Deborah Kruger Wins an Arte Laguna Prize

And I'm a winner!

Like most artists, I spend weeks every year writing grant proposals for artists, applying for artist prizes and exhibitions, and scouting for residencies. I hate thinking about how much time this adds up to but it’s A LOT! Plus, many of these opportunities charge fees for entry. And the competition is tough. 

So imagine my surprise when I scrolled down the list of winners of the Arte Laguna Prize of Venice and saw my name as a winner in the Sculpture and Installation category!! 

The list of jurors is impressive

There were 25 winners in each category (Painting and Photography as well as Sculpture/Installation) and it is truly an international art prize. Some of the countries represented for the Sculpture prize were Taiwan, Brazil, Ukraine, Denmark, Serbia and Japan. There were only 3 winners from the US, so I was doubly amazed. 

This international art prize started in 2009 with the goal of bringing more contemporary artists to the attention of curators, museums, galleries and residencies in Italy and Europe. 

The Arte Laguna Prize is a juried competition and  this year was an impressive mix of international art professionals including the Chief Curator of the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel,  the Artistic Director of the Ural Industrial Biennial, the Curator of the Visual Arts Gallery in New Delhi, the Artistic Director of the Format International Photography Festival in the UK and from Italy, a prominent Architect and a distinguished Art Critic and Curator.

Upcoming exhibition in Venice, Italy

In addition to a cash prize, the selected winners’ artwork will be exhibited at the Arsenale Nord de Venice, a gallery in the heart of Venice, from March 11, 2023 – April 16, 2023. I must say, that is quite a way to kick off my 70th birthday on April 16, 2023! Time to brush up on some Italian.

AVIANTO: Kruger’s new solo exhibition opens at the Train Station, Chapala

The dream becomes a reality...

When I first moved to Lake Chapala from Massachusetts and discovered the Train Station Museum.  I used to sit in the main entry area, usually when there was a concert, and day dream about having an exhibition there. Now, eleven years later, my dream is becoming reality.

On May 14th, my solo exhibition AVIANTO, will open to the public and if you live near Lake Chapala, I hope you will attend the opening gala at noon (details below). All of the artwork in AVIANTOcelebrates the beauty of birds and the effects of climate change on migration and global bird populations.

My advocate for this show is the Train Station Museum Curator and Director, Gabriela Serrano Suzan, who reluctantly came for a studio visit last fall and promptly fell in love with my work.

It was a memorable meeting for both of us.

Deborah and Train Station Director, Gabriela Serrano Suzan

Museum Consortium of Jalisco

She is part of a larger team that form the Museum Consortium of Jalisco (Secretaría de Cultura del Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco), a group that includes fourteen museums throughout our state. This group is headed up by the visionary Curator, Miriam Villaseñor and the head of her administrative team, Gabriel de la Torre.

Together, these dynamic arts advocates have designed a traveling show for “AVIANTO”, that will open this fall at the Casa de la Cultura in Magdalena, and at the Museo de Sitio Juan José Arreola in Zapotlán el Grande. In 2023, the show will circle back to Guadalajara and open at the Government Palace, where dignitaries from around the world are entertained.

The Train Station built in 1920

New work debut!

My abstract artwork has evolved a great deal since my first show at the downtown Chapala Cultural Center Gallery nearly four years ago. “AVIANTO” will debut all new work that feature the long tail feathers made from recycled plastic that have become a signature feature of my artwork. 

The show will be spread over two art galleries at the beautiful Train Station, which is a historical landmark in Chapala.

The soaring clerestory of the Train Station will include an installation of three of my new sculptures that show the influence of traditional Mexican ceramic forms and some of my large-format bas reliefs. In the second gallery viewers can see my new collection of smaller work, framed glicee prints, my latest new direction in printmaking and also some historical work that gives a visual perspective to what I am currently making.

Next stop...Italy!

Several of the large-format abstract pieces in this show will travel to Venice next spring as part of the Laguna Arte Prize that I just won for Sculpture and Installation. So if you miss one of these shows, you can catch the work in Italy!

The exhibition will run from the opening reception on Saturday May 14th at noon until September 30th. All works are also on view at Saatchi.com

Red Vessel, work-in-progress

Resources

Gallery: https://sc.jalisco.gob.mx/agenda/rutas-turisticas/6496

Curator, Gabriela Serrano Suzan: sergabriela@gmail.com 

The Old Train Station Musum: www.oldtrainstation.com

Saatchi Art: https://www.saatchiart.com/deborahkruger

Follow Deborah’s show on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deborahkrugerstudios/ 

 

PLUMAS: Solo exhibition at PRPG.mx in Mexico City

Curator Micheal Swank had his eye on an additional gallery space in his Colonia Juarez building for two years and when the space became available in October 2021, he jumped on it. After signing the lease, he announced his good news to our Virtual Residency Art Lab, one of several amazing artist programs of PRPG.mx. And later that night, he called and asked me to be the inaugural show.

