Monday, May 16, 2016

UNM-Gallup Departments Collaborate

For questions contact:
Marilee Petranovich
(505) 863-7770          
UNM-Gallup Departments Collaborate
            Gallup, NM – While at first glance jewelry-making and construction technology may appear to have little in common, two creative instructors at the UNM-Gallup campus found a way to bring their departments together to improve the work environment for one group while providing valuable educational experience to the other.  Kristi Wilson, Visiting Assistant Professor and Instructor of Small Metals Construction, received an internal mini-grant to fund the design and construction of new jewelers benches for her students.  Chris Chavez, Instructor and Coordinator of Construction Technology, was happy to have his students construct the new ergonomically correct island workstations which gave them practical know-how in their field of study.
            Wilson requested the help of Chavez to modify the existing work stations in the Small Metals Construction Lab by constructing a new table top with open drawers to provide a more comfortable and convenient table height for students as they learn sawing and piercing skills.   According to Wilson, “Being able to achieve the recommended posture will allow students to have less stress on their neck and backs while working.  All future students taking Small Metals Construction will benefit from this addition.”
            The additional storage provided as a result of the construction project will also allow for a larger and safer space for students to apply their newly learned skills in small metals and jewelry-making.   The efficiency of the design will also increase class size capacity allowing for more students to enroll.  Chavez’s students completed and unveiled the new work stations on Tuesday, May 10 in the Small Metals Construction Lab.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Arts in Public Places

There are two new pieces of artwork at UNM-Gallup: The beautiful tapestry, Madame Shoemaker by Hung Liu, is on display in the Gurley Hall Commons and the modern sculpture, Serrated Crest by Patrick Marold, was recently installed in front of the Student Services Technology Center.  Both pieces were purchased by the Arts in Public Places program for our campus.  Special thanks to Murphy Builders for donating the foundation and labor for installing the sculpture, and to Dr. Dyer and Ara Green for chairing the selection committee for these newest campus acquisitions.

Description of artwork, Madame Shoemaker by Hung Liu

Photos of Installation of artwork in Gurley Hall: 

Photos of Installation of sculpture in front of SSTC:

Steven Buxton and Michael Carroll / Turner Carroll Gallery

Mathias Leppitsch and Patrick Marold

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

UNM-Gallup Professor Takes Sculpting Talents to China

University of New Mexico Associate Professor John Zimmerman will be taking his expertise in ceramic sculpture and his interest in landscapes and geological history to the Fuping Pottery Art Village in the Shaanxi Province of China as part of an international engagement project funded by the UNM Research Allocation Committee (RAC).  John is the first branch campus faculty member to have been awarded a RAC grant and he will utilize the funding to conceptualize, build, dry, glaze and fire original works of art which will be exhibited and may join three of his previous sculptures that are currently on display at the on-site museum in the Art Village. 
            Currently on a sabbatical, John is looking forward to his second trip to China and the enjoying the artistic inspiration he experienced on his previous trip.  “I have to technically figure out what makes sense.  I usually have a general idea of shape, but unintended things happen.  You have to go in the direction the material takes you.”   On his previous trip, John was commissioned by administrators of the Fuping Pottery Art Village to create an 8’ X 10’ sculpture that is currently displayed on the outside grounds of the Village. 
            In reflecting on the process of acquiring the RAC funding, John noted that the process of applying for the RAC grant was not that difficult and his application clearly detailed how his work will benefit the University.  Forty applications were submitted and only ten selected for these highly competitive grants.  “Awards are contingent on doing something different.  Many of my previous objects were based on a stratified style.  Some of my newer pieces use mountains, newer colors and pixelated stratifications. I enjoy taking something new and making it look old.”
            In one of John’s recent exhibits Stratified Series, he took items that exemplify current pop culture and combined them with his interest in geological timeframes.  By taking everyday items such as traffic cones, cinder blocks, and fire hydrants, and encasing them in multicolored rings of ceramic he created an exhibit that combined the landscape of the local area, historical depiction of changing geological eras, and the bringing together of earth and everyday society.
            His most recent exhibit, Scapes, continues to carry forward the relationship between prehistoric forces, climate phenomena and erosive landscape changes.  Branded by the frequent use of the color blue, Scapes hints at the presence of water in the once-arid desert ecology.  While the Stratified Series produced objects which were more life-sized, Scapes exhibits objects that are extremely large and symbolic of mountains and rock formations.
            John recognizes the benefits of his travel as it relates to his students at UNM-Gallup.  He hopes to either take students to China or bring Chinese students to New Mexico as part of an international exchange.  “When I was a student, I was inspired by faculty doing something new.  I want to be that source of inspiration for students that is different than what they are used to.”
            John will leave for China on Wednesday, May 4th and will return on Thursday, June 9th.