Expose your Essence, the title of this year’s Art in the Raw show included cascades of student works ranging from edgy contemporary pieces like Daryl Lucero and Gracie Horne’s refrigerator piece entitled “Literally Subtle” to more traditional pieces like a trio of old-style dresses created by Donna Hall. The works were displayed from Oct. 5-21 in the Primitive Edge Gallery.
The 12th annual Art in the Raw was sponsored by the Gay/Straight Alliance club. The GSA kept the original idea of Art in the Raw and asked participants to submit their unadulterated, raw art in order to express themselves; uncensored and unlimited.
A group of students created Art in the Raw in 1999 as a response to the censorship of student art. At the time, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) was located on the College of Santa Fe (CSF) campus. Art in the Raw allowed students from both campuses to exhibit their artwork without staff or faculty restrictions.
“After the opening of student shows, staff and faculty would remove student work from the walls,” Mary Deleary, Alumnae and Primitive Edge Gallery coordinator explained. “It was then the students created this show that has lasted 12 years.” According to Deleary, no artwork has been turned away from the exhibit.
In years past, a painting of a penis with a headdress caused controversy when displayed in an Art in the Raw show. Dwayne Manual chose to paint this in a response to the clichéd art being presented by revolutionary, political artists. Two students removed their pieces that were placed next to his painting because they did not want to be associated with his piece. After this, Manual found himself satisfied by the reaction to his piece, but ultimately appreciated those who found the ironic humor in his work.
“As an art institute,” Deleary says, “we should allow our students to address the issues that are important to them.”
For as long as Art in the Raw has been around it is still the only exhibit which is entirely in the hands of IAIA students.