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Treasures II: Virtuosity and Variations
The Treasures II: Virtuosity and Variations exhibit features many never before seen art from the Center’s collections. After the wonderful opening, and positive feedback received about the Center’s Treasures of the Southwest exhibit that opened in February 2017, the Center is excited to feature more of its own collections in Treasures II. The new exhibition features groupings of works of art and sculpture by individual artists including, Irving Toddy, Gene Kloss, Stanton Englehart, DY Begay, and more. By showcasing more than one piece by each artist provides visitors with insight into the evolution and style of the featured artists.
One of these artists, one who shows a great variation in style, is Irving Toddy. Born in 1951, he is the son of Beatien Yazz, an internationally renowned Navajo artist. Toddy received his B.A. in Commercial Art in 1983 and his M.A. in Painting in 1986, both from Utah State University. Among Toddy’s numerous awards and honors are Best of Show at the Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial; first, second, and third place awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market; and, the Patrick Hinds Swazo Award for the most promising young artist. Toddy works in acrylics, oils, watercolor, pastel, pen and ink, and graphite, as well as a variety of mediums. He enjoys painting the Southwest genre, though he has also painted in ledger style, which originated with the Plains Indian tribes. You can see both of these styles on exhibit in Treasures II. In addition, he has worked on illustrations for children’s books including Cheyenne Again, D is For Drum, Uncegila’s Seventh Spot, Desert Digits, and more.
Another artist, whose work is on exhibit for the first time at the Center, is Gene Kloss. Kloss was born in Oakland, California in 1903. She graduated from the University of California in 1924 with honors in art. The following year she moved to San Francisco to attend the California School of Fine Arts. By 1925 Gene left art school and married her husband Phillips Kloss. While on their honeymoon they traveled to Taos, New Mexico. During their time in Taos, Gene had her etching press, and printer and her plates with her. The Southwest continued to inspire Kloss’s etchings and her work captures the essence of the mountains and people in New Mexico. The five aquatint pieces featured in this exhibit were donated by the artist herself.
Also on exhibit for the first time are a set of Stanton Englehart paintings from his Women series, donated by Leo C. Brooks and Barbara B. Hanley. Englehart, who was born in nearby Lewis, Colorado in 1931, taught art at Fort Lewis College for 30 years. His works are featured all over the campus, particularly his landscapes. His Women series, also recently featured at the Durango Art Center, are a departure from his better known landscapes and should provide visitors with a look into another aspect of Stanton as an artist.
Finally, the Center is also showing textiles by master weaver DY Begay and her sisters Berdine Begay and Berdina Charley. DY is a fourth generation Navajo weaver with extensive knowledge of the history of textiles in the Southwest. She has participated in art shows including the Heard Guild Indian Fair and the Santa Fe Indian Market and her pieces are represented in numerous museum collections throughout the country. She has been cited in and contributed to several publications as a textile scholar. DY has helped the Center on multiple exhibits. Most recently she provided commentary on The Durango Collection® pieces featured in our Treasures of the Southwest exhibit. The Center is excited to showcase this set of textiles, which provide visitors a rare opportunity to look at artistry and variation within a family.
The Center will also show, for the first time, some of the largest textiles in the collections in the expansive middle gallery of the museum.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell: Colorado’s Renaissance Man
The Ben Nighthorse Campbell: Colorado’s Renaissance Man exhibit features some of Campbell’s furniture and memorabilia from his U.S. Senate office that he donated to the Center of Southwest Studies in 2004. This will be an ongoing exhibit with a changing emphasis every year. This year features some of Campbell’s stunning jewelry, with pieces borrowed from both Ben and Linda Campbell’s private collection and Shanan Campbell Wells of Sorrel Sky Gallery in downtown Durango. Plans are already in the works to highlight Campbell’s collection of Native American beadwork, his experience as a judo champion, his life as a rancher raising champion quarter horses, and other key themes that explore this Renaissance man over the next couple of years.
Treasures of the Southwest
The Treasures of the Southwest exhibit will annually feature a selection of Southwest textiles from The Durango Collection®, along with paintings from the Bill and Sue Hensler collection of Native American art; historical photographs and postcards from the Pennington Studio and Nina Heald Weber collections; and, pottery, sculpture and other works from the museum and archives collections.
Historical photographs from the region complement the textiles on exhibit and offer visitors insight into the lives and artistic traditions of the weavers. By rotating selections from the collection annually, the Center will provide the public with the opportunity to see more of its collections in the Treasures exhibition.
The Center of Southwest Studies was awarded a grant in the amount of $25,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program to support the permanent installation of a selection of Southwestern textiles from The Durango Collection® in the Treasures of the Southwest exhibition.
For the first time in its history, the Center is dedicating a portion of its gallery space to both Ben Nighthorse Campbell and the Treasures exhibits to permanently display these collections.