Artist David Pearson and Santa Fe Botanical Garden CEO Clayton Bass with ‘Ascension of Eve’ in the Garden. Photo by Addison Doty
SANTA FE ― Art and gardens: the pairing goes back millennia. The latest exhibition at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Human Nature: Explorations in Bronze, features the unique sculptures of three artists: Allan Houser, David Pearson, and Jonathan Hertzel. Showcasing human figures in bronze, each artist brings his distinct style to reveal the spirit and cherish the fragility and power of human nature.
The exhibition includes 24 bronze sculptures and opens to the public May 25 with an opening reception May 24. The exhibition runs through May 10, 2020.
Allan Houser is one of New Mexico’s prolific artists; he was a student of the Santa Fe Indian School, and later set up the sculpture department at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Houser created revolutionary pieces that not only inspired and influenced his contemporaries and protégés, but have an ongoing impact the world over. From his iconic narrative works to the serene and mysterious forms of his geometric abstract works, Houser’s art connected people through its refined aesthetic and exacting execution.
Having grown up in Tesuque, sculptor David Pearson began working at Shidoni foundry as an apprentice at the age of 15. His rapid mastery of every phase of fine-art foundry work led to career phases as Foundry Director, Patina Master, Foundry designer and builder, and the one closest to his heart, Master Sculptor.
His bronzes reach people across the usual human divides and categorizations. Serenity, peace, and spirituality constitute as much of the mass and gravitas of Pearson’s bronze figures as the dense and durable metal itself.
Jonathan Hertzel was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts and the University of Rochester. With more than thirty years of experience under his belt, he can certainly hold his own with more traditional artists who work in bronze. But, he has a slightly different intention, one for which his history can provide hints. The collection of works featured is titled “Stories From My Ancestors,” and features an incredible story of the chance meeting between the archbishop Jean Baptist Lamy and Hertzel’s great-great grandfather Levi Spiegelberg along the Santa Fe Trail.
Human Nature: Explorations in Bronze is part of the Botanical Garden’s commitment to bringing art into the natural world. Its past annual exhibitions have featured the works of Dan Ostermiller, Bill Barrett, Dan, Arlo and Michael Namingha, Kevin Box, and more.
Collaborating galleries include Allan Houser Gallery, Patricia Carlisle Fine Art, and Jonathan Hertzel Studio.
Exhibition Opening Reception
5:30-7:30 p.m., May 24, 2019
Featuring remarks by each of the artists or their representatives, wine and a catered buffet. The evening also features a silent auction of colorful planted containers, and a drawing for a sculpture by Jonathan Hertzel. Proceeds of the silent auction benefit the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s mission and education programs. Tickets may be purchased at santafebotanicalgarden.org.