FUNCTION with Cannupa Hanska Luger

by | Jun 30, 2019 | Coe Collaborations, Exhibitions

The Coe has partnered with Cannupa Hanska Luger, an internationally renowned artist, and activist, to create a large scale, interactive artwork entitled FUNCTION. FUNCTION is a play on the functional aspects of clay as a tool for practical use, and of art and food as a means for bringing people together.

In collaboration with Santa Fe Clay, Paseo Potter, and Littleglobe, FUNCTION began in April 2019 with a series of community workshops where Luger led participants in the production of plates to be eaten off of at the project’s culmination—a dinner on August 15, 2019. This plate-making experience will be mirrored by local chefs leading the young people of Youthworks culinary arts program through the collaborative effort of making the dinner.

The meal, prepared through the vehicle of clay whether a Comal, tandoori oven, micaceous bean pots, tagines, or French Dutch ovens, will be served family-style at the Coe Center’s parking lot. The act of cooking in a clay medium is a cross-current through time and space, uniting us across history and cultural divides. The act of having made plates and then sitting together to share a community meal brings diversity together.

At the dinner, participants will share in the food and then at the end of the meal, stand and shatter their dishes creating an environment where the experience is greater than holding onto an object. Luger will grind the remnants into clay grog to be used as a stabilizing tool in his next creations bringing the project full circle. FUNCTION is simultaneously profound and silly, memorable and ephemeral, triumphant and mundane with the end goal of “turning a table into a bridge.”

Making a plate with muddy hands, extending the communal act of eating into a consciously crafted dinner as a result of deep learning with chefs and Youthworks, creates an experience for participants that will ripple beyond the final meal as they have acquired the role of being the artist, as well as the literal opportunity to experience the earth. In a time with cultural tensions, violence and misunderstanding are all too common, the simple act of making messes and eating together offers a safe and comfortable platform for community building and diverse conversations.

A limited number of dinner-only tickets are now available. Please purchase your tickets online at EVENTBRITE or contact the Coe Center at or (505) 983-6372 for more information.


Cannupa Hanska Luger is a New Mexico-based, multi-disciplinary artist. Raised on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, he is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent. Using social collaboration and in response to timely and site-specific issues, Luger produces multi-pronged projects that take many forms. Through monumental installations that incorporate ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel, and cut-paper, Luger interweaves performance and political action to communicate stories about 21st-century Indigeneity. He is the 2018 recipient of the Museum of Arts and Design’s inaugural Burke Prize.

Santa Fe Clay occupies a renovated, 11,600-square-foot warehouse in downtown Santa Fe’s historic Railyard District. This unique facility houses a world-class art gallery (showcasing both traditional and contemporary artists); an engaging retail space offering everything from ceramic supplies to tableware; private art studios; and an expansive workroom that’s fully equipped for the on-going production of ceramics.

Paseo Pottery is a pottery-powered charity, joining the rank of a growing number of businesses embracing a radical form of conscious capitalism: cover costs, then donate the rest to improve society. Our teachers volunteer their time and 100% of net profits go to charity. Come stock up on local handmade pottery in our gallery or play with a fun group of fellow mud-lovers in our studio, knowing your dollars are going to a good cause.

Santa Fe Youthworks is a non-profit, community-based organization that creates opportunities for disconnected youth and families in Northern New Mexico to become engaged and valued members of their communities. Through our programs, job training and placement, life skills, counseling, education, and leadership development, we inspire youth to realize their full potential.

Littleglobe is a Santa Fe based, non-profit artist ensemble committed to creative collaboration. We are a team of seasoned, professional artists, activists and facilitators from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds committed to empowering underserved individuals and communities. Our community collaborations encourage participants to explore issues that are important to them, using their unique voices. Littleglobe individual artist projects are deeply personal, socially meaningful and artistically rigorous performances, installations, publications and other works of art. Working across creative disciplines, building partnerships and experimentation are essential to our work.

Our sincerest gratitude to our FUNCTION partners.

Our sincerest gratitude to our FUNCTION sponsors

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