As the news cycle tells seemingly endless stories about the carnage in Ukraine, a group of New Mexico artists wants to help.
Opened at the Outpost Performance Space’s Inpost Artspace, a dozen artists will donate part of the proceeds from 27 works to Direct Relief, a non-profit organization providing emergency medical assistance and disaster relief. disaster.
“We just wanted to try and do something,” said Chandler Wigton, co-curator with Lacey Chrisco. “We were very pleased with the influx of people willing to participate. There are so many nice and generous artists in this community. Some people donate all of their sales.
The artists agreed to a 50% split. The works will also be available online. The artworks range from prints and paintings to mixed media and ceramics, with styles ranging from political to landscapes and abstraction.
When Albuquerque artist Julianna Kirwin heard about the fundraiser, her thoughts first turned to bombed-out buildings and rubble-strewn streets.
Instead, she decided to be positive, producing a linocut print of a bold pair of sunflowers. “Peace in Ukraine” writes the print base.
“The sunflowers represent Ukraine and it seemed like a positive message,” Kirwin said.
The artist majored in art and bilingual education at the University of New Mexico. She shows her prints at the Hecho a Mano in Santa Fe.
“I love doing multiples and I like being able to offer my works at a reasonable price,” she said. Kirwin also does woodcuts and enjoys combining techniques.
“Normally I like to layer my hand cut stencils around the print,” she said. “It gives it a bit more depth.”
Albuquerque artist Mark Horst painted an image of two Ukrainian Orthodox women praying.
“As a painter, I always collect pictures from newspapers and magazines,” he said. “I thought it was really about the darkness of war and their strength and their hope. I know there are a lot of different views on the war, but I thought this reflected their experience.
A professional artist for 12 years, Horst is known for his figurative work and his use of chiaroscuro, strong contrasts between light and dark. He exhibits his work at the Sumner & Dene Gallery. He grew up in Minnesota and moved to Albuquerque 12 years ago.
Retired engineer Tom Brown always loved to draw, so he took a class at Central New Mexico Community College. A course in engraving followed, where he met the curators of the exhibition.
Brown created the “Finger Puppet-Faces of Evil” etching and aquatint, an image of his hand, his middle finger holding an image of Vladimir Putin, and a skull. The vipers embrace between the two.
“I started taking the course and had to come up with ideas,” Brown said. “I looked at my hand and made a gesture. It was just a real visceral reaction to the destruction.
The hammer and the sickle, symbol of the former Soviet Union, flatten the forehead of the Russian dictator. But sunflowers, the national symbol of Ukraine, bloom at the bottom of the print. For the artist, they symbolize hope.
“He can do whatever he wants, but he can’t stomp on that,” Brown said. “I was hoping things would change and it wouldn’t be relevant anymore.”