Experimentation with vacuum is a collaborative showcase featuring 11 advanced students from the Studio Art Program at the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico. The exhibit takes place at Exhibition Gallery 208, one of the first physical exhibits since the pandemic shutdown began last year.
These artists explore different perspectives, qualities and arrangements of contemporary artwork, with a wide range of intentions: to dismantle the genre and celebrate queer culture, explore internal emotional life during COVID19, examine photographic memory versus personal memory. and the relationship of identity to objects, restoring nature in a tactile way and reconsidering the markers of progress through the prism of post-colonialism, creating contemplative spaces through still life and extending photography to represent oneself .
Each artist presents excerpts from a one-semester exploration that is the culmination of their activities through BA / BFA programs. The artists are Julia Andreas, Bridey Caramagno, Mathew Duda, Wanashe Frank, Bob Macdonald, Briana Moreno, Vince Navarette, Jacob Nunez, Consuelo Ortiz, Claire Plymale and Elizabeth Wilkinson.
The exhibition will run until May 29 at Exhibition 208 Gallery, 208 Broadway Blvd, SE in Albuquerque.
Robert mcdonald is a 61-year-old retired non-traditional photographer and student.
âI think Experience with the Void is a great show that everyone did a great job of. There is great depth and breadth in the art that we have all created and that we are now showing. I believe UNM is a wonderful school and CFA has a great undergraduate photography program. I think to have one of the best graduate photography programs in the US, it all comes from a great staff, and the foundation starts with the undergrad hands down. See more of McDonald’s work at Theerrantphotographer.com.
Bridey Caramagno is a visual artist and performer currently based in Albuquerque. They were born and raised in East Bay, California, where their interest in art began. They have spent the last 22 years experimenting and learning and hope to do the same for the rest of their lives. See more of their work here.
“Experimentation with vacuum was a truly rewarding experience and I’m so glad I learned all of this before I graduated and thank you to all of my lovely role models!
Vincent Navarette is also a non-traditional student who has retired from a career. He has been taking photos for almost 40 years, but for the past 20 years he has pursued photography as a college study, with a view to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree.
âMy art is centered around people and portraits. However, I wanted to celebrate my homosexuality and I am now working on a corpus called Queer spaces. I recreate images of queer spaces that I experienced as a teenager, getting to know myself and learning to navigate the queer world. Back when I was growing up I (gay people) didn’t have hookup apps like Grindr, and being gay was very dangerous most of the time. I remember the restrooms in parks, bookstores, bus stops or baths where gay men could meet for company or sex. My art will now focus on these places as I try to recreate these images, feelings and associated impressions.
Wanashe Frank grew up in northern New Mexico where she was inspired by the beauty that surrounds her daily life. Since getting her first camera at the age of 10, she has been using this medium to capture her individual way of seeing the world. By exploring different aspects of photography, Wanashe approaches the creation of images as a way to tell one’s story and express the captivating perspective of life. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary arts, with a specialization in photography and theatrical lighting design at UNM. See more of his work on her website.
âBeing a student at the University of New Mexico has given me so many opportunities, reasons to continue my education and to continue to surpass myself as an artist. Be part of An experiment with emptiness helped me achieve a higher level of professionalism as an artist and keep dreaming of bigger things.
Matthew Duda is a photographer from Randolph, NJ, taking predominantly black and white photographs. See Duda talk about his work here.
“For the most part, the subject of my work is often people, documenting humans and their environments … I work primarily in film photography, for most of my career up to this point I have been shooting black and white for missions and dabbling here and there in 35mm colorâ¦ My training at UNM allowed me to follow other forms of study (mainly philosophy) to create a work deeply rooted in conceptual practice. that if I want to pursue something for the sake of artistic practice, I should dig as deep and as far as I can to get information to support my workâ¦ I want to see my work being a kind of multimedia experience using techniques analog and digital to create a business that allows me to be independent and create work for the rest of my life.
Briana Moreno is a visual artist from El Paso, Texas who engages in photographic making using various imaging processes. She continues to research technical photographic processes as an essential part of her work. Moreno will be graduating with his Bachelor of Fine Arts from UNM this month.
“I struggled with the idea of ââsticking to rigid social and political conformities without resorting to further research to form your own conclusions. A small portable digital camera is a technology that I have been able to experiment with on my own terms and which has been a step towards making my own inquiries into the world around me. Creating images gave me a platform to free myself from a self that I created for social acceptance. I share my visual perceptions to communicate various topics instead of words. Much of the work I have created tries to communicate a question about how humans use space in terms of (not limited to) surveillance, consumption, and industrial uses. I connect with my images when they are described in the same way as my own personality traits; Quiet, mysterious, surreal, familiar, nocturnal (low light) and intimate are some of the adjectives used to describe the images I produce.
Through their career as an artist and the medium of photography, Jacob Nunez aims to represent presentation ideas in various ways. Along with the dreams that people have about how they wish to see themselves through the recreation of fictional characters and how their possessions can define them are their two main goals for capturing people’s presentation of themselves. Cosplay is a form of crafting where one chooses to don an outfit that a favorite fictional character would wear and the wearer poses as that character. Nunez captures these moments of play and aims to create a scene through his photographs. Their photos allow viewers to see the kind of people the subjects would like to be through the outfits they wear and the scenes they create. See them talk about their work here.
Consuelo Ortiz works in painting, engraving and photography. His engraving combines expression and narration. See Ortiz talk about his work here.
âA room becomes truly complete when there are a lot of shades of gray and a deep shade of black. I believe that my work is very representative of where I am in life, while being aesthetic and beautiful.