Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Donna Gutierrez
ROSWELL – The student computer lab in the Instructional Technology Center on the ENMU-Roswell campus is now home to a unique artwork called 'Metamorphosis.' Created by Albuquerque master artist, Evelyn Rosenberg, the work is comprised of four large brass panels, onto which copper and aluminum has been fused.
Students and staff seeing 'Metamorphosis' for the first time are using words like 'awesome' and 'thrilling,' to describe the artwork. The campus committee that selected the piece says it is also a perfect fit for the long wall in the computer lab, which until now had been bare.
The subject of the work is transformation. "The eagle is becoming the forest. The lion is becoming the desert. The bull is becoming the mountain, and the human is becoming everything," Rosenberg said. "They are the animals of the four directions as seen in Ezekiel's Vision in the Bible. The eagle is in the north, the lion is in the East, the bull is in the West, and the human is in the South," she said.
The process used to create the piece is called 'detonography'-a word Rosenberg made up to describe the explosive metal forming technique she has been perfecting for the past 14 years. With assistance from experts at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, Rosenberg supervises the use of plastic explosives which act like a giant stamping press to stamp the metal into the mold. The metal forms around the mold to create a three-dimensional effect. She uses various objects to add detail to her work like sand, leaves, lace, and feathers. To add color, she uses different patinas and chemicals. Her work and her unconventional methods have been featured on national programs like the 'Today Show,' 'Nightline,' and 'Ripley's Believe It or Not.' She now has 35 pieces placed all over the country.
The artwork was purchased through the New Mexico Art in Public Places Act, which requires that a portion of appropriations for capital expenditures be set aside for the acquisition or commission of works of art to be used in, upon, and around public buildings. Rosenberg said she created 'Metamorphosis' as a personal piece and didn't intend to sell it. But when she heard about the call to be included among a master group of artists who put their work up for consideration for the New Mexico Art in Public Places program, she submitted the piece. She was surprised when ENMU-Roswell selected it from dozens of other entries.
"This serves as a nice affirmation that something personal could appeal to other people. I'm kind of sad to leave it, but I know this is a nice home for it,' she said. Lisa Kelt and Felecia Harvey, who both served on the committee, which chose 'Metamorphosis,' said bringing the artwork to ENMU-Roswell was a unanimous decision. They hope students and staff will enjoy it for many years to come.
"Metamorphosis" by Evelyn Rosenberg from Albuquerque. (photo by Donna Gutierrez)