â€˜Night Pour’ Iron Tribe oil painting by Kimberly Reed-Deemer. Photo courtesy of artist.
Las Vegas, N.M. — New Mexico Highlands University presents The Art of Observation exhibit of paintings by Las Vegas artist Kimberly Reed-Deemer in Burris Hall Gallery, with the opening reception Sept. 19 from 4 — 6 p.m.
Burris Hall is at 903 National Ave. The exhibit continues through Oct. 10.
The 29-painting exhibit includes a series of eight paintings of the biannual Highlands University Iron Tribe. The contemporary iron art event draws iron artists from around the country and features an art exhibit, iron art performance pour, casting session, and symposium.
Highlands University fine arts professor David Lobdell established Iron Tribe. He is an an internationally known iron artist and leader in the iron art movement.
“I was really impressed with the iron sculpture culture because there’s so much camaraderie and mutual support between the artists, with women participating fully,” Reed-Deemer said. “The process is as important in iron art as the end result.”
Her exhibit also includes a series of paintings focused on technologies used in science for observation, such as the Very Large Array of radio antennas near Socorro, N.M., the Highlands University observatory, and the land telescope at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge.
Paintings of performance artists like instrumental musicians, a Zuni eagle dancer, and flamenco dancers are also featured in the exhibit.
“Having been trained in science as well as art, I’ve been confronted with the question: How do we know what we know? We make observations, some casual or unplanned, some deliberate and controlled. From those observations we build mental models of our world, which are then modified and elaborated over time with more time and more data,” Reed-Deemer said.
Her scientific illustrations have been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Popular Science, and scholarly publications. Her artwork has also been featured on network television news.
“Accuracy in drawing and selective but expressive use of color are at the foundation of my professional work, but it is ultimately my intent to present a slightly unorthodox view of the cultural and physical landscape in which I am fortunate to live,” Reed-Deemer said.
After moving to Las Vegas in 2004, Reed-Deemer began oil painting.
“This opened the door to alternative interpretations of uniquely Southwestern subjects such as Baile Folcorico, flamenco dancers, and Native American dancers. I am always on the lookout for distinctive portraits and unusual landscapes,” Reed-Deemer said.
A native of Woodstock, Ill., Reed-Deemer attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Her early artwork focused primarily on portraiture, using charcoal, pen and ink drawings, and watercolors.
When she traveled to the Mexican Yucatan in 1993, Reed-Deemer generated a series of ink and watercolor compositions of Mayan ruins. The experience inspired her to return to school to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in anthropology at Northern Illinois University.