Thursday, March 11, 2010

Heard @ The Heard 2010: Adrian Wall Jemez Pueblo Sculptor

“My focus is on the Pueblo experience, whether it be capturing the solace of a song or prayer in stone or the playful mischief of a Koshari, these are the images that inspire me.” --Adrian Wall, Jemez Sculptor

When I think of award-winning Native American sculptor, Adrian Wall, I think of an artist bursting with talent. He is also, perhaps one of the most nice and humble artists you will meet.  Wall's substantial sculptures teem with life and spirit and you find yourself wondering how someone can create something so spectacular out of a piece of alabaster. While stone is usually his medium of choice, he does work in clay and bronze.

Along with Wall’s talent, comes an innate understanding of the business of art. This has allowed Wall, who comes from a family of successful artists (Kathleen Wall, Steve Wall, Fannie Loretto), to reach a level in his career where his pieces are highly sought out by museums and private collectors. Hailing from Jemez Pueblo, Wall is also part Chippewa and Laguna.  He has been sculpting since he was in his late teens, and is constantly on the cutting edge of Native American art, always exploring new ideas.

An engaging speaker, Adrian Wall is one of the most articulate artists I have ever met. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend his lecture at Santa Fe’s SAR, where he spoke about a major project that he hopes to cast in bronze. A 2009 Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow, the work is a multi-piece sculptural hanging that represents Pueblo life and emcompasses "perceptions of environment, spiritual beliefs, and subsistence. "  At the Heard show, I noticed that he was selling a piece reminiscent of the SAR piece.   The sculpture, made from various types of stone, is part of a series he has been working on for the last two years centered around thunderstorms.

In the last six months, I have crossed paths with the artist numerous times, but hanging out at his Heard Museum booth lent itself to coaxing him into talking more in detail about his work. Here is interview #2 in my 14-part artist interview series Heard @ The Heard 2010.

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