“There are too many projects happening at the same time and none of them are managed in any sensible way. It’s pure greed–everyone
wants to develop as much as they can and make as much money as possible. It’s crazy.” (excerpt from Hollow City/Rebecca Solnit) ** referring to the tech boom in San Francisco nearly 20years ago
The following notes are moments i feel are the mile markers of gentrification. How might we be complicit? How can we support communities and grow our cities in holistic ways? How can we ask ourselves, business owners and developers to ask important questions?
(winter 2016)….. A year before we moved to 2nd & Lead I had started reading about the relationship between artists and gentrification. I had spent the past 8 years on my hands and knees setting tile in local Mcmansions to dump any and all income into creating a sustainable art space. Shortly after moving into the space a neighbor business owner said, “Let’s make this the next Wynwood.” I didn’t mention I had just returned from Miami a few weeks earlier and had stumbled among the remnants of an industrial, working class neighborhood turned art party- Wynwood. You could see where people made things, hopefully made a living, built a business….maybe it’s nostalgia-but I can’t shake the feeling that cities are trading in something meaningful for a veneer of progress. Developers want us to believe in transformation.
(summer 2017) on our street, twice a day- a steady stream of people travel to and from the Albuquerque Rescue Mission for food and additional resources. In my mind, it is a welcome reminder of the deep disparities in our communities. Occasionally, it’s a little more than just passing by, I get to know their name. It was the beginning of June, a young woman we will call “D” started using our bathroom about twice a day. A few, short days later another artist was beyond alarmed by D’s presence. In less than 90 seconds, a self-professed progressive activists engaged in #metoo, #blacklivesmatter had labeled the woman a thief. Being a once homeless female,I was more invested in providing use of the restroom and possibly, a tiny bit of dignity. That summer we hosted our first social practice visiting artist. Christine Wong Yap’s project, Belonging offered a poignant interrogation of the deeply entangled issues that comprise where we all might belong. “The goal of Belonging is to reveal the pivotal experiences that shape one’s sense of belonging and connectedness to a place and country, and how it ultimately defines our authentic selves; and to say, We All Belong Here.http://christinewongyap.com/work/2017/belonging/index.html I wonder how it is that we can compartmentalize the category of “other”?
(spring 2017)“The class is free for everyone living and working in THIS neighborhood!,” from a new Santa Fe non-profit(who is buying tons of distressed properties in Barelas and south Broadway neighborhoods). My first thought, I’m afraid of the the facility who’s teaching course…this is their logo- Do people working and living in Barelas feel unsafe? Do the non-profit’s employees, new to the neighborhood feel unsafe? The flyer says it’s supported by Project Reinvest: Neighborhoods…grant funding to “stabilize and revitalize distressed communities”. The grant appears to be related to real estate foreclosure. A little more research warrants my intuitive fear of the self defense facility, “militant, martial and combat ways”, along with experience in corrections and a shout out to our friends at the NRA. I had done a bit of contracting work with the non profit, they were all very nice folks and feel like they are good intentioned. I reached out to the CEO to have coffee and talk about gentrification. An initial yes was dropped a few weeks later. Some of the questions I wanted to address were: How can we facilitate/engage the larger, more difficult questions(class/race/displacement)? Why are people’s homes being foreclosed? Who exactly are we trying to make safe?
(summer 2018) bodies on the sidewalk or graffiti? In the past few months, occasionally there will be a visibly large tag somewhere on the property. The first time it happened, I must have received at least five phone calls before lunch from neighbors and the city Graffiti Task Force. I compare this seemingly codified sense of alarm to the disregard to a body lying on the sidewalk. A few weeks back I was walking over to an opening of community based exhibition. On the approach to the building, a handful of folks were ahead of me headed to the front door. Like a miraculous parting of the Red Sea, each person and group approaching the door side stepped the body of a young man on the ground. ….to be cont.
(late summer 2018) First Fridays have long been an industry staple. I have had mixed feelings about these events. Early on, in our first location I had been invited to participate in what’s called Artscrawl. I could never afford the hefty, I think 1200 annual fee to be officially included in the widely publicized event. Back then, as I do now- word of mouth and building solid reputations with artists is my primary means of advertising. Fifteen years forward, I don’t know that Artscrawl still exists. I do know that multiple businesses employ the first Friday to generate crowds. In the last year, our block and downtown in general has multiple venues ……..to be continued
April 27 – May 11, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, April 27 6-9pm
Poetry reading by Beata Tsosie-Peña 7:00pm
CLOSING RECEPTION: May 11, 2018 – 6:00-9:00pm
In Gently Radical Changing, Kaitlin Bryson engages with the legacy of toxic contamination and subsequent trauma in ecologies ridden with histories of environmental injustices. The work presented in the exhibition offers gestures of remediation and healing to these places, through bioremediative sculpture and performance, video, installation, and participatory workshops. In partnership with the Environmental Justice department of Tewa Women’s United, based out of Española, New Mexico, this work synergistically explores how radical environmental and social change can happen through compassionate acts of interspecies collaboration.
The work presented in the exhibition will transform and physically change throughout the duration of the show. Some works will appear and others will disappear. Viewers are encouraged to stop by throughout the exhibition run to observe the living works.
Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series
Gently Radical Changing, new works by Kaitlin Bryson is one of two exhibitions in 2018 that is part of Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series. The Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series offers professional space for the culminating exhibition that defines the student’s launch into their profession as an artist. The series hopes to underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s historic connection to contemporary art practice.
