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NeoRio 2017: Seeds~Semillas - The Village of Questa Visitor Center

Posted Sep 6, 2017

An unusual event is planned just north of Questa on Saturday, September 16 from 4:00 to 9:00pm.

NeoRio NeoRio 2017 features glorious & fascinating seeds; they will inspire the art installations on the rim of the gorge by Kaitlin Bryson, Hollis Moore and Geraint Smith. Enjoy the family-oriented "Seed Sensorium," a locally-sourced, northern NM fall feast, artist talks, live music and poetry, all reflecting this year’s generative, life-giving theme.

NeoRio 2017 Schedule, Montoso Campground, Wild Rivers:
4 pm: Seed-Inspired Art Installations and Activities
5 pm: Afternoon Poetry and Music Salon
6 pm: Local Fall Feast and Music by Justin Dean and Mark Dudrow
7 pm: Artist Talks by NeoRio Featured Artists
8 pm: Campfire and Music (bring an instrument!)

About the artists:
Featured artist, Kaitlin Bryson, is originally from Reno Nevada and now hails from Albuquerque, where she is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Art & Ecology from the University of New Mexico. She works with natural materials to illuminate the processual nature of life, and to call attention to the agency of the non-human environment. Her artwork is made to allow the materials involved to unfold and transform, living out their own dynamic processes. About seeds and her work for NeoRio, she says,

“A seed is a container of pure potential. When the time has come, it threshes off its hull and is born into a radicle – the plant embryo – and begins to simultaneously grow upward and downward, reaching towards the light while also rooting deeply into the soil. The story of the seed, with its radical breakthrough, has shaped my artwork and inspired me to cultivate similar moments within my own life. The piece presented at NeoRio 2017 is made to signify the moment of the radicle breaking free from dormancy, while also calling to the potentiality stored in material breakdown. As it falls apart, native seeds will be dropped in a swale to grow in the spring.”

Featured artist, Hollis Moore, fell in love with the West during her undergraduate studies at Colorado College. Now she also  lives in Albuquerque where she is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of New Mexico in the Printmaking department. In her work, Hollis seeks personal and collective journeys, exploring how the environment shapes her creativity and how her imagination lends a voice for the environment. Her work is rooted in traditions of printmaking, natural materials, fiber arts, and found objects. Her current research and creative practice focuses on the Colorado River Delta. Moore will bring her current project, Pulse Flow, to the site for NeoRio, which involves installing a full-size, 16 ft. paper maché canoe that she is building to navigate the Colorado River Delta. She describes:

“I will use the NeoRio site at Wild Rivers as an outdoor studio to work towards completing the canoe’s construction...The Rio Grande’s National and Scenic River designation, will prompt conversation about the management of our rivers in the arid Southwest. How can we preserve sections of free-flowing river for the Colorado River, like the Rio Grande in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, whilst supporting the needs of water-users? NeoRio’s theme, “Seeds ~ Semillas” relates directly to these questions as many riparian plants sync their seed broadcast with Spring floods. At NeoRio, I will also set up a paper-making workshop with local seeds and plants where participants can make their own paper, even paper boats, to imagine river water carrying a medley of seedlings to deliver to river banks downstream.”

Both Bryson and Moore have a unique relationship with and love for Northern NM and Wild Rivers in particular.

“In September of 2016, we visited Wild Rivers with the Land Arts of the American West Program, in which students work collectively to investigate place-based land issues in the Southwest bioregion,” says Moore.
“I am thrilled to be coming back to work in the gorge again and an make offering to the landscape,” says Bryson.

Work by NeoRio contributing artist, Geraint Smith will also be included in the event. His beautiful photo transfer series on the milkweed plant and pods will be installed on site. Two of his works will be raffled-off to two lucky winners and others will be for sale. All of the proceeds will benefit LEAP, thanks to Smith’s generosity.
During the afternoon, guests are invited to tour the art installations and projects and explore the family-oriented, hands-on "Seed Sensorium," a collaboration with SEED Taos, as well as the “Questa Seed Exchange,” a collaboration with the Questa Library. The seed-inspired late afternoon poetry and music salon is also a new element to this year’s event, featuring a curated series of poems by Deborah Pender Hutchison and Gabrielle Herbertson with related musical interludes by Jonathan Hutchison.

Music from the High Desert Acoustic Duo (Justin Dean and Mark Dudrow) will usher in the evening festivities. Enjoy a locally-sourced, northern NM Fall Feast from the Questa Farmers Market growers, cooks and bakers. The Feast is coordinated by Gaea McGahee, manager of the Questa Farmers Market and contributors to the feast will be familiar to those who have visited the market this season. At dusk, on the heels of dinner, portable solar power provided by PPC Solar will allow NeoRio featured artists to offer short, informative, illustrated talks, giving behind-the-scenes looks at the onsite artworks and brief visual tours of past works.

Organized by LEAP (Land, Experience, and Art of Place) in collaboration with the BLM and others, this event celebrates National Public Lands Day, and is a great chance to discover the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, or, see it in a whole new way.

Claire Coté, LEAP director, says, “The vision for NeoRio is for people to experience the ‘confluence of art and environments’ through the lens of each year’s theme. The combination of art and wild places can be an exciting recipe; at best perception-changing and heart-opening and at least entertaining, novel, and fun. With NeoRio, it’s also about community, the place and artworks together with a delicious meal and beautiful, fall sunset.”
LEAP (a program of Local nonprofit Localogy) brings innovative artists to the monument each autumn, transforming the Montoso Campground with surprising, site-specific art amid the piñon and cliffs.

Seed Pod photo by Geraint Smith

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