ALBUQUERQUE New Mexican locals and visitors alike will
have the rare opportunity to experience the complete collection
of first edition prints by famed Santa Clara Pueblo artist Helen
Hardin when her show "Spirit Lines" goes on display at the Indian
Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) this fall. Hardin's work will
be showcased in the center's newly-renovated South Gallery at 2401
12th St NW, Albuquerque from November 11, 2017, through March 4,
While Hardin (1943-1984) achieved fame over a decades-long career
as a painter, in the last few years of her life she turned her attention
to a newfound passion, copper plate etchings. In total she produced
23 plates from 1980 to 1984 before succumbing to breast cancer at
age 41, and "Spirit Lines" brings together all 23 first edition
From The Sun
"We're so honored and excited to bring Helen Hardin's work back
home to Albuquerque," says Rachel Moore (Hopi), IPCC Curator of
Exhibitions. "She loved this city, since she once said it was the
only place she truly felt accepted. Of all the art galleries and
museums where her work could go, it's wonderful to welcome it to
the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, where we can really delve into
her life story and cultural connections."
Hardin's mother, Pablita Velarde (1918-2006) of Santa Clara
Pueblo, blazed her own trail as a watercolorist in the 1940s at
a time when Pueblo artists were largely expected to restrict themselves
to certain predefined styles, and when Pueblo women weren't encouraged
to pursue art at all. By the time Hardin began developing her own
career as a painter, Velarde was an established figure in New Mexico's
art world, yet Hardin successfully evolved beyond her mother's legacy
to establish her own style and reputation. While Velarde painted
traditional scenes of Pueblo life, Hardin bridged traditional and
contemporary worlds by creating abstract compositions inspired in
part by designs from ancient rock art and pottery.
"Spirit Lines" includes Hardin's "Woman Series," her three most
famous etchings. Taken together, "Changing Woman," "Medicine Woman,"
and "Listening Woman" reflect Hardin's personal struggle and evolution
during the last three years of her life. Moore is already at work
curating these and the show's 20 other etchings to tell the story
of Hardin's life journey, as well as her role in the evolution of
Pueblo art across the region.
Hardin's legacy is now maintained in large part by Helen Hardin
#1's LLC, the organization that owns the print collection and has
facilitated this show by making the etchings available on loan.
Although Hardin's own artistic career was cut short by her premature
passing, her daughter Margarete Bagshaw (1964-2015) continued the
family tradition with years of work as a successful modernist painter,
solidifying a unique American "dynasty" of three generations of
professional female artists. The IPCC is one of a few organizations
in the world whose collection houses work by all three, a fact that
will help shape this fall's exhibitions.
"Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings" will open at the Indian
Pueblo Cultural Center (2401 12th St NW) on November 11, 2017,
and run through March 4, 2018. Visitors can enjoy the show in the
IPCC's South Gallery, open 9am to 5pm daily, included with museum
admission ($8.40 for adults, $6.40 for New Mexico residents, $5.40
for students and children).