Albuquerque Weaves - A Conversation With Donna Contractor

And I don't mean hair extensions. I mean tapestry and other fiber art. My friend, award-winning tapestry and mixed media artist Donna Loraine Contractor will be a featured artist at the City of Albuquerque’s Open Space Visitor Center’s two-person show New Mexico Weaves Tapestry, January 3-February 28, 2009. Donna shares the main exhibition gallery with fellow weaver Pat Dozier. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, January 3, from 1-4 p.m.

Donna was recently named a Local Treasure for her contribution to the Duke City’s visual art scene by the Albuquerque Art Business Association. The banner photo shows three of her works, the leftmost from her Universal Language Series, the middle from the Feng Shui Series, and the rightmost, which isn't from a series at all.

When I chatted with Donna about the exhibit, this is what she said about some of the pieces she's contributed, “My ‘Universal Language Series’ reveals mathematical properties that were used in indigenous art forms. These geometries were often spawned by observation made of the natural world. Similarly, through these observations, the ability to perceive energy flow makes my ‘Feng Shui Series’ appropriate for display. Each of these bodies of work include a small landscape element which has become my signature and homage to this beautiful area in which we live.”

I love Donna's work because it incorporates the landscapes and colors of New Mexico with bold contemporary architectural frames that create depth and optical illusions. The late Douglas Kent Hall wrote, in The Thread of New Mexico, “Contractor combines unlikely dynamic forms with a scintillating palette to achieve an evocative and compelling style of weaving. She utilized traditional....concepts as well as certain graphic constructs that fueled the work of many twentieth-century painters and brings to contemporary tapestry a freshness that is sometimes startling.”

Donna also co-curated and co-juried with Cathlena Burr of Village Wools the complementary exhibition, New Mexico Weaves Cloth. During the same time frame, the halls and interpretive space of the Open Space Visitor Center will be filled with pieces from the Las Arãnas Spinners and Weavers Guild. Weavers were invited to exhibit different representations of textiles, and to experiment, stretch boundaries and weave the finest cloth possible to represent this ancient art. The use of natural fibers and traditional techniques were emphasized.

The Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard between Montano and Paseo del Norte. Call 897-8831 for more information.

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Comment by cc on January 26, 2009 at 9:17pm
I love Donna's work too - bought a pillow of her's like 15 years ago.

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