Alibi V.18 No.4 • Jan 22-28, 2009 

Culture Shock

While listening to “Studio 360” on the radio this morning (thank you, 89.1 KANW, for the awesomeness of your a.m. programming), I heard an interview with the poet Dana Gioia, departing chairperson for the National Endowment for the Arts. The program centered on artists' recommendations and wish lists for President Obama (say it with me, it's not a dream). Artists of all stripes are excited by the possibilities of this new administration; a commander in chief who confessed to not being a big reader has been replaced by one who is photographed with books of poetry tucked under his arm, his hands being full with BlackBerrys. It's become rote to say that America doesn't privilege art, but that's not necessarily endemic to our national character. Aside from Roosevelt's WPA program, Eisenhower recognized the importance of “soft diplomacy,” one that privileged cultural exchange, necessitating the development of our own artistic culture. Both Kennedy and Johnson were fierce proponents of arts funding as part of initiatives toward the realization of the New Frontier and Great Society. By the '80s, however, art had come to be seen as extraneous, or worse, un-American. My hard-earned tax dollars for a crucifix in a bottle of piss? Hell, no!

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Book Profile

A Necessary History of Beautiful Things

Nancy Benson’s New Mexico Colcha Club: Spanish Colonial Embroidery and the Women Who Saved It

When the first settlers made their way from Spain to what is now New Mexico in the early 1600s, they brought with them the essentials: sheep, seeds and fine embroidery. Embroidered textiles in some permutation or another are a part of nearly every culture, and New Mexico’s traditional embroidery, known as colcha, sprang from the detailed work found in Europe and hauled over an ocean to New Spain.

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Art News

Pins and Needles

Albuquerque tattoo artists unite

The way Noel Ortiz gushes about the tattoo culture in Albuquerque, you’d think his body was covered in ink.

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Courtesy of the artist

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IT Sings

Puddles Pity Party

Legend has it that Puddles began his journey into the land of kitsch with a chance encounter in an Atlanta bar in 1998. The bartender heard him sing after taking a show flyer and tracking him down at his gig at a flea market. The sad clown singing karaoke on a boombox blew him away and now that bartender and Puddles travel the world together…
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Courtesy of the artist

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Cha-Ching

64 Hexagrams

Inspired by the 64 hexagrams from the 2,000-year-old Chinese I Ching, they combine trigrams related to heaven, earth, thunder, water, mountain, wind and fire. Runs through 10/27.
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Courtesy of Wicked

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Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

Wicked

The Broadway sensation takes a look at the land of Oz from a different perspective.
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Courtesy of the artist

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Dulcimers are Def!

9th Annual New Mexico Dulcimer Festival

This event features 49 workshops focusing on mountain and hammered dulcimers as well as Celtic harp, bowed psaltery, penny whistle, autoharp, bodhran, spoons, ukulele and country line dancing.
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Image via Pixabay

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Trash … But Make It Fashion

Urban Trash Recyclable Materials Hair and Fashion Show

Participate in a night of fashion and fun with a live runway show and bid on your favorite creation for the chance to take it home. Proceeds benefit Agora Crisis Center.
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Courtesy of Thrill the World

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Something Evil's Lurking in the Dark

Thrill the World Class

Thrill the World is hitting Albuquerque! Come out to the learn the choreography and help break the world record for the world's largest simultaneous dance via the six-minute Michael Jackson smash hit at Tiguex Park on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 6:30 to 7:30pm. The free Thriller Class requires a waiver to be filled out prior to the session, which can be found at the link below. The big event is on Oct. 27, but registration closes at midnight on Oct. 24, so make sure you register. This event is for all-ages, so look for Lina and Karen by the stage at the park and get ready to get zombie-fied for the record shattering event. Find the waiver at: sites.google.com/site/thrilltheworldalbuquerque/learn-the-dance/forms
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