weird little houses on them.  The slabs would be greenware, and I’d cover an entire gallery space.  I’d get high speed cameras and have my band record a twenty minute set.  I’d have a ton of people in the gallery that would just destroy the room.  There would be liquids to throw on the walls and a mosh pit, and the cameras would record it all in high speed shots.

What does the Harwood mean to you or your community?
Harwood is the crossing point between people and ideas.  It is the intersection of free expression and also the more serious and mission oriented aspects of art.

How can people get to know you and your art?
If people are interested in seeing my art, they can check out my Etsy shop >.

Art Fix. A Debut (Students of Lea Anderson and Ivan Boyd)

April 25, 2016

Review by Johanna Wild

The room is buzzing with conversation as I arrive at the Harwood’s Art Fix. A Debut opening, and so crowded with people, that one slowly shuffles in rank and file from one artwork to the next. Currently on exhibit in the Harwood’s smaller exhibition space is a group show of fifteen artists who attend this institution’s weekly Art Fix class jointly taught by artists Lea Anderson and Ivan Boyd. Coming from all walks of life and equipped with varying degrees of experience in art making, the exhibited artists seemed to agree unanimously that Art Fix provides a place to push their practice while finding camaraderie around a common passion. While art school-trained Jocelyn Salaz and Luanne Redeye already have a number of exhibitions under their belt and will be familiar to Albuquerque art audiences, some of the artists on display have taken intermittent art classes while pursuing careers in other professions, while others still profess to being relative art “newbies”. Lea Anderson and Ivan Boyd, who curated this first showing of their students’ work, explain that their class seeks less to instruct than to provide guidance, so that artists working at various levels and in a range of different styles and media may find or further develop their own artistic voices. This made for an exhibition of refreshing honesty and variety, featuring one to two exemplary works by each artist.

Both Jocelyn Salaz and Luanne Redeye contributed portraits that carry personal relevance but also speak to a larger history of art. Jocelyn Salaz’ Mere is a frontal portrait of her father standing in an empty, white space. The middle-aged man’s disarming smile and relaxed composure are complicated by Salaz rendering of his heart as externalized for all too see on the surface of his blue, collared shirt. The artist explains that the painting attests to her father’s struggle with a heart condition. But it is also a highly conceptual work that explores the role of Santos in 21st century life through experimentation with valuable pigments and materials traditionally used in this Spanish colonial tradition. In Mere, Salaz applies indigo and cochineal - a red dye derived from insects found in Mexico and South America. She further articulates a visual connection between her father’s heart and his cross pendant necklace by marking sections of both through the application of gold leaf. Salaz relates that, as a material that is both fragile and associated with power, the materiality of gold leaf itself serves here as a metaphor for the nexus of vulnerability and strength. Mere thus unites the spiritual and the material, creating a convergence between the martyrdom of the saints and the earthly struggles of men like her father.











In the past, Luanne Redeye has created portraits of community members from the Allegany Indian Reservation on which she grew up, to combat stereotypical representations of Native American life. For her contribution to this exhibition she turns to the history of art and its representation of Native American individuals. Her serigraph, Corn Planter, cites an eighteenth-century portrait of the Seneca Chief Cornplanter by Frederick Bartoli, but Redeye has reduced his oil painting to simple forms and lines in a Pop Art fashion. Printed in a dark blue, she situates his otherwise transparent likeness within a dreamlike web of overlapping symbols and shapes derived from Seneca beadwork.

Anne Kirk is an abstract painter who brings previous training to the table, having earned an Associate in Art in L.A and having attended Gage Academy in Seattle, Washington. As one of the larger pieces in the show, her painting, Dream Thesis draws attention not just for its size. From a distance, what first catches the eye is an apple still life reminiscent of Cézanne, but expressively rendered in pastel colors and framed with flimsy, almost playful outlines. As the eyes begin to wander around the canvas, we leave the domestic still life scene and are drawn into other imaginary worlds. We make out a swimmer’s back, crawling into the distance in an undefined body of water, the foreground is marked by a constellation of tools, while the background dissolves into patches of color reminiscent of Diebenkorn landscapes. Like dream work syncopating various experiences into a disjointed and yet surprisingly coherent narrative, Dream Thesis plays with space and time, smoothly transitioning us from one illusory world to the next and, seemingly, from one art historical reference to the next, in a painted collage.









