Memorial services for Tigre Mashaal-Lively, who made art about individual and collective trauma and healing, are scheduled for Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8 in Santa Fe.
ALBUQUERQUE—Tigre Mashaal-Lively, a New Mexico multidisciplinary artist who created impactful and highly-visible sculptural and immersive works that were grounded in the concepts of individual and collective trauma and healing, has passed away.
“It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that on the night of October 1, 2022, beloved Santa Fe artist and community activist Tigre Mashaal-Lively (Jami Lewis Marshall-Lively) left this world of their own volition to travel to the next realm of their being,” reads an October 4 post on Mashaal-Lively’s Instagram profile.
“Tigre dedicated their life to the joyful pursuit of dance, artistic creation, unabashed self-expression, and social justice,” the post continues. “This brings up a well of grief for the loss of such a cherished and bright light that shone as only Tigre could. We are asking everyone to join us in holding this event with grace, forgiveness, and absolute trust in Tigre’s Spirit.”
Tigre Mashaal-Lively, who used they/them pronouns, was one of Southwest Contemporary’s 12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now of 2022. Their work was exhibited during SWC’s corresponding exhibition at Pie Projects in Santa Fe.
The Black, mixed-race, genderqueer artist who was influenced by Afrofuturism, solarpunk, and mycopunk was born in Philadelphia and earned a BA in visual and performing arts from Bennington College in 2008, according to a bio on the form & concept gallery website.
In 2019, Mashaal-Lively moved to Santa Fe where they created perhaps their best-known work, The Solacii, a figurative, multi-storied sculpture. The piece, displayed in front of form & concept on Guadalupe Street, was destroyed during a suspected arson in late August 2021.
“The Solacii has always been about adaptation and healing,” Mashaal-Lively told Southwest Contemporary in an August 31, 2022 report following the destruction of the public art sculpture, which has since been refurbished. Mashaal-Lively’s artwork remains visible today in front of the gallery.
Mashaal-Lively was the lead artist for a new interactive sculpture that debuted at Burning Man 2022. Facing the Fearbeast depicted a sixteen-foot-tall, thirty-six-foot-long creature in mid-stride encountering a child that’s “neither afraid nor vengeful,” reads text from the Fearbeast website. “The Child stands in the path of Fear, seeing through the violence and loving the wounded sibling trapped within.”
“The project is about facing the external fears that threaten us, whether they’re systemic, personal, existential, as well as the internalized fears—those voices and traumas and self-deceits that can keep us from getting out of bed or from following our dreams,” Mashaal-Lively explained in a video about the Facing the Fearbeast.
In addition to their art-making, Mashaal-Lively co-founded Earthseed Black Arts Alliance, an arts nonprofit that centers and amplifies New Mexico’s Black voices.
A public memorial service is scheduled to take place at 10 am on Friday, October 7 at the chapel of the Rivera Family Funeral Home, 417 East Rodeo Road in Santa Fe. There will also be a public memorial at form & concept, 435 South Guadalupe Street, on Saturday, October 8, 1-4 pm.