If you need an alternative to sitting at home with your cat and watching reruns of "The Golden Girls" on Friday night, I've got four. There are some promising art shows slated to open on April 6.
Start your night at Gallerie Imaginarium. Rio Rancho artist—and effusive personality—Richard Maitland showcases a collection of his works titled In Retrospect. Maitland's Collected Memories was exhibited in the same space in October [“Memories Are Made of This," Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2011], and it was one of my favorite shows of 2011. His particular brand of nostalgic and often politically charged surrealistic folk art comes in a variety of mediums, but this show focuses solely on his paintings and collage.
From Imaginarium, move on to Boro Gallery. Ever since its A Day to Remember: Día de los Muertos in November, which showcased roughly 80 ceramic skulls decorated by as many artists, the gallery has been on a hot streak. It's also probably the most happening art space you can find on the first Friday of each month. Past offerings have included live music and enough patrons to cram the gallery's large showroom. This Friday brings Hydrophilia, a BFA thesis show by UNM student Katie Carillo. Although Carillo was raised in landlocked Burque, she's focused on the Gulf oil spill of 2010 as the subject matter for about 20 oil paintings, watercolors and sculptures. She crafted her vibrant and seemingly abstract works off satellite and microscopic images she found on the web; what looks like the marriage of a kaleidoscope and several petri dish specimens are actually painted interpretations of outer space and molecular-level photos of the decimated Gulf Coast. Acoustic guitarist Steve Ball will provide tunes.
Staying in the Downtown neighborhood, another show that promises festivities—as well as a diverse array of work and the best title of anything opening this month—is The Un-related Conversations Between a Dead Horse, el Sasquatch and Monkey at El Chante: Casa de Cultura. The group show features the vibrant canvases of New Mexico artists Derrick "Woody" Bitsie and Al Na’ir Lara, as well as surrealistic colored pencil and ink drawings from L.A. transplant Fernando J. Lopez. Bitsie has numerous murals that can be seen around the South Valley and Lara is a UNM grad and teacher with wide involvement in community art projects. The show—named after pseudonyms each artist has taken on—will include live DJing, food and music.
Speaking of apes, local fixture Janet Hoelzel, whose work has been on display at North Valley restaurants Sophia’s and Ezra’s Place for years, is opening Circus & Simians. That one is in Nob Hill, at Mariposa’s upstairs gallery. Hoelzel’s acrylic paintings and mixed-media prints delve into childhood nostalgia. She relates a story of her father taking her to a drugstore in Kansas City when she was a kid. In the basement was a monkey he always promised he’d get for her. “It’s all about all these positive memories I have about being with my dad and that very playful side of him that comes out in my paintings,” Hoelzel says.
Just a few reasons to get off the couch.