Marina Eskeets’ Senior Thesis
With the spring semester drawing to a close, the Southwest Annex gallery next to Fogelson Library is cycling through a series of senior studio arts majors’ exhibitions. This week is CONTINUUM, containing work by seniors Garrett Koch and Miguel Lucio, as well as Marina Eskeets. After exhibiting at SITE Santa Fe a couple weeks ago, Eskeets has taken the opportunity for this senior thesis to expand on the idea she explored through SITE Scholars. “I think with the SITE Scholars it was a little hard to see the statement that I was trying to portray,” Eskeets says. “So with this one, this installation, I think it takes it to the next step of really revealing what I had in mind.”
Eskeets’ exhibition is a multimedia installation that incorporates elements such as video, weaving and earthwork. Whole micaceous clay skateboards created by Eskeets are hung on the wall as well as shown in use through a video of Eskeets’ friend, fellow indigenous skater Keith Secola Jr. Broken skateboards lay down on a bed of earth. “My main focus is mostly dealing with ideas revolving around issues on the Navajo Nation and Dinétah especially dealing with resource extraction and the impact of colonization on our people, on our knowledge, on our culture, especially our women and toward the land,” Eskeets says. For example, she is using micaceous clay, traditionally used in for potmaking in Navajo culture, to create the skateboards. She also has a Navajo rug she has woven on display as part of the installation. Eskeets says this installation is a way of “just kind of reclaiming a lot of the techniques we used to use as indigenous people prior to colonization.”
This skateboard series holds an especially dear place in Eskeets’ heart not only as an art piece but a connection to a lost friend. “I had a really really good best friend and he died last year in the summer and so I think this is kind of closing that door between… my relationship with skate culture and kind of letting go of him.” The duo were planning on completing this exhibition together, and with the loss of her friend, Eskeets is taking the opportunity this exhibition offers to transition through this phase in her life. “I really think after graduation it’s going to be about permaculture and… transitioning the way that I work into earthwork art,” she says.
The question on every senior’s mind this late in the year is, “What comes next?” Eskeets is no different. “My plan after graduation is to find a job that is in permaculture,” she says. “I think it also really ties into my work because I want to transition what I’m doing and kind of leave… behind the skateboarding series.” Eskeets says she really appreciates the knowledge she has gained from her years at SFUAD about the importance of art. “I have definitely gained a larger understanding of how important art is in the community and on a larger scale of just how it functions in the world unknowingly to people,” Eskeets says. “And I think SFUAD really helped me understand that on a really professional level.” Her education here has also helped her develop networking skills and connect her to fellow young artists. “I think it was really inspiring to be around a lot of creative people… instead of just being around people that are doing I guess a traditional education,” she says, “and it’s really nice to be in a… small community like that so that people really support each other.”
CONTINUUM opens April 7 from 5-7 p.m.