Axle Contemporary

Axle Contemporary
E Pluribus Unum: New Mexico Southeast


November 16, 2019 - April 12, 2020
Entry Gallery
Opening with gallery talk by the artists in conjunction with the RMAC Holiday Open House
December, 7, 2019 | 4-6 pm


In 2012, the Axle artist-collaborators, Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel, began a photographic portrait project, E Pluribus Unum. This ongoing project enlivens and documents communities throughout the state of New Mexico with a mobile photographic portrait studio built inside a vintage aluminum vehicle.

In October 2018, Wellman and Chase-Daniel brought their mobile studio to southeast New Mexico to photograph the diversity of the people who live here. Participants each brought a small object of personal significance, and sat for a black and white portrait while holding the object. Objects have included car keys, photos of loved ones, artworks, tools, books, food, toys, and vintage collectibles.

Two copies of each portrait were printed with the studio’s solar-powered printer. One was given to the participant and the other was pasted to the exterior of the vehicle, creating a mobile and growing exhibition throughout the region.  At the end of the project, Axle Contemporary transferred the portraits to banners which will hang in RMAC’s Entry Gallery, greeting all visitors with an array of faces of the people who call southeast New Mexico home.
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