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The Artist Process

The Artist Process hosted by Gallery Chaco proved to be a spirited weekend full of friendship, light, and laughter. Seven tremendous artists showcased the intimate work they put into their creations. Karen Clarkson drew a portrait, Tammy Garcia painted, Ira Lujan hand blew glass, Rhett Lynch and Mateo Romero painted, Penny Singer created Native inspired garments, and Adrian Wall sculpted.

  Tammy Garcia,   Rhett Lynch,  and  Penny Singer  at the reception. 

Tammy Garcia, Rhett Lynch, and Penny Singer at the reception. 

The reception on Friday night was a great opportunity for the artists to socialize before they were focused on creating the following day. That being said, all of the action happened on Saturday. See pictures of the artists working and read more below!

  Karen Clarkson  drawing a portrait of Night Zamora.

Karen Clarkson drawing a portrait of Night Zamora.

Karen Clarkson is a self taught Choctaw artist who works in a wide range of mediums. Gallery Chaco has a diverse mixture of her work, varying from painted leather canvases to adorned buffalo skulls. Karen's art communicates the spiritual nature of her Native roots and pays homage to the sacred aspects of her lineage. Her portraits specifically capture the beautiful energy of her Native subjects. During the show, Karen drew a portrait of a stunning Indigenous woman named Night Zamora. Karen's gentle pencil strokes and immense attention to detail made for an engrossing experience for onlookers.

  Tammy Garcia  working on the beginning stages of a painting.

Tammy Garcia working on the beginning stages of a painting.

After about thirty years working with clay and twenty years creating bronzes, Tammy Garcia has recently started painting. At the beginning of this year the Santa Clara Pueblo artist dove into the new medium without hesitation. While Tammy has only completed a handful of paintings thus far, her work is both impeccable and distinctive. Inspired by her clay and bronze designs, the artist creates pieces with fantastic pottery imagery. At the show Tammy completed a black and white oil piece with the grace of a seasoned painter. 

  Ira Lujan  blowing glass outside of Gallery Chaco.

Ira Lujan blowing glass outside of Gallery Chaco.

When he's not in his studio outside of Santa Fe, Ira Lujan is blowing glass elsewhere with the use of his mobile unit. After receiving a fellowship award from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Ira built this travel unit to promote the art of glass blowing and to share his artistic process with others. Hailing from Taos/Onkay Owingeh Pueblo, the artist incorporates native themes and influences along with ancient techniques to form his glass blown creations. This weekend Ira showcased his talent on the street outside of Gallery Chaco, where he created a glass horn for a collaborative piece with Adrian Wall and Mateo Romero.

  Rhett Lynch  working on a painting in his studio.

Rhett Lynch working on a painting in his studio.

Rhett Lynch didn't have much to set up for this show, as his studio is located within Gallery Chaco. The lively and colorful piece shown above is sitting on the artist's painting table. With over ten years of love, the table is covered in paint from many different projects. Rhett is known for his intense use of color, which is interwoven with multifaceted intent. The artist demonstrated a technique on the day of the show using a small piece of cardboard to lay turquoise paint over the yellow paint in a way that creates a unique blending of the two.

  Mateo Romero  painting a collaborative sculpture created by Adrian Wall.

Mateo Romero painting a collaborative sculpture created by Adrian Wall.

Mateo Romero is a contemporary Pueblo painter with roots connecting to the Southern Keresan Cochiti people. Mateo’s paintings reflect a pattern of evolution and change. The images are powerful and imposing, juxtaposed with swirling gestural paint marks and drips. The artist most often creates acrylic and oil paintings with timeless, archaic elements of Pueblo culture that are juxtaposed with contemporary abstract expressionist palette knife and brush work. After completing some small landscape pieces at the show, Mateo painted a sculpture for a collaborative project with Adrian Wall and Ira Lujan.

  Penny Singer  working on appliques for jewelry bags.

Penny Singer working on appliques for jewelry bags.

Penny Singer is a Diné clothing designer who has created a collection of unique handmade clothing and accessories that embraces the Native American Spirit. Penny acknowledges that she is an artist, as she sees the fabric that she uses as a canvas, the thread as her color palette, and the sewing machine and needle as her brush. With supplies strewn across two tables at the event, the designer revealed just how much goes into designing a piece. With all of her colorful fabric and patterns scattered around her work space, it was easy to see that Penny has a passion for vibrant Native designs. 

  Adrian Wall  sculpting a piece for a collaboration with Ira Lujan and Mateo Romero.

Adrian Wall sculpting a piece for a collaboration with Ira Lujan and Mateo Romero.

Adrian is a renowned sculptor from Jemez Pueblo who has been working in the medium for over twenty years. The artist enjoys carving pieces that represent the mystical aspects of both his Indigenous heritage and of the Southwest. Adrian set up his sculpting work table outside of Gallery Chaco for the event. While working on the piece in the photo above, Adrian decided to make the final product a collaborative piece with Ira Lujan and Mateo Romero. Ira spent the day creating a glass horn that will adorn the male side of the sculpture while Mateo Romero painted the piece. Watch out for the finished sculpture on our Facebook page and website!

 A group photo of all seven artists in Hotel Chaco's serenity garden. From left to right:  Ira Lujan ,  Adrian Wall,   Rhett Lynch,   Penny Singer,   Tammy Garcia,   Karen Clarkson,  and  Mateo Romero.

A group photo of all seven artists in Hotel Chaco's serenity garden. From left to right: Ira Lujan, Adrian Wall, Rhett Lynch, Penny Singer, Tammy Garcia, Karen Clarkson, and Mateo Romero.

While a beautiful spring breeze blew through the gallery, there was a powerful energy that emulated from so many talented hands creating in the same space. As strong contributors and important voices in the Native community, the artists created an air of support and friendship for one another as they worked. The Artist Process was a beautiful event that celebrated the spirit of the artistic creation.