Anna Rotty and Rosalba Breazeale, two graduate students at the University of New Mexico, are set to be featured as new Emerging Artists at the Santa Fe Strata Gallery’s second annual Group Member Exhibition, running from July 26 to Aug. 20.

The Group Member Exhibition will host a collection of works in various mediums from 16 established gallery members and five newly selected emerging artists and will allow visitors to walk through an eclectic mix of ideas.

“The exhibition won’t necessarily have a theme, because each of our artists are so different from one another. Instead, it’s really an opportunity to visit an exhibition with 21 different visions. It’s going to be really exciting,” Stephanie Jacinto, assistant director of the Strata Gallery, wrote to the Daily Lobo.



Rotty’s work featured in the exhibition combines photography with installation art and sculpture to talk about the impacts of climate change. Growing up with an artist mother, various artistic mediums have always been a big part of her life, but photography remains central to her work.

“Subject-wise, it's mainly about environment. I've been interested in indications in the landscape that are indicating climate change. So like, markings, or a red sky from a fire. Things like color and something kind of unusual, but beautiful, inspire me. So it's kind of this mix of pleasure and anxiety as a result of a changing world,” Rotty said.

Breazeale is a fellow multimedia-driven photographer. They began their foray into photography in middle school after taking a class in black-and-white analog photography. After taking some time away from the work, they came back to photos as a tool to capture gentrification in their hometown of Portland, Maine. Now, they combine photography with fiber arts and installation art, as well as elements of their Peruvian heritage, to talk about immigration, climate change and colonialism at large.

“The themes often have to do with home, as an immigrant to this country. The idea of home and what home can mean, I think kind of comes across in all my work to some degree. But lately, I've been especially interested in sustainable practice, and really thinking about materiality as an integral part of the meaning behind my artwork,” Breazeale said.

Both Rotty and Breazeale were selected from a pool of over 100 young artists to be members of the gallery. They were featured prior at the Strata Gallery after applying to a non-member juried exhibition with an emphasis on featuring artists who work with nontraditional mediums, after which both received encouragement from the gallery to apply to be members.

“I realized that I really liked this gallery, and I felt like they actually saw me and my work … I didn't necessarily have any idea which way that would go. But I certainly hoped that I would get it, and so when I found out that I did, I was really excited about it,” Breazeale said.

The gallery was formed by Jacinto and director Jennifer Van, alongside David Olivant, president of the gallery, with the goal of cultivating a love of art both in the Santa Fe community and among other artists.

“I personally wanted to get some hands-on experience working in a gallery, but I also wanted a way to engage the community through art. I think it was the same for Jennifer. And David expressed wanting to create opportunities for young emerging artists to learn how to navigate their professional careers,” Jacinto wrote.

The gallery’s emphasis on mentorship and the combination of emerging and established artists is quite unique, according to Rotty. On top of receiving member status and a place in the group exhibition, each new member will also receive their own solo exhibition — what she feels is a rarity in the art world and a very generous offer on the part of Strata.

Rotty hopes that this exhibition and her artwork will leave audiences with a sense of wonder and curiosity, as well as challenge their expectations of the photography medium.

“I hope that people feel that they’re a part of the work in some way … I want people to be able to move around the work and look at it from different perspectives and kind of think differently about photography as a passive moment, and something that's more active that they can be a part of,” Rotty said.

Exhibition dates, including upcoming solo exhibitions, can be found on the Strata Gallery website.

Zara Roy is the copy chief at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at copy@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle