By Ivan Leonard / Journal Staff Writer
UNM sculpture students from professor Randall Wilson’s beginning and advanced sculpture classes working on their projects. (Courtesy of Corrales Historical Society)
In today’s day and age, what can be better than a free event at a historic venue?
On Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, the University of New Mexico Sculpture Program and Corrales Historical Society are collaborating to present “Juntos.”
The event is a showing of work created by UNM sculpture students from professor Randall Wilson’s beginning and advanced sculpture classes and will be exhibited in the Historic Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales.
“The creative work presents both the canons of fine art and the functional potential as identifiers of beauty and its role in art as design (and) design as art,” Wilson said. “A powerful foray into the value found in community, making with its presentation of sculpture inside of a gathering place – a historical building, the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales.”
The students are presenting sculptures made in a curriculum unfolding the potential of individual expression in three studio assignments that are characters, constructions, and bird baths. The works are created in wood, cast concrete, steel and paper mâché.
“One of the projects is looking at the architecture itself and we will be working with the idea of viga and corbel in an abstracted way,” Wilson said. “I have the advanced class casting concrete, so we are working on designing bird baths but again, it’s still a bit about architecture as well.”
Though not completed, the bird baths are shaping up for some interesting figures.
“They are almost finished but what I am seeing are interesting forms,” said Carol Rigmark, visual arts coordinator with the Corrales Historical Society. “They are fairly contemporary and interpretive and I think sculpture is a medium that can really lend itself to that.”
To Wilson, this showing is about educating the public.
“I think it’s about learning something about the people as these are the sons and daughters of New Mexico,” Wilson said. “So the public has an onus to perhaps look into the work and they find it interesting that is fine and if not, that is OK, but there will be something for everybody I believe, because of the figurative work.”
Wilson has served as a professor at UNM since 2012, after teaching in California since the 1980s.
“One of the things that I brought, I believe, to the school was the idea of art and function, coming together as sort of fusion of disciplines instead of separation,” Wilson said. “I moved here nine years ago from Los Angeles, and was teaching both in design and architecture for over 20 years including at SCI-Arc, Southern California and was teaching at Art Center in Pasadena.”
“The Old Church is an incredible environment that exemplifies the value found in sculpture and its historical prominence in New Mexico,” Wilson said.
Corrales Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that promotes greater appreciation for the traditions and histories of the centuries-old community of Corrales and its residents of today and the past. The mission also serves to support CHS in preserving, maintaining and promoting the Historic Old San Ysidro Church.
The church is 154 years old and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and is also listed on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties.
“We are very fortunate to have an opportunity to exhibit at the old church in a few weeks,” Wilson said.
Despite its age, it has stayed in fairly good shape.
“It is a beautiful building and you know the fact that it’s 154 years old now, but it is just the simplicity of it, and the feeling that you have walking around or sitting in it,” Rigmark said. “It is so representative of, to me what New Mexico was and continues to be and it is well maintained.”
Sun and Fire food vendors from Jemez Pueblo are providing food with Native American roots during the two days of the show. Both breakfast and lunch are being served featuring Frito pies, burritos, chile stew with Pueblo bread, enchilada plates and more.
“One of the reasons people will have a good time is that we are providing food,” Rigmark said. “But it also can be sort of a social event so we will set up tables so people can linger and socialize as well.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Juntos,” a sculpture exhibit by students of the University of New Mexico
WHEN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 10
WHERE: Historic Old San Ysidro Church, 966 Old Church Road, Corrales
HOW MUCH: Free to attend