It Came Up From The Soil is a solo exhibition of artwork by Natalie Kuenzi inspired by the land, history, and lore of the San Luis Valley, a region that stretches from northern New Mexico into south central Colorado.
The series consists of plastic bags crocheted into blankets made up of bold abstractions and expansive landscapes, depicting earth, water, space, and text. The medium speaks to the subject in that it takes an environmentally hazardous byproduct of capitalist convenience and reimagines it for a new practical purpose with optimistic potential.
Kuenzi spent formative years in the San Luis Valley and much of her art-making is informed by her experiences living and learning in the high desert. Kuenzi grew up in a family with a long history of creative traditions, and the practice of crochet was passed down through the women in her family. Despite being makers, few in her family would consider themselves artists. By producing artwork solely using the methods learned from her family, Kuenzi is honoring their traditions and challenging the hierarchy associated with art media, with an eye towards specific and meaningful action to address solutions for a changing world.
The form, medium, and method of making the artwork unite to reinforce the concept of It Came Up From The Soil. Through family tradition and reclamation of material, the artwork offers a moment of reflection while pointing to a hopeful and different future.
Fleisher Art Memorial – Wind Challenge Exhibition