Taos Outsider Artist Photographer
Madison Rink’s First Santa Fe Show
Nature’s Ancient Art
Is Also the First Professional Show Produced By
Nine Seniors at Santa Fe University of Art & Design.
10% of the show’s proceeds will benefit
The Santa Fe Conservation Trust.
A significant fine art photography show with a unique Santa Fe wrinkle is slated to open December 1 for a month long run at the former Red Dot Gallery on Canyon Road. The show, Beyond Boundaries, Nature’s Ancient Art will feature 22 works by Taos – based Outsider artist j. Madison Rink. With her lens capturing portraits in nature that have endured millions of years, j. Madison Rink reveals our reflections much as, we now know, our earliest ancestors first discovered theirs. Her work portrays a spiritual and physical, a conscious and unconscious, an anguish and peace, igniting the earliest sparks of art and creativity.
The “wrinkle” is that every aspect of the show is the work of nine members of the last graduating class of Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Developed as a learning laboratory in a Fundamentals of Marketing class, the show has provided the students experiences ranging from identification of a gallery for the month-long Pop-Up show through its marketing and community sponsorship development, to gallery staffing.
The seniors, seven photography majors and two arts management majors, met with the artist in early September to begin show planning. At that meeting, j. Madison Rink shared with them how deep personal struggles both led her to photography as art and informed her work through her process of healing. Their candid conversation explored how the archetypal imagery she discovered in geological formations while hiking the Malibu Mountains guided her on her pathway back from decades of substance abuse and emotional turmoil resulting from sexual abuse. Today her images, many with a distinct tribal spirituality, like the art of the dance mask, and profound physicality, and like a tryptic multicultural representation of the vagina, continue to fulfill the need for meaning in her life.
In that first conversation, Rink also drew on the relationship between her work and a 2017 exhibition of South African Art at the British Museum. She described the exhibit’s most popular treasure, a naturally sculpted stone with the impressions of a human face on it. Known as the Makapansgat Jasperite Cobble, the cobble is described by Australian “cognitive” archaeologist, Robert G. Bednarik as the earliest recognition of an aesthetic by the Australopithecus who likely recognized and revered its naturally sculpted face and chose to collect it by taking it back to the cave where it was found again 3 million years later. Bednarik calls the cobble “the Beginnings of Art, as we know it.”
The students studied Rink’s extensive body of works, available on websites (including the National Geographic, Four Corners Region and YALE, Beinecki Archives, Women in Photography International) to select the images to be printed for the show.
Acknowledging nature as the well-spring of Rink’s work, they researched New Mexico environmental agencies to help her select The Santa Fe Conservation Trust as the organization to benefit from 10% of the show’s gross sales.
They met with gallery owner, Sandy Zane, to hammer out details for a short lease of the former Red Dot Gallery, until recently a Santa Fe Community College space. Zane, an avid supporter of arts business education, provided the space on very favorable terms and with her husband and partner Ned Bennett, are the first Community Sponsors of the show.
Now known as Night Sky Gallery, at 826 Canyon Road, just across from the municipal parking lot and The Tea House, the large space with multiple galleries will make it possible for the students to also mount and curate a small group show of their own work, further expanding their business and aesthetic experience in gallery shows.
Ten percent of gross show sales, both from the works of j. Madison Rink and the student artists, and any income from Community Sponsorships beyond show expenses, will be contributed to The Santa Fe Conservation Trust.
Beyond Boundaries Nature’s Ancient Art will open at the Night Sky Gallery, 826 Canyon Road, with a preview reception Friday, December 1 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. The show will be open daily – except Mondays – from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. On Christmas Eve the show will remain open until 8:00 pm and on New Year’s Eve, the show’s last day, it will close at 3:30 pm.
On Wednesday, December 13, j. Madison Rink will present a gallery talk, “Upon this Rock: Opening Pandora’s Box,” free and open to the public at 5:00 PM and there will be a reception for the Student Show Producers from 5:30 to 8:30.
Madison Rink’s Web Presence
National Geographic, Four Corners Region
YALE, Beinecki Archives, Women in Photography International
Saachi Art, London
Outsider Nature Art Photography – BLOG