There is no better way to delve into the minds of people who lived long ago than through their art, symbols and stories represented visually. We can learn so much about a group of people by absorbing and studying what they created. Rock carvings and paintings, ancient pottery, and design motifs still seen in weaving all speak to techniques handed down from parent to child. What is so interesting to me is that so many of these motifs are seen in cultures around the world, as if there are symbols and designs that all people are drawn to making. We are so fortunate that some cultures have honored artistic traditions, so in a way, we are looking back in time when we see contemporary art. Notice the same wave pattern in these examples of pottery from the Andrea Fisher Gallery in Santa Fe. While on our Fiber Art tour and workshop in April, we will be spending some quality time at the gallery, seeing older and newer pottery from many pueblos and discussing the intricate patterns, decoration and symbolism. At the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture we’ll hear a guided talk about the even older art and explore the symbolism and motifs used in the past–fascinating! I am looking forward to seeing how being immersed in this beautiful art can be applied to our own creative pursuits in the workshop. I have always been interested in universal symbols- the spiral, square, circle, equidistant cross and triangle, and came across a book by Angeles Arrien called Signs of Life. The book explains the use of these symbols cross culturally and shows artwork that uses them. We’ll be discussing this in the workshop and hopefully, be inspired to explore the meaning of the symbols in our own work. I have done a series of felted pieces exploring this, as in this example: You’ll see several of the universal symbols represented- I wanted to see how they might affect my mind and composition as I worked, and found it very enlightening. I look forward to the Santa Fe workshop and tour, and sharing the richness of the art there with you!
Posts Tagged With: Tours to Pueblos
Desert, mountains, waterfalls, ancient petrolgyphs and villages long
abandoned..and thriving native communities, opening up their pueblos and art to us….these are the elements woven into the tapestry of our
tours to the southwest! After many visits to the Santa Fe and Taos regions, I find this one of the most exciting places to offer travel workshops. The landscape is stunning, the light
unlike anywhere else, and the shapes and colors in the landscape resonate long after seeing them. After taking day trips to explore the area, meet with artists and visit galleries, we delve deeply into creating fiber art with our memories, photos, and sketches. Felt making is so “user friendly” that people with all levels of experience can achieve outstanding results.
With my ceramics and archaeology background I have been a student of rock art around the world, as well as pottery from many cultures. The abundance of both media in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas is truly amazing, and there is no experience quite like gazing at images pecked into rock, or drawn with oxides, and pondering the messages. One can feel the bond between humans, and our need to express ourselves through art. The pottery motifs date back thousands of years, and the rich contemporary traditions make a journey through the regions’ examples so enriching.
Some of the patterns represent natural sites, weather, or animals, while other motifs are sophisticated use of pattern and repetition. On our workshop tours, we bring this imagery back to our hands-on workshop, and hope the art of the ancients will inspire in us new ways to create in fiber.
A visit to Santa Fe would be incomplete without seeing the contemporary art scene, and plenty of time and opportunity will allow strolls through the Canyon Road and Plaza gallery districts, absorbing the interpretations artists are making of life, landscape and culture.
We hope you can join us on an outstanding tour and workshop in April 2016!
“Felting the Southwestern Landscape”
A hands-on workshop and tour in Santa Fe, New Mexico
April 17-26, 2016
The landscape of southwestern New Mexico is rich in color, form and ever changing light, and beautifully lends itself to interpretation is art. In this workshop we will explore ancient petroglyphs and pueblos where the past and present merge, learn about the history and culture of Santa Fe and surrounding areas, and experience the rich and vibrant art scene with visits to artists and museums. All of this experience will be brought back to our hands-on felt-making workshop focused on “Felting the Southwestern Landscape”.
Local guides will enhance learning the history through a walking tour, and several day trips to surrounding areas will be included. We will make frequent stops for photography and sketching the desert, mountains, gorges and architecture that will be used from inspiration for the workshop projects. Visits to ancient petroglyph sites and pueblos, Georgia O’Keefe country, weavers and fiber artist galleries, and the entrancing Chimayo church and village will be sure to inspire. There will also be time to visit the excellent museums of the area, such as the Georgia O’Keefe museum, Contemporary American Indian Art Museum, and the Museum of Folk Art. A typical day outing will begin with a visit to artist Roxanne Swentzell’s gallery (http://www.roxanneswentzell.net/) followed by the Poeh Center, which provides a visual description of pueblo life as well as an outstanding gallery of native art. We’ll travel the Rio Grande route, stopping in view of the mesa and Rio Grande gorge bridge to photograph and/or sketch. In Taos, we’ll visit the Millicent Rogers Museum and have some time to walk in the plaza and have lunch. Next, we will visit the Taos Pueblo and have a guided tour. We return on the High Road through the mountains (more photo opps!) and will spend time in the Spanish village of Chimayo, a sacred pilgrimage site. Robert at Ortega’s Weavers will demonstrate his art as we wind our way back to Santa Fe. A stop at a local winery for a wine tasting will complete the day.
Felt-making is an ancient art, used for thousands of years to create clothing, shelter and tapestries. In this workshop we will use needle felting to create art by painting with the fiber. Your instructor, Joan Molloy Slack, learned to felt in Ireland, where she has led art and cultural tours for 15 years. After exploring the variety of ways of working with fleece, from Turkish rug making to creating hats and mittens, she became fascinated with the possibilities of using the fiber “pictorially”. She has taught workshops using this technique for over 14 years, and enjoys using symbols, mythology and personal imagery in her landscapes. In the workshop we will bring our experiences in the landscape into our felt-work, and Joan will discuss and demonstrate how to bring a personal, unique and exciting dimension to the landscape format.