Ocotillo Performing Arts Center’s artist of the month show to benefit the center
By Christina Stock
Jewelry sculptor artist Lindsay Waugh is Ocotillo Performing Arts Center’s (OPAC) artist of the month. Her jewelry show will be open until June 30 at OPAC, 310 W. Main St., Artesia. There will be Facebook Live streams of her handcrafted jewelry art on June 18 and 25. All profits of sales will go to the center.
Waugh was the only jewelry sculptor accepted into the Charles B. Goddard Juried Art Show in Ardmore, Oklahoma in 2016 and 2017. She is known for her elaborate crown sculptures out of natural crystal and silver or gold wire.
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Waugh is passionate about her art, which she considers more of a hobby. She does know that jewelry making as an art form in today’s art scene is not as credited. That is why she is especially proud that her work was accepted at the esteemed Charles B. Goddard Juried Art Show, Waugh said in a phone interview.
“People always told me jewelry would never make it to these fine art shows,” Waugh said. “But I wondered (if I could get in) if I went big. I made this very complicated piece with a lot of stone work and antler pieces from deer racks that I had picked up somewhere along the way. It turned into this big massive necklace; it was heavy — it was to hang on a wall. The fact that I made it into that show when before, art shows at the Goddard Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Ardmore, Oklahoma, it hadn’t been a thing. Then the next year, I needed to go bigger so I made crowns and a top hat. It taught me a lot, and it started boiling up into that big thing.”
Waugh said that she started making jewelry when she was 9 years old. Her family traveled from state to state because her father was working in the oil fields. “As most people know or not know, there are Army brats that move around a lot, and then there are the oilfield brats right after that. I am a native Texan from the Wichita Falls area originally; I’ve lived in Kansas, Wyoming, Oklahoma and now New Mexico,” she said.
In Artesia, Waugh volunteers at the OPAC and teaches theater, as well. “The rest of the time I stay at home with my kid,” she said. Fortunately, Waugh said her child is just 3 1/2 years old, so she did not have to become a teacher during the pandemic.
“I feel like a lot of people consider art as a luxury and I guess if we would be in a full-mode apocalypse, yes,” Waugh said. “It’s just really rough, we are a small theater. It is hard to keep those places open.”
Waugh said that one should not underestimate art. “How many times do you listen to a song, go to a museum and see a painting that stirs something in you? Or, in my case, hey, if somebody likes my pieces and it speaks to them, it’s wearable art. ‘I am wearing this piece that Lindsay Waugh made and feel pretty, I like it.’ It can be as deep as you want. There are some pieces I make a couple of times, then there are others where I say, ‘You enjoy that because I’m never going to make that piece again,’” Waugh said and chuckled.
Asked about the jewelry items Waugh created for this particular show, she said, “For this show, I made pieces out of textiles, what are known as sari remnants. Sari are the traditional dresses of women in India. What they do a lot of times is instead of tossing an old garment, they’ll shred it and make these strips of cloth and they sell them so others can use them. I’ve seen jewelry made out of it and I loved to do that. The pieces I make are very simple, but I think they are more impactful — more in the color and not so much in design. Recently, I got into playing with textiles in my jewelry. It is positioning the hard wires with the soft fabric. It is colorful and loud and bright, which not all of my pieces are. Some are a darker blue or red. They are simple pieces but the color is quite nice.
“All profits are going to the Ocotillo because a lot of art places are suffering right now,” Waugh said.
For more information, visit the OPAC Facebook page or its event page, or call 575-746-4212.