Grantee: Rose Simpson
Rose Simpson is a ceramic and mixed-media artist whose work broadly encompasses sculpture and installation, drawing, aerosol painting, writing, music and dance.
Rose Simpson’s work is powerful, earthy and reveals a strongly independent voice. “My connection to New Mexico is bigger than a choice,” said Simpson. “It’s the center of my world, the center of the earth and where I find my inspiration.”
Her work has been exhibited by the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, the global invitational SITE Santa Fe Biennial, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and has been featured in Art In America magazine.
Simpson is the daughter of clay sculptor Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo), whose expressive female figures have become instantly recognizable, and is related to the extended Naranjo family of Santa Clara Pueblo potters and artists whose works have defined new standards of Native pottery. She collaborated with her mother for Mothers and Daughters: Stories in Clay, which exhibited at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Ariz., before becoming part of the museum’s permanent collection.
With support from the NACF Artist Fellowship in Visual Art, Simpson was able to explore performance art and develop an even more diverse portfolio and range of talents. She engaged with a variety of communities through her projects ranging from young children to elders with varied cultural backgrounds. In her fellowship year, over 300 people had the opportunity to engage in her exhibited work at the Arizona State University Ceramics Research Center and in Santa Fe, N.M. at the Center for Contemporary Arts and Fashion Heat 2013.
“The NACF Artist Fellowship supported many activities throughout the year, from school tuition to parts and materials for projects. This year of work has been life changing for me,” said Simpson. “To be able to push the boundaries of what I considered appropriate creative processes in order to pursue my joy has been integral to, I believe, my growth as a person and as a practicing artist. One of the main subjects that surfaced was honoring my interest in public artworks through vehicles: the aesthetic expression of the car/vehicle in a parade through the strong, rich culture that my community of the Santa Clara Pueblo and the community of Española have carried through the past half century. To have young people from my family and community get excited about working on the Skylark and sharing what I know about our everyday connection to the mechanical vehicle has been incredibly fulfilling.”