Weaving Fiber Forward with Venancio Aragon and Eric-Paul Riege
Venancio Aragon and Eric-Paul Riege, two dynamic emerging artists from the Southwest who are shaping Navajo (Diné) weaving as a contemporary art form, will speak at Montclair Art Museum for the 35th Annual Julia Norton Babson Lecture. Their distinct experimental practices honor the ancestry and philosophies of Navajo weaving to create works with cultural vitality and vision for the future. Aragon will discuss how he researches and reworks fibers, textile structures, designs, and more than 150 dyes for their optical and emotional power. Riege will share how his wearable soft sculpture and performance art celebrates the motion, strength, and balance of Diné weaving at the vanguard of contemporary art. The conversation will be moderated by MAM’s Curator of Native American Art, Laura J. Allen.
Riege will also be offering a teen workshop on November 10 as well as giving a durational performance in Rand Gallery from 11a.m.–4p.m. on Saturday, December 11.
Venancio Aragon Artist Statement
I weave on an upright tension loom, a technology of Indigenous origin. I view my loom as a powerful connection to culture, identity, and history. My quest to learn and preserve my peoples’ textile traditions have led to an ongoing journey of piecing together fragments of memory, oral histories, and archaeological materials into my work. My textiles draw on ancient techniques once developed for utilitarian needs and purposes. I fuse bold geometric designs with polychromatic saturation of color to reflect my individual and technical freedom of expression. I view my tapestries as a living record of the cultural survival of my people and as a testament to the current vitality of my heritage. Each tapestry I create is unique not only to me but to the genre of Navajo textiles my work is descended from.
Eric-Paul Riege Artist Statement
My process is inspired by being present through my mind, body, and beliefs. I follow the worldview fostered by Hózhó, the Diné (Navajo) philosophy and lifestyle that encompasses beauty, balance, and goodness in all things physical and spiritual and its bearing on everyday experience. This happens through remembering my history and my people and my family and my friends—creating altars of how they have gifted me my identity and perspective and craft. It happens through an awareness and intention and patience in my process; in channeling all my energy toward making. It happens through rituals and prayer and dances for harmony. Having conversations with my work, it is our desire for our existence to align and pay homage with the spaces we inhabit and the people that surround us. To welcome my family, friends, strangers, angels, Holy People, ancestors, animals, into our lives and to embrace them with the warmth of our hug.
This event is funded through the generous perpetual gift from the Julia Norton Babson Memorial Fund.
Free with advance RSVP