Martina Shenal: “Secondary Nature”

Exhibition Information
Location: Artspace Gallery on the CSN North Las Vegas Campus
Dates: September 22 – Saturday, November 4, 2017
Preview, Artist Talk & Artist Reception: Thursday, September 21, 6 p.m.

Artist Statement: “Secondary Nature”
The conceptual direction of the series secondary nature explores aspects of human intervention relative to the landscape; intersections of public and private, nature vs. the built environment, literal and metaphorical boundaries that protect as well as isolate. Acknowledging that place suggests an experiential encounter and space points to the unknown, these images invoke the dichotomy of an intimate encounter against the distanced backdrop of foreign observation. Though they involve a highly detailed transcription of place, they are, in one sense, more about the act of looking than a narrative about place. They operate within a perpetually passing moment–ambiguous fragments of the material world.

They are part of a larger, ongoing series entitled borrowed views, after the Japanese shakkei, and utilize the stylized perspective strategies in traditional eastern landscape painting and seventeenth century Japanese garden design. In the new series, I chose the title to draw parallels between the notion of differentiated natures, with references to first nature (instinct) and second nature (culture). In some sense, I am searching for an idealized landscape on these islands that is reflective of the garden: highly manipulated, tightly controlled and cultivated; offering a mediated interaction with the natural world while contextualizing it within a broader topographical and conceptual framework.

Martina Shenal is an Associate Professor in the Photography division at the School of Art at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She earned her MFA degree from Arizona State University in Tempe and her BFA degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus.

Shenal has received numerous grants and fellowships including a Western States Art Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship in New Genres, a Visual Art Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, multiple Professional Development Grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and a Contemporary Forum Artists Material Grant from the Phoenix Art Museum. Selected solo exhibitions of her work have been held at Place M Gallery, Tokyo, Whittier College, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, State University of New York-Brockport, University of California Berkeley Extension Gallery, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.


Antonio Gomez: “Charro: Portrait of a Way of Life”


Exhibition Information
Location: Fine Arts Gallery on the CSN North Las Vegas Campus
Dates: September 8 – Saturday, October 28, 2017
Artist Talk & Artist Reception: Thursday, September 14, 5 p.m.

Artist Statement: Charro
“Charro”, offers and insider perspective of a way of life that exists both in folklore tradition as much as it does in the contemporary every-day. In a documentary style and through the use of black and white photography, I strive to capture epic experiences of this beautiful tradition as well as intimate moments of romance, competition, sorrow, and Joy.

The work shows how Charrería is more than a national sport of Mexico. It’s a festive spectacle of costume and ceremony that evokes enormous national pride for Mexicanos in their homeland or across borders. Charro, Portrait of a Way of Life is a study of the struggle of many Mexican immigrants who make it their mission to pass on equestrian precision and human nobility to the next generation.

Born in Mexico, Antonio Gomez started his journey as a photographer as he discovered the work of photographer, Henry Cartier-Bresson while stationed in Germany. Soon after his enlistment in the U.S. Army he attended the College of Creative Studies in Detroit where he earned a B.F.A. in applied photography and a Masters in Fine Art from Wayne State University.

Antonio continues to document his surroundings and its people and occasionally goes to Mexico to continue with the documentation of his beloved country. Antonio has self-published three books on some of his ongoing personal projects. His latest book “Life, Devotion and Departure” is a very close to his heart as he documents his parents struggle with Alzheimer’s, their devotion to each other and the hardships that result from their retirement, in Mexico. His documentary series on the Las Vegas street was published in the online National Geographic magazine edition in 2014. His latest project, “Charro, Portrait of a Way of Life”, is a 13-year-old documentary series of the struggle of many Mexican immigrants who make it their mission to pass on equestrian precision and human nobility to the next generation.

Antonio moved to Las Vegas Nevada in 2004 where he holds a full time teaching position at the College of Southern Nevada. He resides in the outskirts of the city with his wife and three children.