 

Gallery view showing Broken, Habitat, Vortex, Accidentals and Devotional

Ordinarily, Micheal gives his artists a three-month lead time. In my case, we had a scant four weeks. During this time, he was upgrading the space, installing lighting and making other improvements. 

Somehow, we managed to organize the exhibition and on November 2nd, a truck arrived in Chapala to pick up all the artwork and drive it to Mexico City (8 hours away). Meanwhile, my assistant Sandra and student intern Liliana and I took an overnight bus from Guadalajara to CDMX so that we could hang the show.

Despite the usual snafus, short fuses and lack of supplies, we managed to get the show up on the walls by 1am on the day of the opening reception, November 6th.

 

Behind the scenes.....

Deborah putting on her heels for opening
Jenny and Sasa from Madison, WI flew down to see the show
It takes a pueblo to hang an exhibition!
Rodrigo Arcienega, Deborah Kruger and Micheal Swank at Plumas
Leo the building manager handling beer at the opening
Hanging the Kimono at the Plumas exhibition
Deborah on the gallery balcony with banners

For the first time in my life, I hired a public relations expert based in Mexico City, Rodrigo Arciniega. Thanks to Rodrigo’s extensive contacts, he arranged for TV personality Johnny Carmona to be the MC and ribbon cutter at the opening reception. Carmona is a judge on the Mexico version of RuPaul’s Drag Race (La Mas Draga). His bubbling personality, fame and turquoise beard brought in a big crowd including lots of press.

As a result of Rodrigo’s efforts, information about the show appeared in over twenty print and on-line venues including La Razón de México, Art Spiel (US), Zero Magazine, Art Morbida (IT) and Textile Artist (UK).

At the opening, I met many local artists, gave several halting interviews in Spanish and enjoyed the positive response from all quarters. I would say that my debut in Mexico City was a smash hit!

THE SHOW.....

Johnny Carmona, Micheal Swank and I in front of Devotional
Artist in front of Accidentals
Detail of Accidentals
Artist looking through Vortex
Artist in front of Accidentals and Broken Installation
Detail of Devotional as seen through Vortex
Deborah Kruger and Johnny Carmona, judge on La Mas Draga
Johnny Carmona at opening with Accidentals in background
View of Broken, Accidentals and Habitat through the center of Vortex

The exhibition will be open until December 11th and will continue on-line on Artsy until February 15th. 

Resources

Gallery: https://prpg.mx/

Curator: Micheal Swank michealswank@prpg.mx

Press & Media: Rodrigo Arciniega soyrodrigoarciniega@hotmail.com

Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/artist/deborah-kruger

PLUMAS: My First Solo Show in Mexico City

On November 6th my solo exhibition ‘Plumas’ will open both physically at the Proyectos Galería Mexico City and virtually on Artsy. PRPG.mx and partner gallery Dab Art Co. (Los Angeles, Ventura, and Austin) will be jointly presenting my show.

Both shows are firsts for me. The 10 pieces on display at Proyectos Galería mark my first solo show in Mexico City. This is also the first time my work will be shown on Artsy, an international on-line forum that is only accessible for artists that are represented by a member gallery. 

I met curator and gallerist Micheal Swank last summer through his Art Lab. This virtual residency was another first for me. I hadn’t participated in an artist group since I moved to Mexico from Western Massachusetts eleven years ago. For the previous 25 years I had been a member of a wonderful women artists support group.

The summer Art Lab gave me the opportunity to evolve ideas for a new sculpture and also deepen my thinking about appropriation, a topic that has been on my mind since I began using Mexican huipils as a source of inspiration. I continued Art Lab through the fall and during that time I developed my relationships with an international group of artists and also with Micheal, who skillfully facilitated the group.

Having relationships with curators who understand and are enthusiastic about my work has been key to opening doors and working with Micheal Swank is no exception.

Micheal’s curatorial approach is unique. He is genuinely interested in having authentic relationships with the artists in his circle. Micheal is also an ardent supporter of LBGTIA art and artists. In my experience, that kind of acceptance has been in short supply for bisexuals like myself so I felt very comfortable in the queer-friendly space that Micheal created.

When a new exhibition space suddenly opened up in Micheal’s gallery building, he invited me to be the inaugural exhibit. Although we didn’t have much lead time, our ability to communicate well enabled us to pull together the show in just over a month.

Fortunately, I have been preparing for an upcoming museum show in 2022, so I have a lot of inventory. This allowed me to easily fill the new PRPG.mx space.

I feel extremely fortunate to have Micheal’s avid support, which has not only affirmed my artwork but also my career trajectory.