Mary Oertel-Kirschner’s abstracted landscape painting Rain nicely complements Kirk’s adjacently hung Dream Thesis in scale and formal language. Having studied painting for ten years and naming Diebenkorn as an important influence, Kirschner acknowledges that the Art Fix instructors encouraged her to push her paintings of the natural world further into abstraction. Rendered in warm tones of ochre and orange, mixed with off-whites and blackish-blues, Rain consists of irregularly undulating, horizontal bands that tentatively evoke heavy rain clouds, the abstracted outlines of a mesa in the distance, or a forked river as seen from aerial perspective. The center of the canvas is dedicated to a heavily over-painted, ochre color field that is suggestive of heavy rainfall in its transparent, runny application revealing blues and greens underneath it.









Nancy Magnusson’s abstract composition, Mount Washington, might be read as a landscape but also conveys an interest in exploring texture and space on canvas. Her aesthetically minimalist painting consists of a square-shaped, stiffened white tissue paper applied to a gray background at an angle, with its tip extending beyond the frame. The tissue paper is mirrored by a corresponding black shape layered below it, which readily reads as its shadow, and lends depth to the composition. A vertically placed, pastel yellow block provides a visual counterweight to the left, which the artist’s granddaughter, present at the exhibition, readily identified as “the sun.” While certainly enjoyable on its own terms, the title encourages us to draw connections between the textured tissue and the snow-topped peaks of Mount Washington farther out East, where Magnusson originally comes from.









As a trained geologist and software developer with some background in photography, Clark Poore reconnected with his artistic side by studying with Lea Anderson. Since the Art Fix exhibition was otherwise dominated by painting, Poore’s roughly triangular, wooden wall assemblage, Sail stood out as a more sculptural piece of work. Poore cuts reclaimed wood into geomorphic shapes with a router and assembles them into suggestive compositions. While the title of the piece appears to allude to water sport, the viewer might infer other meanings. Might we be recognizing a flock of ducks in the sky? Poore calmly refrains from comment and smiles. He does convey though, that his compositions usually start out as sketches and that this particular piece consists of discarded, pre-painted wood left from other installations.











Juli Curtis’ small-scale watercolors Desert Medusa and The Big Pink depict close-ups of cacti in loud pop colors. She renders the cacti from photographs, translating their features into intricate, patterned designs with ink and filling the outlines with watercolor washes. The tactile feel of her whimsical line work and the watercolor washes contrast nicely with the brash pinks, yellows and greens of her pop aesthetic. Having only recently turned to art more seriously, Curtis usually works as a teacher. Counting herself among the “art newbies” in the group, one looks forward to seeing her enhance these meticulous watercolors in size.







While the exhibition is dominated by landscapes, both figurative and abstract, it encompasses portraiture and also includes Surrealist dream scenes painted by Joshua Roxby and a collage of fruit stickers by Teresa Brown, among other works. The exhibition attests to the abilities of Lea Anderson and Ivan Boyd to foster a space of inspiration and mutual support that encourages artists of various trajectories to push the boundaries of their artistic practice.

Summer Art Camp with Lindsey Fromm

March 29, 2016

By Staci Drangmeister

I have grown up around Harwood and spent many summers in the 6th Street North Studio.  On a number of those lovely, sunny summer afternoons, I’ve walked through the Harwood campus on my way to visit the café or get a bit of fresh air.  Although I haven’t been directly involved with Summer Art Camp, I’ve seen the excited young campers learn new techniques as I go by, working alongside their teachers to create interesting works of art.  I’ve witnessed campers buzzing about as they celebrate the end of the camp session, preparing to perform for their families and ready to share their new expertise and creations.  I’ve even enjoyed a pineapple habeñero paleta from Pop Fizz > when they come to Harwood’s campus to celebrate the end of a camp session and sell their tasty treats.

Seeing the enthusiasm campers and teachers share for Art Camp, I know I would have loved Art Camp as a child.  I also actually not so secretly wish there was an adult Summer Art Camp, so I could go now!  Art Camp provides a unique opportunity for campers to explore art and expand their minds in the summer months.  Arguably the best part of Art Camp is the quality of teaching artists.  The Harwood teaching artists possess a passion for art, collaboration, and education, all of which are vital to our community and essential to working with children.  When reading over the bios of the teaching artists >, it is obvious that it is a special group of people working at Art Camp. When reading over the class descriptions >, it’s easy to see why kids (and parents) keep coming back for Art Camp session after session, year after year.

