Press Release – Gayle Crites: Bark & John Geldersma: Variations

Contact: John Addison, 505-992-0711                                            May 14, 2013



Santa Fe, NM – Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art presents two solo exhibitions running concurrently, June 7 – July 7, 2013. Gayle Crites’ Bark and John Geldersma’s Variations. Opening receptions are Friday, June 7, 5-7pm.


Gayle Crites: Bark

Gayle Crites’ artistic process involves travel, not only to collect inspiration, experiences and knowledge, but to collect tapa. For her most recent body of work, titled Bark, the bark paper she’s using includes siapo from American Somoa, tuno from Nicaragua, and tapa from Tonga. These papers form the literal foundation of her mixed media painting.  Their textures, patterns, imperfections, and perfections direct the artist in her image making process.

Pounded from tree bark into a soft pliable cloth-like paper, the natural, off-white tapa receives the fine ink lines and flowing colors from Crites’ hand. Her imagery builds to form abstract narratives that ebb and flow with color and line. Many times her titles form the “key” to unlock the narrative and interpret the imagery.  Yet even without the “key,” her work is grounded in the natural elements of water, air and dirt, the foundation of our environment.

Gayle Crites is based in the Denver area and has shown widely in Colorado, New Mexico, and California. Her most recent museum acquisition includes two works from her Passport series at the Allentown Art Museum, Allentown PA. Her international exposure has increased lately with inclusion in the traveling show, International Art Exhibition, originating out of Los Angeles, most recently on view in Ensenada, Mexico. Bark is Crites’ second solo exhibition at Chiaroscuro.


John Geldersma: Variations

For John Geldersma, after 25 years of exhibiting in Santa Fe, the Spirit Pole has become his signature form. From the first sculptures made of driftwood pulled out of the Mississippi River, to the gentle figurative curves of the aspen poles he now employs, Geldersmas’ Spirit Poles have grown and changed with the artist and come to define his aesthetic.

Variations presents approximately 20 new Spirit Poles, all individual works, yet connected to the whole. The installation resembles a “forest” of colorfully painted and carved sculpture and the work evokes a tribal feel that speaks to the connection between earth and sky. Carved with dynamic cuts and smooth edges, then marked with primary colors within a burned black ground, the surface design pushes and pulls your eye around the form.

John Geldersma has an extensive national exhibition record in both public and private spaces, with the most recent public exhibition at the Acadian Center for the Arts, Lafayette LA. This is Geldersma’s third solo exhibition at Chiaroscuro.


June 7 – July 7, 2013

Opening Receptions: Friday, June 7, 5-7pm


High resolution photographs available upon request; call Heather Doyle at 505-992-0711 or email


Location: Chiaroscuro, 702 ½ & 708 Canyon Road on

Gypsy Alley, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 505-992-0711