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A slice of support for art: Pie Projects collaborative gallery backs creativity

Martha Tuttle’s “Friendship Painting 2021” is wool silk pigment. (Courtesy of Pie Projects )

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Alina Boyko and Devendra Contractor aim to be a conduit within the art community.

The pair started the collaborative gallery Pie Projects earlier this year in the Baca Railyard.

The gallery hosts art-related events to support human creativity, allied organizations and contemporary artists.

“We opened at the beginning of March,” Boyko says. “We’ve done several shows and have had community support.”

Pie Projects recently collaborated on a show with the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque.

“In Santa Fe, the general audience knows a little less about Tamarind,” Boyko says. “It’s been wonderful to have some old and new work from there, and talk about the history of Tamarind. It was an opportunity for an Albuquerque organization to have some space in Santa Fe.”

Contractor says the Tamarind show “is one of my favorites so far.”

The current exhibit is Summertime at Pie Projects, a two-person show that features scratched portraits in plexiglass by Joanne Lefrak and mixed-media paintings by Martha Tuttle.

Both artists play with light, shadow and corporeal relationships.

Joanne Lefrak’s “Ebony 2019” is scratched plexiglas and shadow. (Courtesy of Pie Projects)

The exhibit is presented in Santa Fe in partnership with Albuquerque’s Richard Levy Gallery.

“This is the second time we’ve worked with Levy Gallery,” Contractor says. “It’s another opportunity to bring art to an audience.”

Lefrak is known for scratching portraits of women she knows into plexiglass surfaces.

Her portraits are not idealized and she is unconcerned with social obsessions for youth or perfection; rather, Lefrak’s subjects are middle-aged women who are fully empowered and in the prime of their lives.

In addition to being an artist, Lefrak is the Director of Education and Curator of Public Practice at SITE Santa Fe.

Meanwhile, Tuttle uses traditional techniques to create mixed-media paintings. She spins, weaves and dyes wool, and embellishes her handmade fabrics with an assortment of such media as graphite, stone dust and natural pigments. Her paintings reference physical connections to the natural world through texture and translucence.

She grew up in New Mexico and currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Both Boykin and Contractor are excited about bringing more art to the area.

“A lot of our neighbors to support,” Contractor says. “It’s almost like we have a neighborhood gallery with great art.”

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