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Great Arts at Eastern this week talks with Bryan Hahn about the upcoming art show Ni’deesdiin

GENTRY:  And now Great Arts at Eastern. From the Portales campus of Eastern New Mexico University.  I’m Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, Your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is Bryan Hahn of ENMU’s Communication Services and the Department of Art. Thank you for joining me, Bryan. 

HAHN:  Oh, thank you for having me here.

GENTRY:  It's great to have you. So, Bryan, you are the manager of the Runnels Gallery at the Golden Center in Portales. Tell me about your work there. 

HAHN:  Yes, I managed the Runnels Gallery, which is in the Golden Student Success Center, and we have an array of art that comes through our doors year-round. Everything from student art up to professional seasoned artists. 

GENTRY:  And you are the -the brains and the muscle over there. 

HAHN:  I- I do think this makes it happen. But you know, really did the day it's- it's none of that would be possible without the artist so. 

GENTRY:  Great, well Speaking of those artists, the Runnels Gallery's current show is Ni'deesdiin. Is that a Navajo word? 

HAHN:  Yes, and it means to illuminate.

GENTRY:  Alright, so we're going to be illuminated with the art. Or we are already this ongoing show with the art of Leandra Yazzie and Jacob Lee. 

HAHN:  Yes.

GENTRY:  So, tell me a little bit about these artists.

HAHN:  I've known Jacob, he was actually alumni of the institution, and he's since graduated. And I've been watching his progression as an artist, and he just grows by leaps and bounds every year. And he's at this place where I thought we really have to get him here. And in talking to him, I said he would be nice to have another perspective. In my 10 years doing the Gallery, we've never had a Native American artist, so I thought, let's try to get two in. And he knew Leandra. She's also a young contemporary artist that's coming up. And they just have a such an interesting perspective. Their work is really bold, bright color, and it's a nice kind of a balance between observations in their life; and Navajo symbols or imagery. 

GENTRY:  Right yeah, my favorite painting is Yazzie's Che or Grandfather. The gentleman with the nice hat and a tiny goat around his shoulders. 

HAHN:  I- you know I go in there a few times a week during my lunch hour, and I sit on the bench, and I look at that one and the one next to it. They're just both of those images are beautifully haunting. 

GENTRY:  Great, this show is ongoing and runs through September 17th.

HAHN:  Yes.

GENTRY:  , our listeners still have time to see these paintings. Then on September 27th, you have the next exhibition. 

HAHN:  Yes, and that is our New Mexico and West TX educator exhibition, which will feature a variety of work from artists who happen to be art educators for K through 12. And oh my gosh. There is some brilliant artist out there in the world of our education here in the state of New Mexico and West Texas. 

GENTRY:  And is this a juried show? 

HAHN:  It is an open call. You know, we feel it's really important to highlight the things that our educators are doing themselves. I mean, these are the people that are in the classroom teaching art, and it's such a lovely experience and see what they also do as artists.

GENTRY:  So, if any of our K through 12 educators are listening, the criteria I think you put out are powerful first impression, originality and creativity, and artist's voice. 

HAHN:  Yes, yeah. We- we- we like to look for work that's perse and meaningful. And I know that that is subjective, but that is that's really our aim. I mean you could have a technically beautiful piece, but I think things that say something strike a chord- a much deeper chord with people or with the viewer. 

GENTRY:  And how can our art teachers enter- enter the exhibition? 

HAHN:  That's actually easy if you go to enmu.edu/artteacher it'll give you all of the information about the show. Then there's an online entry form you just submit a picture. And they last some other information, and you're good to go. 

GENTRY:  And the entry deadline is September 17th.

HAHN:  Yes, still have some time, yes.

GENTRY:  So, and that's ten days before it opens. 

HAHN:  Yes. 

GENTRY:  Bryan, thank you so much. It's great. I'm enjoying the ongoing show and look forward to the art educator exhibition in the Reynolds Gallery opening on September 27th. Our listeners can view all the Great Arts at Eastern at enmu.edu/fineartsevents.  I’m Jeff Gentry thanks for listening on KENW, Your Public Radio Network.

  • Ni’deesdiin
  • Jacob Lee and Leandra Yazzie, guest artists
  • Bryan Hahn, curator 
  • Runnels Gallery, Golden Student Success Center (GSSC)
  • Exhibition runs August 13th–September 17th, 2021