Each month, Kuivato, a Creative Gateways Gallery, chooses a theme to guide our involvement in 1st Friday at the Galleries. This December, we focus on…
Life exists all around us, in forms both obvious and hidden. It is stored in the water that falls from the sky, that flows through the canyons, and that nourishes the plants and animals of the world. It propels all facets of the universe forward. For many artists, their craft is a way to highlight, capture, and express this most fundamental of forces. Such is the case for Gerry Quotskuyva‘s piece – a grand undertaking months in the making.
The Root of the Theme
While Gerry Quotskuyva illuminates life across several different artistic mediums, this newest exhibit will see Gerry premiering something incredibly special. Since August, Gerry has been working on a massive undertaking that he calls “The Gnarly Root Project” as part of his fellowship in New Mexico. This piece involves creating a carved, multi-layered sculpture out of a giant cottonwood root. Now, after an immense amount of work, Gerry will be debuting the work in progress.
Gerry’s new project began with a long, arduous search for the right wood: cottonwood root. During one particular expedition 14 years ago, he found an appropriate piece in the Verde River. Afterward, Gerry patiently cured the wood, waiting for it to reach the right consistency of dryness to begin his new piece. The issue was that, if the wood was too wet or dried too quickly, there would have been a high risk of it splitting while being carved. After a long wait, the wood was finally ready, with the root standing at roughly 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
The initial idea was to create a piece expressing the theme of matriarchal cultures. “The majority of indigenous cultures are matriarchal societies,” Gerry tells us, “where the women possess strength and power in the decision-making process. Even in today’s culture, there are many groups where the feminine divine still carries weight.” To show this feminine divinity, Gerry’s goal was to create multiple female kachina dolls in flight on the smaller, individual roots, while still keeping the whole of the root as a single piece. In the larger areas of wood, he carved clusters of 2-3 larger kachina dolls or faces, such as grandmother figures or corn maidens. He has accomplished a remarkable amount of work during his time in New Mexico, and will continue to finish the piece here in Sedona, in his studio at Creative Gateways.
Living in the Holidays
Art can also help illuminate all of our lives, making it a perfect and personal gift. During this holiday season, Kuivato has a wide variety of pieces across different mediums to put a little light into anyone’s life. Animal lovers will rejoice at the ceramic animals of Sumati Colpitts, jewelry collectors will be happy to add beautiful work from local artist Sugatha Roeder to their collection, and even friends in need of something practical will be thrilled to receive coaster sets or spoon rests from the AMusinGlass studio. Be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide to find the perfect gift for any loved one!
Full of Life
Be sure to attend the opening reception of Illuminating Life, Friday, December 7th, from 5-8pm at Kuivato in the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. See the the life that shines out of Gerry’s work, as well as the work of all our represented artists. Explore the gallery, talk to local artists, and enjoy small bites and drinks.