Santa Fe, NM
“What we are/what we could/ BE MORE: Words of Becoming”
an art action by Jerry Wellman
As part of Jerry Wellman’s “Words of Becoming,” visitors are invited to step inside an installation covered in glyphs, graphs, and words to receive their “word of becoming.” Wellman sits behind a desk with pen and ink and a sheet of paper and engages participants in conversation.
Using interview and story-gathering techniques, Wellman guides the conversation and listens deeply. As a result of the dialog between the participant and artist, a special and individual word emerges, carrying a meaning, both pertinent and powerful. Wellman then writes the word twice using a handmade 30 year old calligraphy stick dipped into india ink. One copy is given to the participant as a gift, the other placed on display.
If guests are interested in further participation, Wellman will create a personalized diagrammatic image. Glyph-like images are placed into a diagram which can act as a customized navigational tool, an individualized poem, and a picture of one’s higher self. The result can serve as a portrait that enhances the participant’s positive characteristics, organized into an image representing a facet of their physical and spiritual reality.
As a whole, “Words Of Becoming” is an art action designed to support the qualities of personality that we all carry. It is meant to explore the aspects of character that enhance ourselves and those around us.
About the artist: Jerry Wellman is a Santa Fe based artist whose cultural work includes curatorial projects, performance, writing, and studio production. Wellman earned an MFA from CalArts. Wellman’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Holly Solomon Gallery in New York City, Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn, The Downey Museum, and The Orange County Center of Contemporary Art in California, The El Paso Museum of Art, and The Revolving Museum in Boston. His drawings were selected for a traveling show sponsored by the Smithsonian.
His work with Axle Contemporary has been exhibited at SITE Santa Fe, 516 Arts in Albuquerque, The. Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock AZ, The Western Hereitage Museum in Hobbs NM and the Roswell Art Center in Roswell NM
Awards of note include: Art Matters Foundation Grant,. LINE Grant, Puffin Grant, and an NEA grant.
Wellman has taught at the Pasadena College of Art and Design, CalArts, and New Mexico State University. He was formerly the head curator at Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art. He is the co-founder, co-director and co-curator of Axle Contemporary Art Gallery