Exhibition dates for Plumas:

At Proyectos Galería Mexico City, November 6th to December 11th, 2021

On Artsy November 6th to February 15, 2022

Opening Reception: Saturday November 6th,  6 – 10pm

Address: Calle Lucerna 1, Colonia Juarez, 06600 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

 

Resources:

PRPG.mx Gallery and Resdiency Program: https://www.facebook.com/PRPGMX

Art Lab: This is an 8 week online and in-person residency program https://www.facebook.com/groups/prpgmxartlab

Curatorial Program: This new in-person and online curatorial residency is focused on building community with an emphasis on ethical relationships between artists and curators from all over the world.  https://prpg.mx/

Curator Micheal Swank: https://www.dabart.me/curators

Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/?fbclid=IwAR1ZtcqP73I8tAcpDtTfvRhMLPlznzVVufg2Wl7yUvRZ3imQeCZkUC1uw9w

Deborah Kruger’s Fall Blog

Current Exhibitions: My work will be in two international group exhibitions this fall

Earth Matters

This exhibition is sponsored by the Surface Design Association (SDA), my favorite fiber organization. I was on their Board of Directors for several years. The show will be held at the Watermark Art Center in Bemidji, MN September 3-October 30, 2021

This exhibition was juried by Nnenna Okore, a well respected environmental artist and art professor. The exhibition focuses on the ecological repercussions of human influence through multilayered perspectives. My piece Conflagration will be shown along with forty-three other eco-based textile artists.

More information: 

https://deborahkruger.com/2021-sda-earth-matters/
https://watermarkartcenter.org/earth-matters/
https://www.surfacedesign.org/events-exhibits/exhibits/earth-matters/

Rufino Tamayo Bienal

Abandon was chosen to be in the Rufino Tamayo Bienal, which has been traveling throughout Mexico since October 2020. The third stop of this touring show will be at the Museo de Arte de Celaya Octavio Ocampo in Celaya, Mexico from September 10 – November 27, 2021. Fifty-one artists were chosen for the exhibition The final stop of this prestigious Bienal will be at the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City (dates to be announced).  

More information:

https://deborahkruger.com/museo-de-arte-de-celaya-octavio-ocampo-2021/

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Museo-Octavio-Ocampo/1628352910747740

Virtual Residency in Mexico City

I am also in a very exciting virtual residency based in Mexico City organized by curator Micheal Swank. What, you may ask, is a virtual residency? 

Micheal is the force behind PRPG.mx, a queer friendly multi-platform organization that presents exhibitions, residencies and community programs. Since the residency meetings are on Zoom, artists around the world can participate. Each of the artists that are juried into the residency propose a project and we discuss these projects together over the 8 weeks of each residency. Since all the artists are very accomplished, we can dive into nuanced conversations about the ideas and process of our various projects.

Follow Micheal’s projects on Instagram and Facebook

Instagram Hack!

My Instagram account got hacked in late August and I’ve been quite upset about it. I think I’ve moved through all the classic stages of grief and I finally started a new Instagram account @deborahkrugerstudios 

Instagram is so important to me as an artist and I loved the community that I had worked so hard to build over the last two years with many artists, curators, and galleries around the world. I had over 1,600 followers and I am so frustrated that I have to start from scratch.

If you were wondering why I haven’t replied to a recent chat or post, now you know why.

So, before you continue reading, please hop on Instagram and follow me again at my new address: @deborahkrugerstudios  I would also appreciate it if you shared my IG with other artists and curators who would enjoy knowing about my artwork.

News from the Studio

Beginning the last week of August, we welcomed Liliana Heffron from Providence, RI to our studio team. Liliana will be spending a six-month art internship with us and she will be helping out with constructing the large pieces that I am preparing for upcoming exhibitions, learning about the endless fundraising required for building museum-scale work, and mastering social media skills that include writing and video editing. Her sweet disposition and strong work ethic make her a bright light for all of us. 

I have a lot of other irons in the fire for grants and exhibitions and I look forward to sharing more good news with you down the road. 

Thanks as always for your encouragement, comments and support,

Deborah Kruger’s Summer Blog

Even though the pandemic has slowed down so many parts of the culture economy, things have been lively for me and I thought you enjoy hearing about where my art will be this summer.

Since January, my work has been represented in two international Biennales. Kimono is traveling around Australia as part of the Art Textile Biennale sponsored by Fibre Arts Australia.

One of our 360 Xochi Quetzal residents from Melbourne, Louise Saxton, went to see the show and here’s a picture of her looking at my piece. She was kind enough to also send me a copy of the catalogue.

Kimono at Art Textile Biennale with Louise Saxton

Abandon was chosen to be exhibited in the prestigious Rufino Tamayo Bienal in Mexico. This exhibition showcases the work of the top 51 painters in Mexico. The show opened last October at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO). The second stop of this touring show will be at the Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario in Texcoco, Mexico from July 1, 2021 – August 22, 2021. 

