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Harwood show goes below the SURFACE

Dante Betsch, “Cultural Kimono.”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque’s emerging artists express their passion for identity, equality and justice through a multitude of materials.

“SURFACE: Emerging Artists of New Mexico” reveals that focus through the works of 11 art makers using sculpture, textiles, printmaking, photography, paint and mixed-media. The Harwood Art Center show at 1114 Seventh NW opens Friday, June 7, and runs through July 25.

SURFACE is a juried exhibition culminating in awards and a professional development program, Harwood chief programming officer Julia Mandeville said. Applications average between 65 and 95 annually.

Jurors base the selection on artistic voice, originality and the quality of execution.

“We don’t put parameters on what ’emerging’ means,” Mandeville said.

Over the past few years, the submitted pieces have revealed “less about the artwork and more about the artists,” Mandeville said. “We know we have an extraordinary creative community in Albuquerque. Year after year, I continue to be blown away by the quality, devotion, vision and technique of the artists.”

Dante Betsch’s sewn cloth “Cultural Kimono” explores his interest in biracial identity.

“He considers himself to be a political artist,” Mandeville said. “He’s really interested in multicultural heritage. His work is very rooted in social justice.”

“Mona La Boda 2” by Mona Martinez Manzanares.

Mona Martinez Manzanares considers herself a digital artist. Her “Mona La Boda 2” combines digital media with photographic prints and collage. Her inspiration came from the 20th century Dada movement that developed as a reaction to the horrors of World War I.

Manzanares’ piece depicts the marital union of a man and woman in Spanish subculture ceremonial ware.

“She’s exploring a personal history through her work,” Mandeville said.

Kirsten Angerbauer uses video, audio and installation to create spatial interventions.

“revision no. 1” by Kirsten Angerbauer.

“It’s about intervening and shifting our experience of a space to a work of art and to each other,” Mandeville said.

As of this year, SURFACE has recognized 89 artists. Each artist receive a six-week exhibition as well as a private professional development workshop on Saturday, June 8. Professional artists, gallery owners and communications specialists help refine artist statements and written materials, develop web and communication presence and help cultivate an audience as well as collectors.

Participants also partner with New Mexico PBS to create short video profiles.

“The program has blossomed over the years,” Mandeville said. “Once you’re here, you have multiple professional credentials.”

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