Name: Heather Gallegos-Rex
Born: Birkenhead, Cheshire, England
Lives and works: Sandia Park, NM
Heather Gallegos-Rex’s tapestries are strikingly minimal in their design, often incorporating only two or three colors. She leans toward spare geometric shapes but does not shy away from landscapes and increasingly layered compositions. With its inherent tactility and its implication of timelessness, tapestry engages the senses and the intellect for Gallegos-Rex. She revels in the constructive, additive process of weaving, which allows her to watch and feel the line-by-line, color-by-color transformation of an idea into an image.
Heather Gallegos-Rex began her weaving career in the 1970s, and has returned to it after twenty-five years in academia and government, during which she became Deputy New Mexico State Librarian. Her early work was exhibited in galleries and museums, commissioned for corporate and private collections, and won awards. She holds a BA in psychology and an MA in geography from the University of New Mexico, and a Masters of Library Science from the University of Arizona. Back in her studio since 2006, she concentrates solely on hand-woven tapestry. Inspiration comes from the geometry and rhythms of the natural world, from architectural references, and from other artists, especially twentieth-century abstract expressionist painters. Gallegos-Rex hand-dyes and moth-proofs all the wool that goes into the work, so she can choose precisely her color palettes. New Mexico is clearly evident in her subject matter—some mountains and canyons appear—but her colors skew not toward the sun-bleached adobes and browns of the landscape but reach for saturated primary colors. Her compositions often move diagonally across the surface and suggest the climbing scales of musical octaves.
Gallegos-Rex’s work will be on view in Representing the West: A New Frontier (February 2, 2019-May 6, 2019) at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, Pueblo, CO.