Christy Hengst is based in Santa Fe, NM; her work includes large community oriented public art projects as well intimate-scale studio paintings. Sense of place has been a major theme in Hengst’s work. Site-specific public pieces have included a treasure hunt circle of paintings in a small town in Massachusetts, three bus stops in Santa Fe, a large collaborative sculpture for a plaza in Cuenca, Ecuador, a Haiku Path in a college courtyard and the four-year traveling international installation "Birds in the Park”. Hengst’s studio work explores relationship with the landscape, self and other. Her mixed media paintings draw on love of color and experience with many materials and techniques, including various forms of printmaking such as silkscreen and solar plate. Hengst’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums locally, nationally and internationally.
The beginning of each piece is a leap of faith; jumping in to make the first mark, with an idea or without an idea, it may feel random. After that, the listening and responding begins.
A meditation cushion in my studio faces the piece I'm working on. When I'm not sure what comes next, I have a seat to look and wait. It's a conversation. My job is to tune in to such a degree that trust blooms -- at that level, there are no random marks!
The layering of text, direct drawing, transparent prints and painting is one of the ways I weave together visual decisions and meaningful content. I create silkscreen and solar plate prints from drawings or photographs I've made in the field. I print them onto rice paper, and collage them into the surface of the painting, with previous layers showing through. Layering allows for ambiguous or dreamlike aspects of reality, and an element of time, to slip in.
Recently, I've been glueing selected ripped-up pages of books on meditation as foundations for my paintings; the text works on two levels, visually and content-wise. Even though the text often becomes obscured by drawing and painting, it’s an important layer in the build-up of the character of these pieces.
BORN: USA, 1967
Lives and works in Santa Fe, NM
SELECTED PUBLIC WORK and public collections
Haiku Pathway permanent installation of 35 “haiku stones”. Collaboration with Miriam Sagan and haiku poets. Courtyard of Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM.
Same Boat permanent public sculpture with benches, on the theme of climate
change. Collaboration with Anne Russell and over 200 Santa Fe students. Monica
Lucero Park, Santa Fe, NM. Project through Santa Fe Arts Commission, with Ignite grant.
Birds in the Park traveling sculpture project, international, landings in 75 locations.
Museum of Fine Arts collection, Las Cruces, NM.
Museo de Arte Moderno collection, Cuenca, ECUADOR.
Mead Art Museum collection. Amherst, MA.
Kathryn Ave. Bus Stop project in collaboration with Helmut Hillenkamp. Santa Fe, NM.
Railyard Bus Stop project in collaboration with Helmut Hillenkamp.
Santa Fe, NM. Commissioned by the city of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Arts Commission.
Two Rivers Meet Seating area project, New Mexico State Hospital. Las Vegas, NM. Commissioned by New Mexico Arts – an Art in Public Places Project.
The Passage of Time mural project El Camino Real Middle School. Las Cruces, NM. Commissioned by New Mexico Arts – an Art in Public Places Project.
Monumento al Herrero (Monument to the Blacksmiths) sculpture project in collaboration with Helmut Hillenkamp and Fausto Cardoso, Plaza of the Blacksmiths
Cuenca, ECUADOR. Commissioned by the City of Cuenca, ECUADOR.
Symbolic Gateway Bus Stop project at Santa Fe Community College. Santa Fe, NM.
The Daily Inquirer temporary text public art project , collaboration with Michele Rosenshein, in various locations throughout the city, Santa Fe, NM.
Circle of Pictures one-year long Map Picture Treasure Hunt. Shelburne Falls, MA.
2020 - Orientation and Encounter, Mountain Cloud Zen Center, Santa Fe, NM
2019 -New Work, Fireworks Studio, Santa Fe, NM.
2013/14 - Birds in the Garden, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe, NM.
2011 - Birds at the Museum, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO.
2008-2013 - Birds in the Park: traveling public art project, international, landing in 75 locations.
2007 - Relationships, IX Bienal de Cuenca, Casa de los Arcos, Cuenca, ECUADOR.
2006 - Running on Full, Museum of Fine Arts, Las Cruces, NM.
Sealed in Wax, Box Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
2005 - Selado en Cera, Museo de Arte Moderno, Cuenca, ECUADOR.
Versiegelt in Wachs, BBK-Galerie, Aachen, GERMANY.
2003 - Cave, Box Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
New Work from Christy Hengst, Basiste Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
2021 - Bound, Light Art Space, Silver City, NM (award).
Director’s Choice, Viridian, Chelsea, NY.
2015 - Axle Indoors at Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM
2014 - Armory Show, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM.
SITE Unseen, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM.
2013 - Wendover Landing, (3 person show) 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM.
2010 - 100 Künstler-100 Kacheln, Couven Museum. Aachen, GERMANY.
Heart This!, Jay Etkin Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
2009 - Waning and Waxing, Zane Bennett Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
Metamorphosis, Haydon Art Center, Lincoln, NE.
Encaustic Works ’09, R&F and The Castle Gallery, New Rochelle, NY.
2008 - Site Unseen, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM.
2007 - Loosely Joined, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM.
Creamy Goodness, Salon Mar Graff, Tesuque, NM.
Sticks and Stones, Lauryn Taylor Fine Art, Carmel, CA.
Seed Catalog, Bridge Art Fair, Chicago, IL.
2006 - Site Unseen, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM.
Gallery Artists, Julie Baker Fine Art, Nevada City, CA.
2004 - Ausstellende Künstlerin, Galerie Stricker, Aachen, GERMANY.
Selections, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM.
2003 - Box Gallery Group Show, Box Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
2002 - True Colors, Meridian International. Washington D.C. (on tour with stops chronologically in New York, NY; Palm Beach, FL; Atlanta,GA; Ankara, TURKEY; Istanbul, TURKEY; Berlin, GERMANY; Portadown, IRELAND; Belfast, IRELAND; Tirania, ALBANIA; Bratislava, SLOVAKIA; Dallas, TX, and Biloxi, MS.
2001 - Sculpture Show, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM.
1998 - International Ceramics Public Art Exhibition, Taipei Cultural Center, Taipei, TAIWAN.
1996 - Antioch University, MA / Fine Arts, Individualized Master of Arts Program. Santa Fe, NM
1990 Amherst College, BA / Fine Arts. Amherst, MA
SELECTED TEACHING/ CONFERENCES/ RESIDENCIES
2017/18 - Art teacher, Fayette St.Academy, Santa Fe, NM
2016 - Instructor, Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA.
2015 - Conference presenter: Building Creative Communities, La Fonda, Santa Fe, NM.
2014 - Conference organizer: Evolving Intentions in Public Art, Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM.
2007 - -Instructor, Ludwig Museum, Aachen, GERMANY.
2005/2006 - Instructor, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM
Instructor, Ludwig Museum. Aachen, GERMANY.
2004 - Instructor, Burg Sahr, GERMANY.
2001 - Instructor, Esalen Institute. Big Sur, CA.
1999 - Instructor, Santa Fe Community College. Santa Fe, NM.
1998 - Artist in Residence, Esalen Institute. Big Sur, CA.
1997 - Instructor, Artist in Residence, Fundacion Paul Rivet. Cuenca, ECUADOR.
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