Lecture and Conversation

Conversation: Living Through the End




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Event will take place at Tipton Hall on the SFUAD campus. For more information, contact Nick Chiarella at 505-473-6500.

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Event Description

What does it mean to survive the forecast "end of the world?" How do apocalyptic prophesies come to bare on contemporary society? How have artists responded to notions of the end times? Join SFUAD's Precolumbian Mesoamerican Art Historian Prof. Khristaan Villela in conversation with artist Michelle Blade about how ritual, art, and prophecy might be understood after living through the end.

Michelle Blade made one painting each day of 2012 as a daily meditation on her relationship with painting and with the apocalyptic Mayan prophecies surrounding Dec. 21, 2012. Blade’s solo exhibition, Making Light of It, features the debut of all 366 apocalypse paintings alongside new sculptural works. Following the SFUAD lecture, on Friday, Jan. 18, the exhibition will open with a reception from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Arts’ Muñoz Waxman Main Gallery. The show will run through Feb. 17, with gallery hours Friday-Sunday from 12– to 5 p.m.

“My work investigates ritual and prophecy, the real and unreal, and our collective yearning to connect with the unfamiliar,” said Blade. “I believe that there is a creative aspect to how we encounter the mysteries of existence—how we acknowledge and make sense of things that are unknowable. I tend to not state truths in my work but rather embrace and highlight this uncertainty. Visually, my paintings and installations have colorful, bleeding surfaces that border on abstraction and simultaneously represent a transcendent space for totem-like characters and objects.”

Michelle Blade is a visual artist and curator from Los Angeles. Working primarily in painting and installation, her art investigates the metaphysical. Blade holds a BA from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and an MFA from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at galleries including Western Exhibitions, Chicago; Jack Hanley, San Francisco; Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles; BravinLee, NYC; Union Gallery, London; and V1 Gallery, Copenhagen. From 2010–2012 Blade directed Sight School, a multi-platform gallery space in Oakland, California. For more information, visit www.michelleblade.com.

Dr. Khristaan Villela is an art historian and independent curator of the Pre-Columbian art of Mesoamerica. He is a professor of art history and scholar in residence at Santa Fe University of Art and Design and a research professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He earned a BA in Latin American Studies from Yale University and a PhD in the History of Art at the University of Texas at Austin.