May 31, 2017
Cara Romero’s “Water Memory” is one of the many Native American pieces that embrace tribal traditions but with a contemporary bent.
Celebrating the centennial year in the life of the late Sam Maloof provided glimpses into his firm local roots and his work as a nationally known woodworker. Now the foundation named in his honor is looking forward to other aspects of his legacy.
“In 2016 we looked back at his legacy and we helped tell the story of his work and the influence he had on a generation of woodworkers,” said Jim Rawitsch, executive director of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in Rancho Cucamonga.
“With the centennial completion, we are now looking forward and looking at Sam’s legacy in other ways — his influence on artists and his passion for Native American arts."
That passion will be on full display at the upcoming exhibition — “Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies.” The show, scheduled for the Jacobs Education Center, will open Sunday and run through January 7, 2018. It is being curated by Tony Abeyta, a noted artist and longtime friend of Maloof.
Maloof was a mentor to Abeyta. Together, they spent many hours talking about one day hosting an exhibition of this sort and Abeyta would curate it.
“I heard those stories back in 2013 when I came here so I went to Tony to explore what might be possible. He had a clear notion of bringing together a selection of new contemporary Native American artists who might be influenced by their tribal traditions but who wanted to build on them with exciting and contemporary art,’” Rawitsch said.
Abeyta has brought together more than 40 pieces of art by 11 artists. The artists and their affiliations include