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by the possibilities of this new administration; a commander in chief who confessed to not being a big reader has been replaced by one who is photographed with books of poetry tucked under his arm, his hands being full with BlackBerrys.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 Musical Theater Southwest

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Bring It On, Cheer It Up

Bring It On The Musical

See the bitingly relevant stage version of the popular cheerleading-themed film.
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See You, Space Cowboy

N.M. Entertainment Movie Night Presents Cowboy Bebop

A special screening of the anime classic, in honor of comic-con season.
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Courtesy of the Oddities and Curiosities Expo

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The Strange and Unusual

Oddities and Curiosities Expo

For lovers of the strange and unusual—local and national vendors, taxidermy, preserved specimens, odd antiques, artwork, animal and human bones, sideshow performers, live human suspension and more.
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Image courtesy of the artist

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Radiant Reveries Revealed

Lost in a Dream: Fantasy and Abstracted Images by Joan Fenicle

Pixels and paint bring to life dreamscapes that spring from Fenicle’s imagination. Her images of forest dwellers and landscapes, like dreams, invite you to add your own meaning. Runs through 01/27/19.
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