I was pleasantly surprised after trundling upstairs in the Richard Levy Gallery building to reach the Central Features gallery, where I found a stunning show by Jami Porter Lara and J. Matthew Thomas arranged in a beautifully appointed and well-lit contemporary art space.
Actually, the artists are having two solo shows together. Lara is exhibiting luscious ceramic sculpture titled “Unhyphenated,” and Thomas is showing mixed media paintings titled “Geometries” through May 21.
I have been curious about Lara since I saw her work last year in the “Public Selects” exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Her work is also featured in a “Colores” segment through the public television network.
Thanks to a weeklong visit to Mata Ortiz to work with master traditional potters and her own independent research several years ago, Lara uses ancient methods like coil building, reduction atmosphere wood firing, stone polishing and the use of a puki (a Native American round starting base for pinch and coil pottery making).