With a wide variety of classes to choose from, there are classes for children with all types of interests.  One class that particularly caught my eye, was Handmade Paper: Sculpture & Installation with Lindsey Fromm.  The class description reads:

“In this class we will work together to create a beautiful installation! We will first make handmade papers in lively shapes, colors and textures, and then apply them to painted forms. Hung together, it will be one huge, beautiful artwork!”

I was interested to learn more about Lindsey and her Art Camp classes.  Lindsey graciously agreed to meet me for a cup of coffee in the Harwood Café last week to discuss her work and her classes at Art Camp. In addition to teaching Summer Art Camp at Harwood the last few years, Lindsey works with students at Highland High School through the Friends of the Orphan Signs projects, teaches Art Practices I & II at CNM, and creates her own artwork, often at her Harwood studio.  She loves being able to work with a range of students, as teaching a variety of people and working with the community is exactly what she wants to be doing.

I’ve met Lindsey on a number of occasions, but chatting in the café was the first time I really got to talk to her about her life and her work.  Let me begin by saying that is Lindsey one of the kindest people you could ever meet.  She is also an artist dedicated to not only her own creative practice, but to collaboration with those she teaches.  When we chatted about her experience in art and in education, it was immediately apparent that teaching and art go hand in hand for her.  Lindsey uses her interactions with students to inspire her own creative practice, and she encourages her students with their creative visions by providing the knowledge of materials and expertise of design to help facilitate student’s creative efforts.

Lindsey is a papermaker, but has studied and uses a variety of mediums in her own artistic expressions.  Linsey’s classes for this summer’s Art Camp center on handmade paper, and she will teach her students papermaking techniques.  Each of her classes will explore a slightly different area of handmade paper and the possibilities of uses.   The parameters and themes of the classes provide a starting point for student exploration.  Lindsey does not confine her students to these parameters, however.  If her student has an idea, no matter if it’s involving handmade paper or not, she will work with them to figure out how to complete their project.  Summer Camp for Lindsey, although it provides a wonderful opportunity to share the world of handmade paper, is also a time for students to explore art as they desire.  Since she has a studio at Harwood, which, by her description, is packed full of art supplies, Lindsey can easily access different supplies and tools at breaks that fit the needs of her students.  She can also easily transition from teaching during session to working on her own artworks after without skipping a beat.

For the Handmade Paper: Sculpture & Installation I was first drawn to, Lindsey has a vision for the installation.  She wants to paint Army net with her students that will be hung from the ceiling or draped over forms.  The paper objects the class makes will be installed on the netting.  How the installation comes to fruition is in the hands of the campers, though.  The installation could take many different forms and directions, depending on the students’ desires.  Lindsey also wants to make wire forms with the class to which they will adhere handmade paper.  These sculptural forms, again, will look very different depending on what the students want to create.  She is showing them materials and ways of using them, but not restricting their creations. Children are innately playful in their artmaking, and Lindsey encourages playfulness and exploration in her students’ work.

Discussing Art Camp with. Lindsey, I was inspired by the way she speaks of working with youth.  She is empowering and providing facilitation.  She is creating an opportunity for students to grow, learn, explore, and have fun.  Her classes are playful and promote free association of ideas and techniques.  Harwood Art Camp is special because of Lindsey and the rest of the teaching artists.  They love what they do, they are engaging and encouraging, and they open new horizons for our creative youth.  I am looking forward to being around Harwood again this summer.  I cannot wait to see the installations, creations, and performances campers come up with.  It is going to be a beautiful, ,art-filled summer. 

