Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, Co-founders of Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.

Last fall my partner and I were vacationing in Albuquerque, NM and had the pleasure of finding our way to the Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. By my second  Wild Sumac, described in the beer menu as an earthy lemonade with a desert sparkle, I knew I was going to have to share the news.

ICYMI: There’s something brewing in Albuquerque.

The craft beer movement is thriving way out west and nowhere more refreshing than at Bow & Arrow. Co-founders Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, partners in business and in life, are fostering a beer-lovers community at their Native-owned brewery and taproom in the heart of the American Southwest.

They opened their taproom in the adobe desert city near the pink Sandia Mountains. There, they serve wild, sour, and barrel-aged beers that are brewed onsite. In collaboration with their Head Brewer, Ted O’Hanlan, they strive to integrate local ingredients that are adventurous and unique to the area.

“There is a long history in the Southwest of cultures melding together,” Begay says, when we connected for an interview for Curve magazine. “The indigenous culinary tradition here is very strong.”

“Having a strong connection to the land is based on our upbringing,” Begay continues. She was born in Albuquerque and raised on the Diné Nation. Sheppard grew up on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, where she is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

“From a young age, we were taught that the land has its own spirit. And in my tribe, Mother Earth is our mother,” Begay says. “The land provides water, earth, plants—everything you need to brew great beer. We’re conscientious of where our ingredients come from and we take great care in selecting them.”

Curve Magazine, Feb/March, 2018

The full review (rave) about Bow & Arrow is in the February/March digital issue of Curve magazine. Support women-run queer media by subscribing.

In addition to brew magic, “The Land of Enchantment” also features Sheppard and Begay’s motivation for leadership that’s inspired by their belief in The Seventh Generation.

“Speaking out and being visible is really important for future generations so they can freely aspire to do what they want to do whether they are gay or indigenous or whatever.”

 

Barbara Kruger, seeing something and saying something #barbarakruger #mta

A post shared by Amy (@amydeneson) on

I’ve been carrying around my Barbara Kruger designed MetroCard for awhile now, and the sight of it still thrills me.

Every time I swipe my way through a turnstile I’m reminded of how much I believe in public art as well as how extraordinary it felt to actually score one of these 50,000 limited-edition cards. I had a plan. It worked. But of course, it was all luck.

Here were my seven steps:

  1. First, I waited. The cards dropped on a Wednesday at four select subway stations. I learned via The New York Times that they were to be randomly distributed and only sold via vending machines. I couldn’t imagine that the existing stack of cards would be swapped out, replaced with the art cards; so I held out until Saturday, hoping other commuters would burn through the generics.
  2. I picked the Broadway-Lafayette Street station, because I frequently pass through here on my way to volunteer at Housing Works Bookstore. Perhaps I’d stored up some synchronicity along the line?  
  3. There were a few entrances from which to choose at this B/D/F/M hub, each had a number of vending machines. I went for one with an attendant, thinking that maaaaybe the cards would be sent out for distribution, addressed to station managers, and they’d stock the machines closest to their booths. I chose the station on the NE corner under the adidas store (because–well–I adore this brand).
  4. Eyeing the line of MetroCard vending machines, all chrome and lit up with “See Something, Say Something” alerts, I felt the same as I did the couple of times in my life that I’ve hmmm-ed over a slot machine to play. Blind. So I gave myself a $20 maximum to spend, in case the art collector in me took over.
  5. The first machine produced a Diesel-branded card. And for a split second, I loathed absolutely everything about SoHo and Capitalism and that I’d ever opened myself up to such a whimsical yet real want in this swirly, grinding whirlwind of a city with deeply rank odds.
  6. I stepped back from the blinking machines. They each held thousands upon thousands of cards. I had four more chances. Three, if I was being strict with staying under my budget. My partner, Melinda, and I watched a few folks buy MetroCards; both of us squinting for flashes of Kruger’s signature red, her iconic white Futura typeface. “I saw red,” Melinda said with conviction, pointing at the machine closest to the turnstiles.
  7. Buzzing like a third rail with hope, I stepped up, slid in my credit card, purchased a minimum stored value card for the amount of $5.25 or something, and held my breath as I flipped over the standard yellow-and-blue printed top to see what might materialize beneath. And with the rush of the right train pulling into the station, I saw it was a Barbara Kruger card.

The Lucky Barbara Kruger MTA Vending Machine

I tried for another, for a friend, a mega Kruger fan, and scored a second card. For the next few days, I directed everyone who cared to the lucky MTA vending machine. They all pulled art cards on the first try.

Many have asked if I’ve framed mine. No way.

Public art is meant to be public–seen by as many people as possible–not locked away, pressed beneath glass, stuck to my private wall.

I only have until 1/31/2019, when the card expires, to carry the message, asking:

Whose hopes? Whose fears? Whose values? Whose justice? 

[Do you seek? Support? Secure? Uphold?]

 

Innominate means not named or classified. The word has been used to describe human arteries, veins, bones, and currently an exhibition about healing. Heather Bradley’s innominate at form & concept is a body of works, including a collection of Arterial, Spinal, and Handheld clay pieces, as well as text art.

Amy Deneson Heather Bradley innominate

“innominate” by Heather Bradley at form & concept on 9.23.17

Dozens of black, white, and red pieces cover a 30-foot wall. Circular red pods, symbolizing blood droplets and reminiscent of traditional seed jars, dot. Vessels with tall necks take on the look and feel of vertebra, some with glaze scraped bare. Black-and-white porcelain pages, transcribed from her diary, tell a story of seeking. Text art spells out:

pain

wound

circulatory

Heather explains that her work is representative of whatever she is presently going through in life. When she created innominate, she was learning to be a massage therapist and recovering from a spinal injury (severe enough that she was advised to stop throwing pottery).

Amy Deneson Heather Bradley bonessacral

pressure

choose

She kept creating and learning to heal with her hands. The clay began to take the form of her spine—readjusting—and her body flowing—spinning beneath—transformative touch.

I love this expression of clay. I appreciate how physical it is–how, literally, to the core the work goes. As a potter and a writer, I empathize with the story Heather’s sharing, and this collection deeply moved me. I’m so glad to have caught the exhibition during a day trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Since, this collection has become something else. I learned during my visit that innominate would be transformed on the following Monday.

Amy Deneson Heather Bradley clay flowwrite

clay

erase

flow

 

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