2016 - Cibola County: FLOW

New Mexico Arts, Axle Contemporary and Grants Mainstreet presents TIME 2016—Temporary Installations Made for the Environment in Cibola County in October 2016. New Mexican artists from throughout the state were invited to create temporary environmental artworks based on the theme of FLOW. FLOW features seven visually engaging and conceptually rich outdoor artworks which will be displayed for this short term exhibition in and around Grants and Milan, New Mexico; sites included El Malpais Visitor Center, Grants Downtown Riverwalk, the Mining Museum, the Milan Gas Station Museum. The artworks will be displayed for 8 weeks from October 8–November 27.

TIME was inspired by the emerging public art trend to engage artists interested in creating more spontaneous and immediate artworks with short life-spans. The project is designed to engage unique and distinct New Mexico communities and professional artists in the public art process.

Featured Artists:

Jamison Chas Banks
Banks will create a seemingly camouflaged Tire advertisement that will be fixed to the exterior of the Gas Station Museum in Milan. This advertisement echoes the theme of Flow by acknowledging the advertising sign/billboard history of Route 66, interconnected economic systems, and the notion that the town of Grants existed in aesthetic cooperation with many other communities along the Route. The obvious indication is that tires or the wheel allow mobility and flow. The Sign Language tires emulate indigenous pattern and repetitious motifs. With the generic tribal aesthetic of Grants ever present, the notion of "Indian Sign Language" is an underlying current for this work.

Rick Fisher
Granted orients viewers within the flow of place and time to the surrounding area, within its natural beauty, historical setting, and sacred cultural sites. The seven element installation is aligned to celestial coordinates of its location: North, South, East, West, and to the four cardinal (equinoxes and solstices) sunrise/sunset positions on the horizon at the site. Granted addresses the past, present, and future threats of coal and uranium mining to the area's people and natural environment. As corporate coal mining, which has done enormous damage to local miners' health and to Earth's atmosphere slows, a dramatic increase in uranium mining is underway. Priceless natural features, water supplies, and sacred sites, already rife with deadly radioactive mine tailings, are being lost. Decades of death from lung disease, cancer, and related ailments are predicted to increase.

Elisabeth & Mark Horst
The Horsts will create a field of flowing hand dyed fabric ribbons, staked in undulating patterns. The translucent fabric pathways invite us to walk into the structure and experience the changing light, color and direction. This piece is intended to reflect the flow of energy we see in the movement of water and the patterns of erosion in New Mexico's desert landscape—and specifically the topography of Grants—but in a way that invites us into a close and physical experience of that flow. The layout of the ribbons is based on a topographical map of the area.

Ruben Olguin & Joanna Keane López
¡Mezcla! NGC 2623 is a large eroding sculpture made from earthen materials, plant paper and native seeds. The temporary installation also acts as a droning soundscape within a listening garden. The work examines the flow of time, the flow of history, the flow of plants and the flow of people's influence on the landscape over time. Concurrently, the installation considers the native and invasive plant species that are now home to the area left by people along the migration trails and transportation highways of the region. "NGC 2623" is an astronomical body of colliding galaxies drawn together through inevitability with a violent history and now approaching equilibrium. The sculpture's form is derived from this galactic formation. Inside the structure is a small garden of native plants which creates an isolated indigenized ecological space. Audio plays back within the garden to subtly reveal the mechanized noise of the modern world from a plant's perspective.

Billy Joe Miller
Cibola Cairn reflects the beauty of the area in its natural state and is a temporary monument in the form of an obelisk made of local, found materials. Miller will use materials such as lava rock, tree parts, cholla wood, native and invasive plant life, tumbleweeds, rusted metal, trash and discarded material.

Ben Utigard
Lava Rocks! Much of the New Mexican geography was shaped by fiery volcanic geologic processes. The landscape around Grants, NM is no exception. The lava flows, cinder cones, and other volcanic features at El Malpais National Monument all demonstrate the rampant volcanic activity in the area. Utigard has installed numerous fiery red and electric orange painted rocks in the park's rock gardens, and arranged them in vein and lava flow patterns. This work is made in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Marion Claire Wasserman
In A Flow of Blessings, Wasserman has created prayer flags with blessings on fabric that specifically bless this place, this land, this water, this mountain, these minerals, this resource, and these people. Approximately 300 feet of blessings (12" squares) in bold type, flutter in the desert wind between trees. Another chain of blessings made from dried sunflowers and clay seed balls simultaneously wraps around trees, adding the sound of rustling dried flowers and seeds, to be carried by the wind and the elements. These words and these seeds and blossoms are offerings and the visitors will be invited to take away the blessing that speaks to them. Hopefully, by the end of the installation, all will have been received and only the banner strings will remain.

Axle Contemporary was founded in 2010 by artists Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Wellman, as a collaborative work of art, and an innovative vehicle for arts distribution. It has since grown beyond the confines of the mobile exhibition space, and also includes forays into book publishing, and alternative venues for expanded and creative art exhibition.

Support for this project generously provided by the Cibola Arts Council, Grants Mainstreet, and the Grants—Cibola Chamber of Commerce.