The Ephemerals do Santa Fe, NM

The Ephemerals with reoccurring associate Kerri-Lynn Reeves are back at it again!

This time through the Social Engagement Residency at IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in Santa Fe, NM!!!! So “chi-miigs” to Patsy Phillips, Andrea Handley and the amazing team at MoCNA and also the funders: Artist Leadership Program for Museums and Cultural Institutions supported by the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution for bringing us here!!!!!! Mucho Mucho Miigwetch


Outsiders coming to “socially engage” with insiders…

What does this mean and imply? What will be our contact zone? Who will be our community? What happens after we leave? Questions upon questions about the role of the outsider/visitor/tourist and the implications on community/place. All explored through the vehicle that is art.

Outsiders in Santa Fe – Niki Little & Kerri-Lynn Reeves

Outsider/Insiders in Manitoba – Jaimie Isaac & Jenny Western

Insiders – Community of Santa Fe

Packing up, Niki Little & Kerri-Lynn Reeves head to the south-west leaving Jaimie Isaac & Jenny Western behind to receive tales about the travels. Examining the pilgrimage down from Canada to New Mexico, crossing political and cultural borders along the way, Niki & Kerri-Lynn hope to blur notions of performance and social justice in this story that can be reflected in their own engagement with MoCNA.

Coming to Santa Fe as visitors, and being highly aware of the consequences of cultural tourism especially as it is tied to socially engaged art practices, it is our intention in Santa Fe to devote the first week to getting to know the local culture as it is tied to the place/environment and its natural products, and the second week making material representation of our interpretations of this experience through a cultural product and subtle interventions. Both phases will be done while working closely with local residents: firstly to understand the traditional and historical context within which we are working, and secondly to become acquainted with the methods in which local makers are interpreting their own cultural understanding of place. Bringing in notions of pop culture and humour, food and dress will feature heavily in our engagement with Santa Fe.

Food is often the first place that a new culture is encountered in a new place. Linked to the quotidian and to the social history of dining, local food will be our entry point into the community of Santa Fe. As local food is guided by culture and the environment in tandem, Niki & Kerri-Lynn are mindfully dining locally each day, sending written and visual representations of the meals home to Jaimie & Jenny each day. This daily practice aims to acknowledges our position as visitors to a new land, and how we are representing our new experiences back to our homeplace. With an awareness of the landscape and it’s indigenous plants we are seeing and consuming extends to local natural dye plants, and we are connecting with local experts to expand our knowledge on this subject.

The plants collected will be used in the second week to dye and print fabric, in colours that indirectly reference historical art works found in the collections that we are visiting throughout our stay, and that directly reference the materials themselves and they place in which they are found. This fabric will be used to make wearable garments that are designed in consultation with local fashion designers that share our interest in how a historical culture is contemporarily interpreted visually and materially. These garments will be worn by us in subtle sartorial interventions at events at MOCNA and associated with Indian Market between Thursday and Saturday of our last weekend.

On Saturday, August 23rd we will be available outside of MoCNA from 12:30-1:30PM to engage with passerbyers in Conversational Art Exchanges that will be a social and a material exchange that reflects our experience of our two-weeks in Santa Fe. At 2:30PM we will be part of a panel discussion, along with fellow artist-in-residence Rosy Simas, reflecting on the residency.

To find out more, please visit IAIA MoCNA’s website HERE.



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