Sunday, November 18, 2012

First Artist Panel: Ralph Greene Freestyle Gallery

Our first Creation/Migration Artist panel discussion happened yesterday, November 17, 2012, in the midst of the beautiful exhibit at the Ralph Greene Freestyle Gallery.  Each artist expressed her deep involvement in the exhibit, the creation/migration process, the  growth of the collaborative process, and her own genetic links. Those present were receptive, expressive and participatory.  It just could not have been a better day!!

We wish to express our deep gratitude to Ralph Greene for allowing us to exhibit in his lovely gallery space.  The venue is perfect for the feeling of intimacy and family intertwined in the intent of the artworks presented.
Besides the beautiful and intimate surroundings, Ralph has been completely supportive of and enthusiastic about the exhibit, the panel, the receptions and the concepts inherent in our project. Thank you Ralph.
Please follow as Ralph progresses through a future of interesting exhibits and events.

Group shots by Lara Liccardi

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Harriette Tsosie/Michael Billie Journey through Encaustic Workshop

Creation/Migration artist Harriette Tsosie and her colleague Michael Billie hosted a two day workshop November 10 -11 at Tsosie's South Valley Studio, Albuquerque.  Workshop participants explored eco printing, rusting, and branding with Billie on the first day.  On the second day, Billie helped students adhere their eco prints to panels using wax medium. Tsosie demonstrated special effects with encaustic and helped students create paintings, collage paper elements and incorporate graphite in their work. Pictured are the eco print bundles, boiled in walnut dye, and some of the completed encaustic paintings.

Tsosie said: "Part of the story of my own journey has been agreeing to teach the encaustic process to others. I did not initially want to do this, as I felt it would take time away from my own work.  I also feel very proprietary about my studio space: it's my personal kiva and I wasn't sure I wanted others to work there.  However, it has been a wonderful growth experience.  The teaching is reciprocal: I learn from my students."  
painting by Elise Johnston

painting by Wendy Wells

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Albuquerque Press for Creation/Migration

Thanks Albuquerque, for your warm welcome!

    Reprinted from abqARTS and entertainment, November 2012
Four New Mexico artists of diverse ancestry initiate a multi-year project with an exhibition opening November 2 at Ralph Greene’s Freestyle Gallery.

Creation/Migration artists include Donna Caulton, Chamisal; Belinda Edwards, Santa Fe; Betsie Miller-Kusz, Jemez Springs; and Harriette Tsosie, Albuquerque. The four artists met while working on the “Mining the Unconscious” project, three exhibitions and more than 20 community programs completed in Santa Fe last year (

The Creation/Migration project is an ongoing inquiry, and each of its projected exhibitions will build on the artists’ exploration of identity issues, such as “Who am I and how did I get here?”, “Genetically speaking, is there such a thing as race?”, “What if what I learn from my scientific investigation contradicts what I have been taught or have always believed?”.

 Miller-Kusz notes that the women are collaborating on an exhibition piece, the Sojourner Basket. “{It is} the actualization of our encounter,” she says.  “The basket references the form of the Apache burden baskets, but instead of carrying burdens it contains the physical and metaphoric effects we carry from our creation myths and our migratory histories.

Edwards suggested the four women have their DNA tested to find their migratory routes out of Africa. They are doing this through National Geographic’s “Genographic Project”, which has already identified seven ancient migratory paths that humans took.  Edwards is particularly interested in tracking her history back to her tribal African ancestors.

All DNA of females living today reaches back to a mitochondrial “Eve”, an ancestor of 100,000 years ago in Ethiopia, from whom we all descended,” says Edwards.

First to complete the DNA testing was painter Caulton, who was shocked by some of her results. “I knew about my Irish ancestry, but I was surprised that part of the migratory route went through Russia.”

November2-December 14
Freestyle Gallery, 1114 Central SW,
243-9267       Reception November 2, 5-7 PM, Day of the Dead

Four female artists had their DNA tested for the Freestyle Gallery’s featured exhibit, “Creation/Migration: Stories of the Journey.”  The women trace their mitochondrial DNA to discover patterns of their migration out of Africa and through the rest of the world. Each explores identity issues.

Belinda Edwards, one of the exhibitors, suggested the artists have their DNA tested as part of the National Geographic “Genographic Project.” She says her creations emerge from dreams and visions.

Betsie Miler-Kusz collaborated with the others on a “Sojourner Basket” containing creation myths and migratory histories.

Donna Caulton’s DNA traces her ancestors’ path through Ethiopia, the Middle East, Russia, and Northern Europe. Her art makes use of mandalas, and explores natural balance and cycles.

Albuquerque’s Harriette Tsosie works with universal symbols.  Her pieces juxtapose the spiritual with the physical.

We may not have any idea where we are going, but with the help of genetic testing, we can at least find out where we as human beings have been.  The exhibit will be up through Friday, Dec. 14, at 1114 Central SW.

Reprinted from WEEKLY ALIBI,  November 7-14, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Albuquerque Welcomes CREATION/MIGRATION Exhibit 1

On opening night, November 2, 2012, the first exhibit of CREATION/MIGRATION: Stories of the Journey opened at Freestyle Gallery in Albuquerque.  There was a warm welcome from friends, art lovers, artists and the Albuquerque press.  The exhibit sparked enthusiasm as well as thoughtful contemplation for the journey we are making, our collaboration, our processes and our stories. 

The Sojourner Basket tied together so much of our process. During the creation of it, it seemed to have its own speaking voice and the stories we gave to it no longer belong to four separate artists, but to the basket and to the creation of myth.  During the opening, the viewing audience was receptive to the processes and the ideas inherent in this collaboration.

A Day of the Dead alter was an integral part of the exhibit through which we honored the journeys of our ancestors. Its intent grew in scope as Hurricane Sandy battered the east coast including many sites familiar to our families' stories. 

Travel  with us through some of our exhibit: