Faculty & Staff Spotlight – Remarkable Work Flooding Out of UNM’s Art Department

“Grounded in Clay,” debuted in New York on July 13, 2023. The exhibition gives voice to the Pueblo Pottery Collective, the sixty Native American curators who selected and wrote about works in clay (including UNM Associate Professor of Ceramics, Clarence Cruz) from SAR’s Indian Arts Research Center and from the Vilcek Foundation. This unique traveling exhibition features over 100 historic and contemporary works in clay and offers a visionary understanding of Pueblo pots as vessels of community-based knowledge and personal experience. Foregrounding Pueblo voices and aesthetics, “Grounded in Clay: The Spirit of Pueblo Pottery,” is the first community-curated Native American exhibition in the history of The Met. “Grounded in Clay” will be in New York until June of 2024. The exhibition then travels to Houston, followed by Saint Louis.

We are excited to share our newest faculty member, Sara Abbaspour! Sara Abbaspour is an Iranian artist and teacher who lives and works between the U.S. and Iran. She holds an MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art, an MA in Photography from the University of Tehran, and a BSc. in Urban Planning and Design from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Abbaspour draws on influences from her background in urban studies. While embracing a herstorical approach, her photographs often seem timeless and placeless. She explores the relationship between spaces and their inhabitants in their constant state of becoming, collaborates with these elements, and often considers these photographs self-portraits. Her work exists in a meeting point between temporal and eternal, inside and out, familiar and peculiar, personal and political, seen and unseen, magic and mundane, imagined and experienced. Sara is the Assistant Professor in Photography and has taught Advanced Photography during the fall 2023 semester. This studio course focused on exploring how to make photographic work. Sara says, “Working together towards building a community is the most valuable outcome of this course, as Art is never made in a void, but is always made through constructive conversations and collaboration.” The building of a community is pertinent in this class and the art world as a whole.
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