Ever wanted to know how a hoop skirt can function as a portable shelter? Or what a prom dress made out of yucca plants looks like? Of course you haven’t. That’s why artists exist—to raise the questions no one ever thought of before. Environmental artist Nicole Dextras challenges conceptions about art, culture, and eco-feminism with bizarre-but-beautiful creations that combine diverse materials from nature into surprising garments. Featured in the Flatlanders & Surface Dwellers exhibition running through June 1 is her “Nomadik Harvest Dress,” which replaces a Mongolian yurt’s traditional felt membrane with a covering made of old wool sweaters. Dextras will give a demonstration of the dress’s transformation into a shelter, as well as a talk about her Urban Foragers and Weedrobes series, on Saturday, May 11, at 3 p.m. Both the talk and the exhibition can be seen for free at 516 Arts (516 Central SW).
Artsy-craftsy benefit fun
Local purveyors of colorful knickknacks, art and fashion, The Octopus and the Fox, host their annual Spring Octofair on Sunday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Over 20 local artists will sell their handmade, vintage and recycled items at the outdoor craft fair, including jewelry, clothing, masks and wreaths. Last year, over $500 was raised for New Day Youth Services. This year, proceeds from the raffle and bake sale—both well-stocked with donations from local businesses—will benefit Animal Humane NM. Expect live music from the blurts, Sage Harrington and Cameron and Febrice, plus food from Korean food truck Soo Bak. If you’re stuck for something to do this Mother’s Day, visit the Octofair in the lot next to Farina Pizzeria (510 Central SE).
Calling all zinesters
Time to saddle up the ol’ Xerox machine, Albuquerque makers. Table registration for the 3rd Annual ABQ Zine Fest opens on May 9. Vend or trade your perzines, mini-zines, mini-comics, and every other kind of amateur expression in booklet form by registering for a table of your own; the $15 price tag for a half-table keeps the fest free to the public. Past Zine Fests have included speakers, workshops and high-energy games, and this year promises no less. Tabling will take place on October 5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register, or visit abqzinefest.com for more information.