About the Artist
Kaitlin Bryson lives and works in the high deserts of New Mexico, and has spent her life working as an artist and organic farmer. Drawing from her experience as a cultivator, her artwork illuminates the processual nature of life through the lens of transformation. Biological materials are embedded into her work so that the “finished” pieces have the potential to play, transform, and live out their own dynamic processes. Her work unfolds as restorative gestures for human and nonhuman audiences, serving as a reminder that mutability and adaptability are the common grounds we all inhabit.
Bryson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Nevada, Reno in 2012, and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Art & Ecology from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Holland Project in Reno, Nevada, Site Santa Fe, and BioCultura in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has been performed at The Holocene in Portland, Oregon. In January of 2018 Bryson will participate in the Interface Residency Programme in Gallway, Ireland, supported by funding in part from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation.
April 6 – 21, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, April 6, 6-9pm
Artist Talk: Monday, April 9, 4-5 PM, UNM College of Fine Arts, Room 1020
Football is a manifestation of the cultural processes that shape male-identified formations of body. Using a visual vocabulary that hovers between photography and painting, these works on paper explore the aspects of heroism, romance, and idealized gender role play embedded in representations of college football players.
Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series
Football is Nick Simko’s UNM MFA Photo thesis exhibition and the first of two exhibitions in 2018 that is part of Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series. The Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series offers professional space for the culminating exhibition that defines the student’s launch into their profession as an artist. The series hopes to underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s historic connection to contemporary art practice.
About the Artist
Nick Simko is an interdisciplinary artist. Simko’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the United States including the Walters Art Museum, The University of New Mexico Art Museum, 516 Arts, and Hillyer Arts Space. Simko holds a BFA degree in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is presently completing an MFA in Photography at the University of New Mexico.
curated by Candy Nartonis and Ellen Babcock
March 2 – March 30 , 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 2, 6-9pm
Migrations contextualizes human migration so that it can be mourned, accepted, embraced, and even in some circumstances celebrated. In our present world, millions of people have been forced to leave their homes. Political danger, famine, earthquakes, fire, rising water, and personal tragedy have caused so many human beings, world-wide, to experience displacement. Forced migration and movement made by choice are two sides of this range of journeys motivated by survival and by dreams of a better life. Important to this story are the migrations to find better and more suitable work and to reconnect with family.
Albuquerque as a city and Alburqueños as a people recognize the richness that migrations have brought to our state. As a group we have been particularly sensitive to the problems our new neighbors encounter. We reached out to many concerned groups while we planned this exhibition and the related events. They have all helped tell this story of current and historic migration.
Migrations touches on the sanctuary movement, the difficulty of crossing national borders, and threats of deportation. It will include community members who migrated or have family stories to tell. We’ll include supporting materials such as maps and histories. A room representing a safe place will fill the center of the gallery space. Inside this space, you will hear personal accounts of forced exodus, uprooted families, war and political and natural events that compel people to move. You will be able to add your own story or consider what you would do if you found yourself in this situation.
Artists and scholars contributing to the exhibition:
Ellen Babcock, Adam Herrera, Evey Jones, Israel F. Haros Lopez, Troy Lovato, David Mora, Candy Nartonis, Zeke Peña, Reed Perkins, Eric-Paul Riege, Jim Roeber, Carol Weber
Sunday, March 4: New Mexicans in Movement: off-site
First of the series: Sunday, March 4, 10am-12pm
We are sponsoring a series of guided walks to interact, share and connect with New Mexican global wanderers; persons for whom migration has defined their lives and the personality of our state. Among the hosts are successful innovators, former diplomats, misfits, multi-generational New Mexicans, as well as recent arrivals. These walks are created by Sidni Lamb at Mindful New Mexico. Check Mindful New Mexico website
http://www.mindfulnewmexico.com/ for dates, locations, and descriptions of walks in the series.
Saturday, March 10: 7pm, The Sanitary Tortilla Factory
Israel F. Haros Lopez performs Mexican Jazz
Poems of migration from his recent publication of Mexican Jazz, a graphic codex novel about women and children in detention centers. He will also be reading excerpts form his latest works, La Llorona Xronciles and Ghostbraids. La llorona Xronicles retells the classic story of La Llorona, the weeping woman and interrupts narratives of myths and oral histories. Ghostbraids is an exploration of Chicano poetry, experimenting with bilingualism, immigration and diverse poetic forms, visual poetry, improvisation and soundscapes, each reading of these works become site specific.
Saturday, March 24, 5-7pm, The Sanitary Tortilla Factory
Potluck Dinner and Music: you are all invited to this celebration of gifts. Bring a food offering from your homeland, write your family history, meet others.
We’ll supply plates and forks, drinks, and food from around the world.
ABOUT RACHEL COOK
As curator of DiverseWorks in Houston, TX, Rachel Cook is passionate about the organization’s mission to “commission, produce, and present new and daring art in all its forms through innovative collaborations that honor each artist’s vision without constraint.” Her curatorial work reconsiders the relationship between images and objects, and investigates methods of delegation embedded within performative and participatory work. She has helped to organize commissioned projects with Tony Feher, Liz Magic Laser, Heather and Ivan Morison, Wu Tsang, Pepe Mar, and Chelsea Knight and Mark Tribe.
Her writing has appeared in a number of art journals and catalogues, including Modern Painters, Flash Art, and the Prospect 3 catalogue. Prior to joining DiverseWorks, Cook worked for dOCUMENTA(13)’s publication team, and was a fellow for the International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York. She holds a Masters from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and a Bachelors from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Cook has recently been appointed Creative Director of On the Boards in Seattle, WA. Her visit is organized in partnership with ICI and with full financial support provided by Common Field.