Strangers Collective is an alliance of early career artists and writers. The project is based in Santa Fe, with a network of collaborators that extends across the nation. Its mission is to provide a platform for emerging creatives, amplifying their voices through exhibitions, events, publications and other endeavors. Strangers co-directors Kyle Farrell, Alex Gill and Jordan Eddy curate an ongoing series of pop-up exhibitions and events in venues around Santa Fe. They also operate No Land, an experimental art space on the Santa Fe Plaza that acts as the collective's headquarters and produces exhibitions, events and residencies for artists and writers who are ready to take the next step in their careers.
Strangers Collective was founded by Kyle Farrell, Erikka James and Jordan Eddy in 2014 as a series of secret shows for emerging artists in private residences. The trio curated two 2014 exhibitions in James' Santa Fe apartment: First Fall in October, and Troublevision in December. What began as a salon-style gathering of friends swiftly grew into a full-fledged collective of emerging creatives.
In 2015, Strangers started curating public pop-up exhibitions around Santa Fe, with the goal of increasing exposure for the burgeoning collective's members. The group's first public exhibition, titled Strangers, was at ART.i.factory Gallery in July 2015 and featured 17 artists and writers. Farrell and Eddy became primary directors of Strangers at this time, while James continued to the engage with the project as a contributing artist. By fall 2015, the group's membership had more than doubled for the exhibition NO LAND at Wheelhouse Art. Strangers mounted a smaller show titled Cabin Fever at SCUBA's Caldera Gallery in March 2016.
Narrows was the collective's fourth public exhibition, a three-week pop-up at Santa Fe Community Gallery in May 2016. The show’s title referenced the small apartments or studios where the creative process begins for many emerging artists. Narrows examined this invigorating and at times perilous voyage of ferrying work from these private spaces and into the public sphere. Santa Fe Art Tours designed and lead an interactive walk-through of Narrows as part of its programming.
In July 2016, Strangers teamed up with SCUBA again to organize a show called Dispatch at ART.i.factory Gallery. The exhibition challenged 96 New Mexico artists to create representations of Santa Fe art spaces on 3 x 6 inch tiles, forming a monumental map of the art establishment by artists who often work outside its boundaries. Visitors to the show were encouraged to mail their own "dispatches" to the featured art spaces. As mysterious letters appeared in mailboxes all over town, disparate members of the art world joined in the conversation.
A second manifestation of Dispatch appeared from fall 2016 to winter 2017 at New Mexico Highlands University's Trolley Barn Gallery in Las Vegas, New Mexico. It featured additional contributions from NMHU faculty members, expanding the art map to encompass both Santa Fe and Las Vegas. Strangers also curated a display of Ona Yopack's artwork in form & concept's Residency exhibition in August 2016.
Gill became a co-director of Strangers in fall 2016, and worked with Farrell and Eddy to co-curate the exhibition Long Echo at Center for Contemporary Arts. The show transformed the CCA Cinematheque Gallery into a gathering place for local creatives. It featured the work of 25 emerging artists and writers, and engaged the broader community in a series of events called Echo Chamber.
Strangers first utilized the space that would become No Land for collaborations with Albuquerque poet Mary Dezember (December 2016) and digital arts publication 1905 Magazine (February 2017). No Land officially opened in April 2017 with the solo exhibition Marcus Zúñiga: YA VEO. The space hosts shows, events and residencies by emerging artists and writers. It's located at 54 1/2 E. San Francisco Street on the Santa Fe Plaza. No Land has showcased the work of Jesús Castillo & Sonja Bjelić, Emmaly Wiederholt & Gregory Bartning, Kat Kinnick & Zahra Marwan, Barbara Justice & Adriana Barrios, Dandelion Guild, Ariana Lombardi, Nathan Smerage, and Liz Brindley.
Strangers Collective and No Land have been featured in Pasatiempo, Santa Fean NOW, Weekly Alibi, Santa Fe New Mexican, Albuquerque Journal North, THE Magazine, Santa Fe Arts Journal, Santa Fe Reporter, The Jackalope and Inspirato Magazine. The group has also appeared on the Évasion network's #TamyUSA travel television series, and on the radio programs Spencer Beckwith on the Arts, ArtBeat, The Richard Eeds Show, The Big Show with Honey Harris, Travel Itch Radio and Santa Fe Radio Café.
Strangers Collective's next major group exhibition, titled Mirror Box, debuts at form & concept on February 23, 2018 and runs through April 14. The show features 35 emerging artists and writers, and its curatorial throughline presents a radical method for reflecting on place and identity through art objects. A curator and artist talk takes place on March 17, and a closing performance by Emmaly Wiederholt is on April 14.
Strangers & Collaborators
Erikka James | Kyle Farrell | Jordan Eddy
Whitney Stewart | Rachel Miller-Howard
Ben Putnam | Freyr A Marie | Dion Valdez
A. Jason Coleman | MaryEllen Whitmoyer
Ariana Lombardi | Stephanie Thompson
Stacy Brossy | Helen Tindel | Alex Gill
Leah Devine Pokrasso | Shannon Latham
Florence Cunningham | Marcus Zuniga
Elliot Jackson | Daniel Bohnhorst | Juro Gagne
Lily Evans | Tim Edeker | Julia Haywood
Maxwell Lucas | Kendyll Gross | Ona Yopack
Alicia Piller | Katherine Lee | Steve Harrison
Sarah Weisberg | Susy Alfaro | Katie Johnson
Acacia Barnett | Jesse Wood | Emmanuelle John
Jesús Castillo | Sonja Bjelić | Eliza Lutz
Crockett Bodelson | SCUBA
Alicia Inez Guzmán | Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose
Caitlin Brothers | ppoacher ppoacher
Melinda Freudenberger | Steffen D. Garcia
Michael J. Wilson | Marina Woollven
Calixte Raifsnider | Benjamin Bailey-Buhner
Erica Nguyen | Yvette Serrano | Rachelle Woods