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Experience “We’ve Been Gathering Places” at form & concept by June 15

May 23, 2024

We’ve Been Gathering Places at form & concept

On Friday, May 10, 2024, guests filled form & concept’s 10,000-square-foot exhibition space in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) MFASA program held the opening reception for the 2024 thesis exhibition, We’ve Been Gathering Places. Now going into its fourth year, this is the second graduating cohort for the IAIA Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts (MFASA)—a two-year, low-residency program grounded in Indigenous cultures that reflects the history and challenges of our time, and empowers its students to give voice to the Indigenous experience through their art.

Weve Been Gathering Places is a physical manifestation of the MFASA program’s mission, as the exhibition not only includes references to place through structures and landforms, but “the students are also identifying their cohort and themselves as gathering places—for ideas, experiences, and histories that flow out into discrete material vessels and sprawling installations,” says MFASA Director Dr. Mario A. Caro (Colombian Mestizo).

Featuring the work of Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway (White Bear First Nations–Nakota, Cree, and Saulteaux), Leah Mata Fragua (yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini [Northern Chumash]), Erin Ggaadimits Ivalu Gingrich (Koyukon Denaa and Iñupiaq), Lozen Lei-zha Haozous (Warm Springs Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma), Mekko William Harjo (Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma), Kéyah Keenan Henry (Diné), Hapistinna Graci Horne (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and Standing Rock Nation), and Daisy J. Trudell-Mills (Xicana, Santee Dakota, and Jewish descent), Weve Been Gathering Places decompresses and telescopes space. Unspoken personal histories transform into visual experiences that inquire into the nature of incorporeal phenomena, like memory, as in Daisy Trudell-Mills’s The birds above me place me on the ground; Sprawling landscapes become subtle topographies of ancestral memory and ecological consciousness, as in Leah Mata Fragua’s handmade paper works; and imaginative futures manifest themselves in our physical present, as in Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway’s Buffalo Utopia/Human Dystopia, which features four life-size Buffalo figures imagined as the protectors of a post-colonial utopia where the environmental degradation of late-stage capitalism has ended.

Be sure to visit Weve Been Gathering Places, which will remain on view at form & concept through June 15, and a second and final reception will be held on Friday, May 31, 2024, from 5–7 pm.

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