Cedra Wood + Nina Elder: Perplexities

Cedra Wood and Nina Elder:


April 8 - 29, 2023

Opening Reception:

Saturday, April 8, 4-6 pm


Pie Projects was delighted to present an exhibition of New Mexico-based artists Cedra Wood and Nina Elder. Their creative practices center on curiosity, empathy, and storytelling as means to address themes such as environmentalism and the transitional nature of being. Wood and Elder were both celebrated as one of the "12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now" by Southwest Contemporary Magazine, respectively in 2020 and 2022.


Cedra Wood, Detail, Mesquite Dune in the Gloaming with Luna and Venus, 2022. Acrylic on panel, 24" x 36"
Cedra Wood, Mesquite Dune in the Gloaming with Luna and Venus,
2022, acrylic on panel, 24 x 36 in.


How can we know what other beings know? Cedra Wood invites us to assume that life, at all scales, is operating with its own sense of awareness and intentionality. Some of the paintings in Perplexities are depictions of objects and costumes that the artist has sculpted from natural materials; others she has based on existing life forms or found organic residue. Where each apparition comes into being in these pieces—in the material world, at the hands of the artist, or in the eye of the viewer—is ambiguous. Beings peer back at us from the corners of their eyes, whether they have eyes or not. “My works create a prickling awareness of conversations and visitations just beyond the reach of our senses,” writes Wood.


Nina Elder’s drawings presented in this exhibition are contemplations on the physical texture of time and the potential for transformation. “Is there a horizon between the past and the future? When exactly does change begin?” she asks. Rendered as realistic graphite portraits, Elder captures fleeting moments with nuanced attention. Commonplace events mix with icons of social justice - a tumbleweed tossed on the spring wind in New Mexico, Harriet Tubman’s grasped hands, the secret maps that we each carry on our skulls, the sky over Little Bighorn, the reflection of sunshine on a river, the brave first steps of the march from Selma. Highlighting the mighty and the mundane, Nina Elder presents evidence of the perplexing and poetic nature of transformation. 



Nina Elder, Superbloom, 2022, graphite on paper
Nina Elder, Superbloom, 2022, graphite on paper, 36 x 36 in.


Cedra Wood received her BA from Austin College and her MFA from the University of New Mexico. She has received grants from the Land Arts Mobile Research Center, the Harwood Emerging Artists Fund, the Puffin Foundation, and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. She has been a research fellow at the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment and artist in residence at Teton Artlab, the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, PLAYA, Ucross Foundation, and the Sagehen Creek Biological Field Station. Internationally, Wood has had residencies at Gushul Studio and Kluane Lake Research Station in Canada and The Arctic Circle, a ship-based residency in Svalbard.

Nina Elder’s artwork is widely exhibited and has been featured in Art in America, VICE Magazine, and on PBS. Her research has been supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Rauschenberg Foundation award for Arts & Activism, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. She has recently held positions as an Art + Environment Research Fellow at the Nevada Museum of Art, a Polar Lab Research Fellow at the Anchorage Museum, and a Researcher in Residence in the Art and Ecology Program at the University of New Mexico. Solo  exhibitions of Nina’s work have been organized by SITE Santa Fe, Indianapolis Contemporary, and university museums across the US. She migrates between rural New Mexico and site-specific projects. 


Inquire about available artwork here or call 505-372-7681