Deep Waters, Thin Places

March 3-31, 2017
Opening, First Friday, March 3, 6-9pm
Artist Talk, Thursday, March 23, 6-7pm

In this immersive installation of video, performance, sound, lithography, and sculpture, Erin Fussell transforms an urban desert flood control dam into a creative site. Fussell looks at the space conceptually as a reflection of a possible internal state of being. Culturally, we build “flood control systems” within ourselves as well to live in the world. The artist’s work poses an important question, when should we control it and when should we let it flood? In one video, performers interpret visual scores inspired by engineering plans of Embudo Dam on the dam in the Sandia Foothills. Water rushes uncontrolled in another. Wooden sculptures that mimic elements of the concrete dam structure recall the materiality of the site versus the gallery, point to the relationship between the natural and built environment. The work allows the viewer to reinterpret everyday landscape and experience space, both internally and externally.

The Sanitary Tortilla Factory is pleased to present Deep Waters, Thin Places, new work by Erin Fussell as the first of two exhibitions in the 2017 Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar Series. The Exceptional Scholar Series offers professional space for the culminating exhibition that defines the student’s launch into their profession as an artist. The series hopes to underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s historic connection to contemporary art practice.

Supported in part by Albuquerque Public Art and celebrating March’s regional Women in Creativity.

Sanitary Tortilla Factory, 401 2nd St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Gallery Hours: Thursdays and Fridays 12-5pm, or by appointment
Ph. 505-228-3749

About the artist:
Erin Fussell is an interdisciplinary artist working in New Mexico. After growing up in watery Portland, Oregon and traveling extensively, Fussell draws inspiration from the desert landscape. She is currently the John Gaw Meem Architecture and Design Fellow at the Center for Southwest Research and an alumni SITE Santa Fe Scholar. “Deep Waters, Thin Places” is her MFA thesis show for the Art and Ecology program at the University of New Mexico and part of Albuquerque’s Women in Creativity 2017.

Sheri Crider, Sanitary Tortilla Factory,



Work at 516 Arts, Feb-April 2017

February 4 – April 1, 2017

UNM Graduate Exhibition
We are in mysterious contact with the powers besieging us, ready to call forth a miracle.

Juried by Candice Hopkins

516 ARTS will host the juried UNM Graduate Art Exhibition in the downstairs gallery. Produced by the UNM Graduate Art Association and juried by Candice Hopkins, this exhibition is in celebration of 516 ARTS’ collaborative relationship and UNM College of Fine Arts and its community outreach programs.

Hopkins says, “There is potential in fragments and there is possibility in pieces and in parts. As stand-ins for the whole, they offer new narratives created out of the freedom of improvisation. On view are many parts. There is a pair of lithe hands piercing a window blind; a piece of a multi-coloured tapestry; a video of a woman repeated the words ‘sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry…;’ banners for a party that never materializes; bits of sunburned skin; peeling wallpaper; and parts of houses seemingly conjured from beneath salty surfaces.

Along with fragments there are also portraits, none of which are straightforward. Some portraits look as though they are visible because of digital interference, others picture the anxiety of our age: ‘put money in banks that align with your beliefs;’ yet others are produced through memory—the open door of a familiar bedroom—and the remainder are made visible by their traces, a golden print of body hair and three letters in the Cherokee syllabary made of thin thread.

The philosopher Walter Benjamin once wrote that ‘finished works weigh lighter than [the] fragments.’ The works at the beginning of each artists’ career are heavy with intent. Necessarily so. Collectively, they offer glimpses into other worlds, and at their best, reveal insights into ourselves, as well.”


Katelyn Bladel
Alivia Magaña
Marie Rose Brewer
Earl McBride

Mick Burson
Kristen Roles

Rusty Ayrton Chapman
Teena Lee Ryan

Rachel Donovan
Sallie Scheufler

Eugene Ellenberg
Nick Simko

Erin Fussell
Kacie Erin Smith

Erin Galvez
Zac Travis

Lara Goldmann
Ariel C. Wilson

Amy Johnson

Candice Hopkins is originally from Whitehorse, Yukon and is a citizen of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. She is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is curatorial advisor for the forthcoming documenta 14, which will be held in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany in 2017. She is formerly Chief Curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and has held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Canada, the Western Front, and the Walter Phillips Gallery. Hopkins received her MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

The University of New Mexico Graduate Art Association (GAA) represents graduate students of the Department of Art and Art History to the greater UNM and New Mexico communities. The organization is run entirely by elected graduate students, with the guidance of appointed Faculty Advisors. Their mission is to provide special opportunities for AAH graduate students and enrich their overall experience at UNM. They also serve as an advocate for AAH graduate students and as a liaison between the student body, faculty and student government.

 from 516 Arts

Images: Rachel Donovan, Untitled (doors), 2015, archival pigment print, 17 x 14 inches, Candice Hopkins, courtesy of Jason S. Ordaz