Thinking in Metaphor

Silver City artist greets the new year with art


The piece “Linear and Metaphoric” is about transforming the walls that separate us into a symbol of diversity and connection. 

Inspired by our 2016 presidential election, I began this work of peace in reaction to the momentum in building the border wall between the United States and Mexico. The grouping of 18 mid-fired and glazed ceramic bricks create a shrine to New Mexico. The keystone is a lush white – the soul. The units are diverse:  images reference Mimbreno and Hopi symbolism; surfaces mimic our textured earth; and abstract patterns are contemporary. I worked toward a visual balance of symmetry and asymmetry, representing the strengths and diversity of our population, ultimately in harmony.

While in process in my studio, visitors would ask, “And where will it be installed?”  My response was that I was making it because I had to, and that my favorite vision for where it would be on display is at Western New Mexico University.  The work was purchased in 2020 by the university through the New Mexico Art In Public Places Purchase Initiative.  Linear and Metaphoric now sits upon a custom steel pedestal, making the work more than six feet tall, 4.5 feet wide and 16 inches deep. I am thrilled to have completed this work by installation in the new wing of WNMU’s Miller Library. It is installed to be viewed from all directions.  I offer its image up in a prayer of peace for all in the New Year.

Zoe Wolfe is a member of Silver City Artists Association and is represented locally by Diana Ingalls Leyba Gallery and Zoe’s Gallery on the corner of Cooper and Market streets.