Sam Kirk Cholo/a, 2020, mixed media on wood disc, 29 x 29 inches

Fluid Gaze

September 30, 2023 – December 30, 2023

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, September 30, 6–8 PM. Music by DJ Anjo.

516 ARTS' presents Fluid Gaze, curated by Rachelle B. Pablo (Diné), which features the work of a select group of artists who use textiles, beaded garments, scrimshaw, and performance to explore the nuances of queer identity from Indigenous and Latinx perspectives. Fluid Gaze responds to today's social climate by addressing the subtleties of gender expression through contemporary artistic practices that reference the complex identities of the artists themselves. The artists investigate the concept of queerness from the perspectives and intersections of various cultures, often moving between past and present to suggest that identity is also layered in our shared histories.  

In these works, fluidity functions as metaphor, conveyed through variety of mediums and range of material culture from traditional garments to geometric abstraction. Albuquerque artist Amanda Curreri uses textiles to tell stories of collective histories of feminism, queer culture and resistance. Together these artists and others invite us to consider the layers of experience and context that shapes queer identities today. Chicago-based Sam Kirk is a multidisciplinary artist who explores culture and identity politics through her creations. Her artwork focuses on a variety of intersections which encompass a call to celebrate differences and enact change. 

Hawaiian-born artist Lehuauakea employs the repetition of geometric forms in a traditional bark cloth called kapa, noting, “the repetition of pattern, the symbolism of light and dark, and motifs within this piece…reference ideas of blurring the line between seemingly established binaries”. Gabriel Maestas' multimedia work is influenced by New Mexico history, culture, folklore, and social political issues. Their current body of work is an ongoing project on the history of the Witch Trials of Abiquiú and explores the themes of religion, superstition, and cultural identity. San Antonio-based José Villalobos presents work that transforms the traditionally macho uniform of the vaquero, adding sequins and fringe to cowboy hats and using them in installations and performances that are both playful and provocative.