Built in 1994, the Henderson Fine Arts Center featured many new additions to the San Juan College campus including an art wing that features the Gallery Space now used today. The Henderson Fine Arts Gallery hosts shows with artists from the surrounding community and several artists throughout the four corners region. The Gallery seeks to integrate works of art into our everyday experience by bringing in diverse work for the enjoyment and education of our students and community.
Gloria Emerson & Michael Billie
March 2-23, 2018
The show, COLOR US OPINIONATED features two Din’e artists. Gloria Emerson explores socio-political issues in two dimensional form. Michael Billie explores indigenous design with color and form.
Gloria Emerson may be the oldest Dine’ woman painting in the ‘rez’ abstraction or what she calls, cultural expressionism. At 50 years of age she dropped out of the work world and became an art student at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. Her jobs took her throughout New Mexico and Arizona, working in the fields of social services and educational administration. She has exhibited in numerous places throughout the west. She is from the 4 Corners from a place called Tse Das Kaan (known in English as Hogback). She has a BA and M.ED earned in the 60s and early 70s.
“I remember when most roads on the reservation were unpaved, wagons to the trading post, large flocks of sheep and goats, hogans, and old stories. Time is speeding up, things I experienced leave vaporized trails across the sky and only later do I hear sonic booms. Great changes are carving up our landscape – religions and sense of community are changing and sense of kindship along with languages are eroding. Oil rigs and transformer lines crisscross the sacred landscape, conflicts, clashes, contradictions, all is in flux-it is these contradictions that interest me as a painter, educator, and writer.
I carry small remnants of the sacred in my memory knowing they are symbolic of an era that will pass into our dimming collective memory. I get angry feeling corporate power encroaching not only into our landscape, but invading our sacred time and minds. Old storytellers have been replaced by DVD, video, satellites, owned by Sony, MGM, GE, etc. and whose storylines perpetuates violence and war on humanity, animals and the landscape.
My paintings are contrived, uncontrived, conscious, unconscious struggles, dipping into ancestral memory codes, spinning out yarn that becomes dabs and strokes of paint, increasing difficulty as vision ages and strokes fossilize. In layered paints, I use clashing colors to vibrate around me like those hated oil rigs and transformer lines, until the paintings reach a kind of geography, landscapes that come to their own states of imperfection.
This Navajo Woman painter is lucky to have crossed a lot of arroyos as she battles oil rigs and the shadows they cast upon us all.”
Micheal Billie is a Navajo artist that works in encaustic painting. Encaustic involves working with bees wax mixed with damar resin and pigment. He’s completed workshops with the International Encaustic Artists Association, and been in exhibitions all around New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and more.
I’m a Native American artist working with encaustic. My other love is photography. Most of the colored wax that I work with I make myself. I also incorporate sandpainting sand, beads and horse hairs into my work. These are materials that are used in ceremonies and other traditional events.
Ever since I discovered encaustic it has become a big part of what I work with in my art making. I love how it embraces other natural materials. Having traveled to many parts of the world, other cultures as well as my own always weaves itself into my work. The patient making of a Navajo rug by my mother or a basket by a woman in Mongolia; the careful patience demanded of Navajo or Tibetan sandpainters. I try to give my work a global feeling – since we’re all connected – one way or another.
I work with both a heat gun and a blow torch depending on the effect that I’m looking for. I’ve done a few workshops in Santa Fe and another in Tuscon with the International Encaustic Artists Association. I’m showing my work at the The Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, Weyrich Gallery in Albuquerque and at Sara’s Southwest in Bernalillo, N.M.
Upcoming Show- Spring 2018 Student Exhibition
SJC Students and Art Faculty
April 6-20, 2018
Our Spring 2018 Student Art Exhibit will be held this year from April 6-20th. This exhibition will feature artwork created by SJC students in ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, 2D and 3D design, metal sculpture and digital media. The exhibit will also include faculty artwork to fully exhibit the skills and techniques to be learned at San Juan College in our Art Department. Students will be given the chance to promote their work and further their education in the arts in this colorful and creative exhibition.
May 4-25, 2018
There are two currents in my recent work. The portrait and the crowd study. Sometimes a portrait will develop from a crowd study. My crowd studies evolved from photographing unposed people in large groups, such as parades or outdoor festivals. This makes for an unconventional approach to figure painting as most people are completely unaware that they are painting subjects … capturing natural poses in the process. It’s also a “snapshot” of the event. An artist’s history as it were.
In the posed portraits, I try and capture something of the personality of the subject. This is accomplished through gesture, clothing or the pose itself. At least that’s the ideal.
The figure always tells a story. Unlike the landscape, which mainly gives a sense of place, the figure tells a story. Sometimes it’s a mysterious story. Most people want to know more about the subject matter … like what are they thinking, where are they from, what is their history? I try and give each subject a personality, I want them to be seen as real people. This gives my paintings a certain “presence”.
With this show. “A Day at the Races” I’ve tried to capture the excitement, drama and pageantry of the horse track. A lot more goes on at the track than people realize. These paintings have taken place over a four year period of visits to the track.