Film classes, exhibit featured at UNM-LA

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The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos will present the documentary “Home,” on Oct. 10, as the third feature in the Composition Cinema I: A Film and Lecture Series, which will run through Nov. 14.
The visually stunning film by French photographer and environmentalist, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, is shot almost entirely from an aerial perspective and makes a compelling case that man has neglected the mystery and miracle of life on earth and that he has plundered the planet, disturbing the delicate balance that sustains so much of the earth’s life.
Christopher Strauss, UNM-LA English Adjunct Faculty member will host the discussion surrounding the power of place and will speak to developing a better sense of the houses and towns in which man lives.
The film is free and open to the public and will be shown at 6 p.m. in the Jeannette O. Wallace Hall on the UNM-LA campus.
The final two films in the series are “Gandhi,” presented by Dora Aleksandrova on Oct. 24 and “Dr. Strangelove,” hosted by Mickey Marsee on Nov. 14.
For more information and a complete series schedule, contact Mickey Marsee, mickeyl@unm.edu.
UNM-LA faculty member Barbara Yarnell along with long-time friend and student, SuFong Milonni, are exhibiting 27 pieces of their pottery featuring alternative firing techniques, through Oct. 18 at the UNM-LA library. An additional 20 pieces are also on display at the UNM-LA Student Union.
The pair has been working together since they met seven years ago when Yarnell began teaching at UNM-LA. A studio potter since 1977, Yarnell sold to galleries and at craft fairs, but decided she knew enough to pass it on. She then pursued a career teaching her craft. “This job just sort of fell into my lap, I love it, just love it,” Yarnell said.
SuFong Milonni has been a student at UNM-LA for 20 years and has been Yarnell’s student and friend.
“SuFong and I are great friends,” Yarnell said, who is also the General Studies Department chair at UNM-LA. The two decided they wanted to do a show together and after some discussion, they decided to feature pieces that used alternative firing methods.
The three methods they settled on were aluminum foil rakur, which gives the piece a mottled surface of reds, pinks and browns.
Next they tried horsehair reduction, which creates a contrast of black and white with bold patterns. Finally, naked raku, which uses a thick outer shell of slip, which crackles during firing, allowing smoke inside the kiln to find its way to the pot’s surface through the cracks. The process leaves behind an intricate web-like pattern.
The three-month journey to this exhibit began with thumbing through books and magazines, selecting shapes that appealed to both artists. Each of them would take turns throwing the shape on the potter’s wheel.
“I usually threw it first,” Yarnell said. “That’s just the way it worked out. SuFong would then throw one.” They each put their own particular spin on the shape. “It turned out the harder I tried to make it, it just never worked. I just let my own aesthetic interpret the shape. It was a much better shape and SuFong did the same thing,” she added.
When asked if there was ever any competition, Yarnell was quick to point out there wasn’t any. “That’s the wonderful thing about working with SuFong, we helped each other.”
The show is called Synchronicity. Yarnell said, “It was not just in terms of throwing the same shape, but that in everything they tried, they were in sync.”
In creating this impressive body of work, there were a lot of discoveries. Yarnell said, “We were experimenting with a lot of stuff. It was a process of what happens if we do this and what happens if we change that?”
There were wonderful surprises along the way. Yarnell said, “It doesn’t happen very often, but there are times when you are in the moment, that golden hour when everything you do works.”