Abandon
Accidentals

Like many artists, I am beginning to show more on-line. The Raleigh Fine Arts Society (RFAS) is sponsoring a virtual North Carolina Artist Exhibition. This year they have organized a virtual retrospective with new work by North Carolina artists who were juried into previous shows in 2018 – 2020.  My new mural-sized piece Accidentals was chosen for this exhibition.

Accidentals, along with Casanare and Turbulence will all appear in a show entitled Abstraction organized by Manifold Global, an international on-line gallery. I was sceptical about attending the virtual opening but in fact, it was a great experience and I had some wonderful conversations with the other artists and curators. When you open this link, go down to the red box and Click to Enter Group Exhibition. From there you will be able to take a virtual 3-D tour of the Abstraction show: https://manifoldglobal.com/abstraction
Casanare
Turbulence

In late July, I will be heading to Shelton, WA for a two-week artist residency in Holly House at Hypatia-in-the-Woods. This is a very competitive residency as they only accept one artist at a time. We are given a beautiful residence in the woods and two weeks of delicious time to focus on our work.

I plan to spend the time drawing some of the endangered birds I’ve been researching. I have never been to the Pacific Northwest and I’m excited to visit this part of the US.

I have work under consideration at some other exhibitions and grants, so stay tuned for more good news!

Holly House at Hypatia-in-the-Woods

Announcing the Launch of Deborah Kruger Designs

News

I am excited to tell you about the launch of my new line of designer home products. On my new website, Deborah Kruger Designs, you can shop for over 60 items all using details from my artwork.

Whether you are nerdy and like journals, sporty and love yoga, a foodie or enjoy unique décor in your living areas, you will find lots of designer merchandise that will brighten things up this winter. If you’re shopping for new babies or want to wow your friends and family with truly unusual gifts like puzzles and calendars, you can support an artist instead of Amazon this holiday season.

 

DEK cropped featured

Just to give you an example, here’s my artwork named Turbulence next to four items of merchandise: a yoga mat, body pillow, scarf and journal. On the new website, you can shop by design as well as by category.

Since we are all spending more time in the kitchen during the pandemic, I have designed several coordinated collections that include matching woven placemats, runners, cloth napkins, table cloths, and glasses. 

On the new website, you can shop by design as well as by category. 

Speaking of categories, the new merchandise falls into items for the kitchen, home décor, gifts (we have 26 selections!), baby and yoga:

Kitchen

Gifts

Home Decor

You can also bring my artwork into your home with ottomans, metal prints, cozy Sherpa blankets and of course lots of pillows.

Happy Shopping!!

Use Coupon Code blackfriday2020 on checkout to receive a 20% discount on ALL items!

Kruger featured in Art Textile/Fibre Arts

Fibre Arts Australia has just produced the inaugural issue of a new textile e-zine that includes work by some of the world’s most innovative artists working in contemporary textiles. Volume 1 of the Art Textile/Fibre Arts e-zine presents short artist statements and two page spreads with work by eighteen artists from Australia, North America and Europe. Fibre Arts Australia is the organization that is also sponsoring the Art Fibre Biennale that will travel to three locations across Australia beginning in January 2021. Kruger’s piece Kimono, which also appears in the e-zine will be included in the Biennale.
 
 

MACO Museum Visit: Sept 23, 2020

Sandra and I flew to Oaxaca in September 2020 to deliver Abandon to MACO, the Contemporary Art Museum of Oaxaca. The piece will be included in the Bienal of Painting Rufino Tamayo and start the 4 city tour in Oaxaca. The show will conclude at the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City in 2021.

Kruger represents Mexico in Australia’s Art Textile Biennale

Deborah Kruger will be representing Mexico in the inaugural Art Textile Biennale 2021 that is sponsored by Fibre Arts Australia. The exhibition seeks to exhibit the best of international contemporary art textiles and includes innovative work that is rooted primarily in textile as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between textile and other creative disciplines.

The Biennale includes 28 artists from 13 countries and will travel to two locations in Australia.  The show will open at the East Gippsland Art Gallery in Bairnsdale, Victoria January 22 – March 5, 2021 and travel to Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery in Toowoomba, Queensland April 3 – May 31, 2021.

The exhibition was curated by Charlotte Yde, one of the leading contemporary quilt artists from Denmark and Hannah Lamb a mixed media textile and installation artist from the UK.

The curators are Glenys Mann, a contemporary quilt maker and Nonie Sutcliffe, an innovative embroidery artist and art quilter.  Together, they are the moving force behind Fibre Arts Australia, which sponsors annual workshops with world-class teachers as well as exhibition opportunities. 

 Information about Fibre Arts Australia: https://www.fibrearts.net.au/

Fibre Arts Australia founders Glenys Mann, Nonie Sutcliffe