AZTEC — Two local artists who tell stories in unexpected ways will hold a reception to exhibit their work at Crash Music on Saturday.

Durango artist Tirzah Camacho grew up in the Bay Area, California, but moved to the Four Corners area to finish her degree at Fort Lewis College. She sees her current work as informed largely by experience and the vicissitudes of contemporary life.

Camacho created a studio, won awards in juried shows, held solo shows in galleries and alternative spaces, all while working multiple jobs and managing solo motherhood.

"Becoming a mother completely changed my approach to work as my daily life brought in totally new and unexpected experiences," she said.

She paints her works largely on found objects like crib head boards, toys, books, 4-wheel car-repair dollies, and window frames she plucks up as treasure from someone else's trash. She then adorns her found palettes with layer upon layer of painted images and patterns.

The results are wall-mounted pieces of varying sizes and shapes that reveal her interest in the common themes of lived experience -- food, fairy tales, agriculture, motherhood, mortality, gender, nostalgia, consumerism, insect life and flowers.

"What happens with any work is I channel the reservoir of ideas in my head and try to build up and layer my pieces with lots of experiences in unexpected shades and tones that hopefully can start conversations," she said.


Aztec artist Amos Trujillo will also display his work Saturday. Trujillo won first-place honors at a recent art show juried by local artist Rikk Morris at Crash Music last month.

His pen and ink pieces are intensely detailed and largely abstract. Like Camacho, his work defies an easy connection to a single narrative in favor of open interpretation.

"Art is like ice cream," Trujillo said. "There's a flavor there for everybody."

The 44-year-old works for the city by day and on his ink creations by night. Trujillo was recently selected to create a poster for the Animas Blues Festival.

Morris admires both artists' resistance to a straight story and creative use of materials.

"Amos' use of ink and lack of narrative is impressive," Morris said. "And Tirzah has such a strong presence in her paintings. It's the presence underneath the work that's so fruitful."

Camacho has displayed her work in many spaces over the years, but the opportunity and freedom of a venue like Crash Music appeals to her.

"This space is ideal for me to be able to hang my work without many of the constraints other places I've shown have imposed," she said.

The reception will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and feature live music. For more information, contact Crash Music at 505-427-6748.