Art Fusion: April 6, 2019 Visual Artist: Jared Weiss & Owen Laurion Singer/Songwriter: Johnny Alston

Art Fusion Image for Art Fusion: April 6, 2019 Visual Artist: Jared Weiss & Owen Laurion Singer/Songwriter: Johnny Alston

Visual Artist: Jared Weiss & Owen Laurion

Jared Weiss is an artist currently living and working in New Mexico. His work explores themes of memory and the complex relationship between one’s internal world and environment. Weiss’s applications of exaggerated color in deliberately gestural, layered brush strokes illustrate the imperfections of sensory recall as memories mingle with layered fragments of the human psyche. Emerging from these layers are dream-like depictions of figures engaged in their own abstracted worlds, blurring with their surroundings in scenes somehow eerily familiar. He received his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His new show with Owen Laurion, "The Ratio of People to Cake." , will be at Ellsworth Gallery from April 12th to June 12th, 2019. Opening reception is on April 12th 5-7pm.


instagram: @owenmarclaurion

An interdisciplinary artist, Owen combines scholarly research with a studio practice exploring the (re)production of culture and personhood in contemporary society. Owen was born and raised in New Hampshire and then moved to Rochester, NY to earn his BA from the University of Rochester in Anthropology and Philosophy. Eventually, Owen moved to California to earn his MFA in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has exhibited his work nationally and is the recipient of the Robert Howe Fletcher Cup Award for Sculpture 2015, Rush Rhees Purchase Prize 2010, and was a Take Five Scholar at the University of Rochester 2010-2011. Owen has completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the North Carolina Pottery Center, and Starworks, as well as presenting a lecture, “Seeking Ethical Craft” at NCECA 2018. Owen currently lives and works in Santa Fe, NM.

Singer/Songwriter: Johnny Alston

Johnny Alston, also known as Nailman, is an Afro Native flutist, composer, percussionist, a 2017 New Mexico Music Awards finalist in Native and New Age categories, and a nail & wood sculptor.

Johnny plays beyond genres: Native, Jazz, New Age, World, and even Asian influences converge into original fusions of compositions.

He is a timeless messenger transcending cultures and borders, delivering a momentary sanctum of notes, sounds, and emotions that provide listeners’ with a glimpse into their own spiritual realms.

He has released two CDs: Between Two Worlds – A Collaboration of Native American Flute and Piano in 2009, and Desert Chill in 2018.  Lost Valley, his first CD from 2005 is receiving a makeover and will be re-released within the year.

Johnny has performed throughout New Mexico with well-known bands such as: Felix y Los Gatos, Scotty and the Atomics, Ron Buchanan, and Da Terra Meiga. He has collaborated on other artists’ CDs such as: Dr. Hall – From Darkness to Dawn, Louisiana Nights with Felix y Los Gatos, and with New Mexican poet, G. L. Brower, The Wanekia & Other Poems.

Johnny is the son of Pittsburgh musician, John H Alston. Johnny’s Dad earned his Pharmacy degree from Duquesne University in 1935 yet as an African American was unable to secure work as a pharmacist so Alston supported his family as a postal worker and moon lighted as a musician, a trumpet player, forming the Johnny Alston’s Cocoanut Grove Orchestra.

Just like his father Johnny gravitated to music; he played the trumpet in his high school band. He attended Wilberforce College but always a creative, free-flowing spirit with a love of being outdoors among people, college just wasn’t a good fit.

He sold his artwork on the streets of Pittsburgh; moved to Mt Hood, Oregon where he mastered the art of nail and wood sculpture.  Some sculptures consist of 60,000 hand-driven nails. He became known as Nailman. His art has been exhibited throughout Oregon, Pittsburgh, and New Mexico with pieces in private collections throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.  

Johnny arrived in the Land of Enchantment in 1995 and met up with Blue Linnartz, a flute maker who sold him his first Native flute; eventually Nailman was playing on the plaza of Santa Fe. Years later he retired his hammer and took up music full time.

Johnny credits Blue Linnartz and Carl Smith aka Dingbat for providing inspiration for the course of his artistic journey along with many influences that followed: Hank Webster who recorded his first CD at Sawyer Canyon Sound, Dr. Harry Clark, pianist and brother-in-law, George Heid Sr. and Jim Barr from Heid Studios in Pittsburgh.

hearNOW provides links to physical and digital sales at:; iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, plus other platforms.

Music videos can be accessed on YouTube. Search:  Nailman Santa Fe


Johnny Alston can be contacted for private parties, gallery receptions, weddings, memorials and other venues at:

Johnny’s nail and wood sculptures are exhibited with a rotating display of his art at the Range Café in Bernalillo, New Mexico.