Register for Art Camp>
Learn more >

In the Studio with Maude Andrade

March 02, 2016

In the Studio with Maude Andrade

A Preview to Open Studio Night at Encompass

By Staci Drangmeister

The studio hallways at Harwood are usually calm and quiet.  On the night of Encompass, however, the entire building buzzes with crowds of excited visitors. The fact that Harwood can be both a place of quiet solitude as well as a place to connect to with the community, is one of Maude Andrade’s favorite things about the Harwood.  In anticipation of Encompass and open studios, I asked Maude if I could interview her in her studio.   After she graciously agreed, I visited Maude in U-7, on a quiet, average Friday afternoon.  Maude showed me her stunning artworks, talked to me about her current endeavors, and gave me insight into her history as an artist and at the Harwood.  I was honored to spend part of that afternoon with Maude, and am happy to share some of her works and stories.

Before Maude was a painter and studio artist at Harwood, she worked in textile design, creating high-end, hand-woven clothing.  Although she enjoyed parts of the fashion industry, her creative expression changed when she found her love of painting at the Harwood.  The most pivotal moment for Maude was taking Holly Robert’s painting class in 2001.  Holly’s style of painting resonated with Maude, and launcher her into the world of painting.  Maude became a studio artist at Harwood in 2004, and her son became a student at Escuela del Sol shortly after.  Since that time, Maude’s work has been evolving, and we are so fortunate to have her here at Harwood.

Holly Robert’s artworks combine painting and collaged photographic images.  Maude began to explore the combination of painting and collage after taking Holly Robert’s class. Maude used collaged images, but she used images that had been manipulated on a photocopier, not her own photographs.  Slowly, she realized the areas in which you could see the collaged elements in her works were shrinking and shrinking, until only a small portion could be seen.  Then, Maude began making paintings in which the collaged elements were present, but they were completely covered, becoming shapes underneath the surface. She would paint the first layer, or underpainting, add collaged element, and then paint an additional layer that covered the entire collaged element. Future Perfect 3 is a beautiful example of this type of painting.  Maude continues to work and experiment with this technique.

Many of Maude’s current works are made in the traditional “Holly Robert” method, but the collaged elements are taken out of the artwork.  In these types of painting, Maude does an underpainting first.  She does not allow viewers to see the underpaintings, as they have recognizable images and words.  The underpainting are then covered up with another layer of paint, although some areas can still be seen through the top layer.  The underpaintings are highly meaningful to Maude, but the end painting is abstract and non-representational.  One of these such works, Killer Whales, will be on display at Encompass in Argent.

Maude enjoys sewing and still likes to make dresses, even though she isn’t designing dresses for a living.  Maude has often worked with Tyvek, and has created many Tyvek dresses.  Although she enjoyed the process, the dresses weren’t really wearable.  The material didn’t fit well on the body, and Maude was not interested in addressing the practicalities involved in sewing dresses.  Maude is friends with local poet (and wonderful teacher at Escuela del Sol) Tanesia Hale-Jones.  Tanesia had explained to Maude that she wanted share her poems in an interesting format.  Maude thought the Tyvek dresses would serve as the perfect vessel for Tanesia’s poetry, and Tanesia agreed.  The two artists have been collaborating on the dresses and poetry, and will be exhibiting the collection at Harwood in May.   The collaborative works examine the stages of womanhood in both the structure of the dresses and the words of the poetry.  This current collaborative project is possible because of the friendship between Maude and Tanesia, who first met when Maude’s son was a student in Tanesia’s class.

Although I got to chat with Maude on a quiet Friday, I hope you will take the time to talk with her this noisy, fun, and fabulous Saturday.   Maude has many beautiful artworks, expressions of creativity, and stories about her experiences, so be sure to say “hi” and stop for a chat at Encompass.  You’ll know Maude’s studio, U-7, by the Tyvek “watercolors” hanging on the walls.  Kei and Molly Textiles > will also be selling their goods from Maude’s studio, so you can’t miss it. 

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Come back to see exhibitions > from Maude at Harwood in April at Connections and May at Romance & Necessary Fictions.
Visit Maude’s website > to learn more about her work.  
To purchase Maude's clothing, visit her online store >.

New Growth: The Seedling Sign

February 02, 2016

Creative Roots Program Update

Rejuvenating the Forgotten:The Seedling Sign

By Staci Drangmeister

If you have driven down 6th Street between Mountain Rd and Lomas Blvd recently, you may have noticed the freshly painted, vibrant yellow sign filled with magical works of art.  This beautiful new sign, the Seedling Sign, is the product of collaboration between Harwood’s Creative Roots program, Friends of the Orphan Signs  (a local public arts collective you can check out here>>), and the young artists of our neighborhood. 

