A pop-up exhibition of illustrations & prints
by Kat Kinnick & Zahra Marwan
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 with 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.