Strangers Collective's new art space, NO LAND, features solo and small group exhibitions by artists, writers and performers. Dedicated to those ready to take the next step in their careers, NO LAND invites emerging artists to develop and show complete bodies of work. The space is located at 54 1/2 E. San Francisco Street #7 on the Santa Fe Plaza.
Upcoming Show | Ruminations & Remnants
Hours | Saturday, 12-4 pm
Kat Kinnick & Zahra Marwan
Ruminations & Remnants
A pop-up exhibition of illustrations & prints
54 1/2 E. San Francisco St. #7
July 22-August 6, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 22, 6-9 pm
Closing Reception: Sunday, August 6, 6-9 pm featuring Lone Piñon
Kat Kinnick and Zahra Marwan met just a few months ago, and exhibited together for the first time in late June. The joint show was in a red barn at the Rio Grande Community Farm in Albuquerque, with illustrations and prints hanging from the rafters and pinned to alfalfa bales. In a new version of the pop-up exhibition, Kinnick and Marwan travel from the humble farm to a gallery on the Santa Fe Plaza. Though they’ve landed in a more traditional art venue, the artists maintain a down-to-earth philosophy about their work. Both of them blend natural imagery with personal narratives, seeking to connect with diverse audiences. Ruminations & Remnants opens at Strangers Collective’s No Land on Saturday, July 22 from 6-9 pm. The show’s closing reception on Sunday, August 6 features Albuquerque acoustic trio Lone Piñon.
“It started at the farmer’s market,” says Kinnick. That’s where Marwan sells her illustrations, and Kinnick’s partner Jordan Wax sometimes performs with his band Lone Piñon. “Zahra saw an album cover I designed for Lone Piñon, and reached out to me to do a show,” Kinnick recalls. “She told me that she makes art as her living. I was like, ‘How does this person do this?’” They became fast friends, and have supported each other in their early careers as professional artists.“Kat calls herself an ‘in the closet’ artist, but since we did the last show she’s been making a lot more work,” says Marwan. “She’s inspired me a lot in so many ways as well.”
Kinnick grew up in Albuquerque, and her parents restore Navajo rugs. She studied art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Even in her time away from the high desert, she made paintings of New Mexico’s flora and fauna. Now living in Santa Fe, she continues to depict the natural world with the intention of bringing viewers back in touch with the wild. She works in watercolor and gouache to bring plants and animals to life on paper and board. “Creating culture is like creating a value system,” she says. “My work represents my heart and my values. I feel like if we knew animals and plants better, and were more connected to them, then we’d live in a healthier world.”
Marwan was born in Kuwait, and moved to Albuquerque with her family when she was a child. Now an American citizen, she has traveled back and forth several times in the past few years to visit family. Her watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture everyday moments in both places, highlighting differences and similarities between the two cultures that Marwan moves between. Other drawings feature charming portraits of her friends, or scenes from her travels across the world. “I search for certain things that I remember, and invent things as well,” Marwan says. “I blend together real experiences with things that I imagine. Drawing helps gets these things out.”
When it comes to selling their work, both artists prioritize accessibility. “At the market, some people are like, ‘You shouldn’t be selling your art at a place like this!’” Marwan says. “I’m like, ‘Why can’t it be sold like tomatoes?’”
At the show’s closing reception on Sunday, August 6, Lone Piñon—who helped connect Kinnick and Marwan—will provide music. The group has revived and updated the Chicano stringband style that once flourished in New Mexico, bringing a devoted and explosive musicianship to Northern New Mexican polkas and chotes, virtuosic Mexican huapango and son calentano, and classic borderlands conjunto. Jordan Wax, Greg Glassman and Noah Martinez are the band’s members.
Kat Kinnick grew up in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Her parents had their own business restoring Navajo rugs, which instilled in Kat an entrepreneurial spirit which she first expressed selling homemade dog biscuits at the local farmers’ market when she was ten. Kat graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Sustainability & Social Practice. Currently, Kat lives in Santa Fe, where she teaches preschool and sells her handprinted cards at several boutiques.
Nature instills in me a sense of belonging, and my work has always been inspired by an affection for plants and wildlife. As a preschool teacher this past year, my relationships to children have informed a more process-oriented approach to painting. They have also inspired me to create work that speaks to children and reinforces a culture of fondness and connectedness to the natural world.
For the last year or so I have been painting in gouache, carving rubber stamps, and making tile reliefs of native plants as part of an apprenticeship. I enjoy working in a variety of mediums and past works have included a series of wall-sized gardenscapes--this current work is part of a design process that I would like to translate into wallpaper, painted tiles, patterns for fabric, shop displays, stationary, children’s theater, illustration and commercial design.
Zahra grew up in two deserts which vary drastically and have many similarities in culture. One close to the sea, the other close to the mountains. She studied the visual arts in France, and continues various pursuits to further educate herself. She currently lives and works in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she incorporates her Kuwaiti tendencies into her daily life.
I create my work based on stories and imagery from whichever environment I find myself in. I grew up valuing humor, lightheartedness, and finding optimism in face of adversity. I incorporate these values into my whimsical illustrations by integrating animals, bright colors, and imagery of home and the comfort that these ideas brings.