For those unfamiliar with Creative Roots>>, it is the outreach program of Harwood Art Center that provides free, community based art opportunities for youth ages 6-14.  Creative Roots has three points of community engagement, Weekly Workshops at Wells Park Community Center, the Youth Mural Project at Garfield Middle School, and Saturday Community Art Days for youth across the city.  The newly completed Seedling Sign is the culmination of three such Community Art Days.

When Harwood first acquired the original sign (and the property on which it stands, now 6th Street Studio South) back in 2014, the sign was dingy, its white paint peeling to expose rust.  The sign was abandoned and unimpressive to the unimaginative eye.  The Harwood community is not unimaginative, however, and we knew from the moment we saw that forgotten sign that it held great potential. 

Our vision for the sign aligned with the Friends of the Orphan Signs’ vision for “orphaned” signs in Albuquerque. Ellen Babcock, Founding Director of Friends of the Orphan Signs, says about abandoned signs:

          “Although mute and bare, they were sturdy, and seemed to 
be waiting for something. We imagined that they called out for art.”

With the belief that our Harwood sign was calling out for art, we teamed up with Friends of the Orphan Signs to explore the possibilities hidden within the bare, dilapidated sign. The sign was first rejuvenated with fresh paint in a cheerful yellow. The spruced up paint job breathed new life to the sign’s frame, preparing it to be filled with art.  Then the fun part came, making great community art. 

Friends of the Orphan Signs and Creative Roots held three Community Art Days in the summer of 2015. These weekend events were open to the children of the neighborhood and their families.  Artists Lindsey Fromm and Myriam Tapp led the art days and invited community members to generate imagery inspired by their experiences in our neighborhood. The participants shared their experiences and points of view through drawing, painting, photography and collage.

Although many exceptional works of art were generated during these Community Art Days, designs by youth artists Jude Baca and Chloe Sanderson were selected for installation into the sign cabinets. Their magical, playful artwork now adorns the north-facing panels. Laser-cut panels depicting silhouettes of cottonwood leaves and butterflies adorn the south-facing panels. Once abandoned and forgotten, the sign is now a beautiful work of art created for the community, by the community.  The Seedling Sign is a whimsical reflection of our neighborhood. It is an artwork we are grateful and proud to have on the Harwood campus.

The laser-cut panels are permanent fixtures in the sign. The south-facing cabinets will eventually be replaced with new community-generated artworks, as they will serve as an evolving reflection of our community. We will solicit our community’s creativity again at future Community Art Days to create new designs for the Seedling Sign. Stay tuned and we will let you know how you can be involved!  Until then, walk, run, bike, or drive by 6th Street Studio North and check out the fantastic Seedling Sign for yourself.

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The Next Community Art Day: Crowing Glory

Although the Seedling Sign Community Art Days will not take place this spring, there is a wonderful Community Art Day coming up in a few short weeks, Crowning Glory!

At Crowing Glory, you will have the opportunity to make your very own 'Crowning Glory,' a glorious headpiece made out of recycled materials and found objects.  Artist Lita Sandoval (read about Lita and check out her crown in New Mexico magazine here>>) will guide you through the process of creating your headpiece and provide tools to make your own fun embellishments.

This Community Art Day is an all ages, free event, but space is limited.
Please RSVP at lita@edelsol.org or call 505-242-3033.

The Crowing Glory Community Art Day is on Saturday, February 20th from 1:00pm-4:00pm at Harwood’s 6th Street Studio North (on the southwest corner of 6th and Mountain).

Check out the Crowing Glory Community Art Day on Facebook>>


Susan Klebanoff

Susan Klebanoff

Former Resident Artist

I had the good fortune to be an artist at the Harwood Art Center from 1996 – 2005. It was wonderful being in a community of artists that were so creative and supportive of each other. Having just arrived in NM in ’96, it was particularly meaningful for me because I did not know anyone in this state, and it enabled me to create immediate friendships with like minded people. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work at Harwood and believe that the [Harwood] Art Center is vital to the neighboring community.

Susan Klebanoff is an internationally recognized contemporary tapestry artist who lives and works in Albuquerque. She kept a studio at Harwood Art Center from 1996 – 2005.

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