Scout Dunbar uses paper as canvas in her upcoming show at Iconik Coffee Roasters. “Dwellings,” which opens on February 3 and is presented by Curate Santa Fe, features both painted pieces and works with colored pencil on paper that refer to places in New York and Santa Fe.
“My objective is to provide the viewer with the chance to detach themselves from their material world in order to question the function and meaning of the fictitious territories I have invented,” she says.
Dunbar, who moved to Santa Fe in July, created half of the works in the show in Brooklyn. “Many of those pieces have to do with my childhood home in Ithaca, New York,” she explains. “I grew up on a horse farm on 11 acres on land. Remembering that special place as I worked was a therapeutic journey for me. In some of the paintings, I can see the barn and hay room.”
A 2011 fine arts graduate of Alfred University who focused on printmaking during college, Dunbar decided to relocate to Santa Fe from Brooklyn because she was tired of city life and wanted to create art in a place with an inspirational landscape. She started housesitting and teaching a few art classes as soon as she arrived. A garage has been serving as her studio while she looks for a more suitable art-making space.
“Paper is my favorite medium,” she says. “I love playing with it and seeing how it relates to paint and collage elements. Sometimes, I put soil samples into the paint to give it texture and a 3D aspect. There are notable textures in my work.”
Dunbar achieves textures through a variety of techniques, including distressing paper with kitchen scrubbers and metal brushes.
“A huge component of my work involves material exploration,” she adds.
Dunbar has framed some of the pieces in the show, while others are installed directly onto the walls.