News for Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Marla Allison Donates Paintings to SAR

Path of Life, 2010Path of Life, 2010Marla Allison. Acrylic on canvas, 40” x 80”. Collection of School for Advanced Research, SAR.2010-3-1.Path of Life, 2010Marla Allison. Acrylic on canvas, 40” x 80”. Collection of School for Advanced Research, SAR.2010-3-1.

2010 Dobkin Native Artist Fellow Marla Allison recently donated a set of four paintings to the Indian Arts Research Center upon the completion of her fellowship. The tetraptych, titled Path of Life, now hangs elegantly in the apse of IARC’s vault two, behind Nambe micaceous potter Lonnie Vigil’s showcase piece. Sign up for a tour at the Indian Arts Research Center to view this spectacular addition to the collection. Read on for Marla’s words on Path of Life.

According to Marla:

The set of panel paintings titled “Path of Life” has been greatly inspired by the pottery collection of the IARC during my tenure as the Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Women’s Artist Fellow. To begin, I have researched pottery from houses, personal collections, and my own designs of Laguna Pueblo Pottery that I have come across. In the painting, I have used these designs, starting on the left side of the two canvases.

Since being at SAR I have studied the pottery in the Laguna/Acoma section with the accession numbers: IAF.329, IAF.1070, IAF.960, IAF.429, IAF.1591, SAR.1993-5-2, IAF.1093, IAF.1074, IAF.646, and at last, Figure 1.9 from the Southwest Museum in the SAR book titled, Acoma and Laguna Pottery by, Rick Dillingham with Melinda Elliot (page14). Through the visual flow of the paintings being a continuous pottery design, they are interwoven together with the final two paintings on the right side. These are the IARC pottery designs in both the mesas and clouds.

Marla AllisonMarla Allison2010 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Artist Fellow
Marla Allison
Marla Allison (3-D)Marla Allison (3-D)2010 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Artist Fellow. Stereo photograph by Jason S. Ordaz. Request 3-D glasses or build your own (PDF, 315 KB).
Marla Allison (3-D)

I have studied the IARC pottery for the three months of my residency and have found a way to connect what I know and transition the studies into this painting. In my mind I am dating myself historically with my artwork and design style. I am very happy with the turnout of the pottery being the dominant subject of the painting with the design in the clouds slightly subdued as background.

In the landscape, the mountain range is a set of mesas from the village of Mesita, which is one of the six villages in Laguna Pueblo, NM. I was born and raised in Mesita with my four siblings and have explored these mesa ranges many times. The mesa on the left is called “Rhinoceros Rock” and the far mesa ending on the right is one mesa that holds a small formation on the top called “Bell Rock”. When physically on top of the mesa, the giant fifteen foot rock formation has embedded shells from millions of years ago.

In my mind I have connected what I treasure as New Mexico and home in this painting. I hope that the transition of design is viewed as a natural progression and visually similar to the path that life takes. This is my contribution to the collection of SAR and I hope that other artists will do the same with great feeling and find a connection of their artwork with themselves.

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