The Lady Minimalists Tea Society:
Magnetic Drift

September 6-29, 2013, at Axle Contemporary:
A mobile gallery of contemporary art in Santa Fe

Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 5-7 p.m. in the Santa Fe Railyard (Farmers Market area)

Danielle Shelley, Dara Mark, Diane McGregor
Janice Wall, Shaun Gilmore, Signe Stuart

Drifting west at the rate of fifty-five miles a year, the magnetic north pole is headed for Siberia, and from there, who knows? Magnetic Drift, an exhibition by the Lady Minimalists Tea Society, is an interactive installation that’s also headed somewhere unknown, depending on the whims of our viewers/collaborators.

In this site-specific project for Axle Contemporary, a mobile gallery of contemporary art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Lady Minimalists have created small works that are moveable and interchangeable. The installation consists of several hundred “tiles”–tiny artworks by the six artists, attached to the walls of Axle’s mobile gallery with magnets. Anyone who enters the truck is invited to move them about and form their own constellation of artworks. A large work can be created with component parts made by one artist or several. A small single work can be a world in and of itself. In the spirit of more openness and flexibility, we are pricing the work at a point that should be affordable for all.

The Lady Minimalists Tea Society is a collective of six Northern New Mexico women artists who have an aesthetic relationship to minimalism as a core principle. For some members, it is a starting point, while for others it is more a concept to react to. Each of them has adapted the minimalist aesthetic to her own individual ends.  They retain a shared sense of pared-down processes, materials and/or colors, so that what is left out of the artwork is as crucial as what is allowed in. There is no storytelling; pictorial space is explored abstractly, often with an emphasis on light or atmosphere.

For location information for the mobile gallery after the opening reception, go to Axle’s website: For more information about the Lady Minimalists Tea Society:

On September 6, 2013, Magnetic Drift, a project by the Lady Minimalists Tea Society, will open at Axle Contemporary, Santa Fe’s mobile gallery. The project consists of hundreds of small artworks, each 4×4 in. or smaller, mounted on Axle’s interior walls with magnets. Each of the six of us will put up a grid of her work, and then viewers are invited to move the tiles anywhere they want to make their own compositions. Like the Earth’s magnetic north, the exhibit will drift in unpredictable ways over time–we’re quite curious to see what happens.

Here are a selection of my tiles. I’ve really enjoyed making them: at the end of a painting day, I take leftover oil paint and brush or spread it on small primed masonite panels; after the panels dry, I draw by scratching into the paint. (This project has shown me just how tough dry oil paint is. The tools I use to draw in wet paint aren’t sharp enough to go through dry paint, so I had to buy some etching tools, including a couple tipped with tiny industrial diamonds.)

The tiles will be priced very reasonably, so viewers can afford to take home their compositions.

"Earth Measure Blues 17" (2012), oil on linen, 36 x 54 in. (diptych)

“Earth Measure Blues 17″ (2012), oil on linen, 36 x 54 in. (diptych)

"Earth Measure Blues 18" (2012), oil on linen, 40 x 60 in. (diptych)

“Earth Measure Blues 18″ (2012), oil on linen, 40 x 60 in. (diptych)

"Earth Measure Blues 19" (2013), oil on linen, 30 x 45 in.

“Earth Measure Blues 19″ (2013), oil on linen, 30 x 45 in.

I have a beautiful new studio! My husband Bob was the general contractor and lead carpenter. Planning began in May 2012, and I moved in early in 2013. It’s a wonderful space, with lots of storage, a 23-foot-long shelf for looking at work, north light, and even a mountain view from the window over the sink–very nice when washing brushes at the end of a long day.

The studio is to the left of the garage; you can see my wonderful north windows.

The studio is to the left of the garage; you can see my wonderful north windows.

I took about a thousand photos during the construction, which Bob boiled down to 27 for a slideshow:

I will be exhibiting at Art Santa Fe, the contemporary art fair, with the Lady Minimalists Tea Society, a collective of seven Santa Fe women artists to which I belong. Please stop by and see us!

“Critical reflections: Michael Wright and Danielle Shelley,” Jon Carver, THE Magazine, June 2012, p. 53

I am having a solo show of recent paintings from my Earth Measure Blues series at David Richard Contemporary in Santa Fe this spring. The exhibit will run from May 4 to June 9, 2012, with the opening on Friday, May 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. The gallery is located at 130 Lincoln Ave., suite D, in downtown Santa Fe (north of the Plaza).

David Richard Contemporary is a wonderful gallery specializing in Post-War American abstract art, including both historic and contemporary geometric, hard edged, Op, Pop, color field, minimal and gestural abstraction. The other artists to be featured at the gallery from May 4–June 9 are Wall Batterton and Michael Wright.

The gallery also has some big news: On May 15, they are opening a second gallery, called David Richard Gallery, in the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District near SITE Santa Fe. There will be a reception for the inaugural exhibitions–a show of Robert Swain’s work and a group show titled “Seeing Red”–on May 25. The address is 544 South Guadalupe St. (formerly occupied by Gebert Contemporary).




Earth Measure Blues series (2010-12), oil on linen, either 36×24 in. or 45×30 in. For more about these paintings: Artist Statements.

One of my Earth Measure Blues paintings (number 12 in the series) has been accepted into an exhibit at the Albuquerque contemporary artspace 516 ARTS, with the opening from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2012. The exhibit will be on display through April 28, 2012.

The highly selective show, called “New Mexico Showcase,” was juried by guest juror Peter Frank, an acclaimed curator and art critic based in Los Angeles. Peter is currently Associate Editor of Fabrik magazine and art critic for The Huffington Post.

If you don’t know 516 ARTS, it is a great venue: an independent nonprofit which is a hybrid between a gallery and a museum, with a beautiful two-story space in downtown Albuquerque. Info: 516 Central Ave. SW (between 5th and 6th Streets);; 505-242-1445.


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