New Mexican sculptors exhibit, Occupying Forces, opens March 31 in Adams State College Snook Gallery


Nearly 30 New Mexican sculptors will exhibit a diversity of artwork in the Adams State College Cloyde Snook Gallery exhibit, "Occupying Forces." An opening reception is from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Friday, April 4 in the Art Building. The show will continue through April 18. An artist lecture, from 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. in room 227 of the Art Building, will precede the opening.

Mark Saxe, "Occupying Forces" curator, said: "The exhibition was conceived to dramatize visually the forces which keep us apart and draw us together, the forces that make the world go around. Every force which exists, whether physical, mental, spiritual, conscious or unconscious, has a cause and effect. A bullet can start a war as easily as a word. The power of a seed to sprout, the power of a sound to startle, a fist to bruise, or a lip to kiss - all of these forces are at work propelling life onward in one direction or another."

He said his hope, as a curator of the exhibition, is to reveal how forces affect our thinking and therefore our understanding. "Artists have a very personal way of sensing these forces and an ability to give them form - by tweaking perception, through suspension of reality, or the construction of a conceit," he said. "Like an EKG, visual representation is a method for capturing the essence of what it is that we feel and think about the forces that determine and occupy our lives. Visualization is a step towards clarifying and intensifying our situation. All creation is the result of force."

The artists, included in the show, are Mary Bennett, Jan Bornstein, Hank Brusselback, Paula Castillo, Dan Collett, Chris Collins, Edward Fleming, Elizabeth Fritzsche, Isabella Gonzales, Ed Haddaway, Bob Haozous, Nathaniel Hesse, D'Jean Jawrunner, Benjamin Lopez, Cruz Lopez, Ebby Malmgren, John Massee, Bill Maxon, Judy Nelson-Moore, Deborah Rael-Buckley, Nelson Rhodes, Gail Rieke, Marke Saxe, Jeff Shapiro, Deeanne Wagner, Kay Weiner, and Betsy Williams.

Gonzales' piece, "Iraqi Body Count," is a multi-media piece including dyed cotton thread, safety pins, acetate with printed names of civilian Iraqi casualties. "Each death is recorded on a transparent tag, highlighting the 'invisibility' of civilian Iraqi deaths to people in the US who depend on the mainstream media for their information," Gonzales said.

Bennett said her sculpture, "Martini eyes," was conceived after contemplating what "Occupying Forces" meant to her. She said living in Northern New Mexico, the papers are constantly full of DWI sightings and household abuse reports, usually alcohol related. "My own mind seems to be regularly filled with, 'do we need wine? do we have enough red?' every time I head for the store," she said. "Taking a congratulatory bottle to a house warming, entertaining friends on the deck for Sunday brunch, tonight's dinner, all seem to include that 'occupying force.'"

The Hatfield Gallery will host the 6th Annual Juried Regional High School exhibit during the same time frame.

The galleries hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information contact the Art Department at 719-587-7823 or visit the Website,