Downtown’s FreeStyle Gallery is ringing in the new year this Friday at an opening reception for their show, East Meets West, from 6 to 9pm. No, they’re not running a month behind—Jan. 31 marks the celebration of the Chinese New Year. The year of the horse is upon us, notes gallery owner and artist Ralph Greene, whose oil on linen “42 Horse” draws a spiritual line from his birth year, 1942, to a roiling cluster of stars, moons and sea—what Greene describes as “the beginning of a planet.” In the new show, running through Feb. 5, Greene’s works mingle with those of his onetime student, Difei Zhang, whose solo show in November was well-received. The great-granddaughter of the last emperor of Shanghai, Zhang’s art walks a tightrope between traditional and modern, including everything from Chinese calligraphy to 3D printing to gouache painting on embroidered silk. See freestylegallery.com or call 243-9267 for more info—and have an auspicious new year!
Pancho Villa in a “maderista” (Madero’s followers, faction of the Mexican Revolution) camp, Juarez, Chihuahua, April 1911, author unidentified
Just over a century ago, in November 1910, the Mexican Revolution broke out when rebel forces organized against President Porfirio Díaz Mori. The dictator, whose implacable rule of over three decades had stripped Mexico’s poor of both rights and land, was the first of several would-be leaders to fall in the long and bloody conflict that followed. At the same time, the early 20th century saw filmmaking coming into being and photography coming into its own. The result? The now-famous images of Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Villa and others that make the Mexican Revolution so visually resonant even today. Testimonios de una Guerra: Photography of the Mexican Revolution collects 58 contemporary photographs, many of them previously unpublished, that give a face to this momentous conflict. On Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6pm, attend the opening reception for Testimonios at Instituto Cervantes (at the NHCC, 1701 Fourth Street SW). It’s completely free, and they’re serving up live mariachi music and Mexican snacks. The exhibit remains up through the end of March and coincides with film series El Cine de la Revolución Mexicana. See nhccnm.org for más details.
Roll up your sleeves and fire up your brain: The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (601 Eubank SE) has a new exhibit all about the immutable laws governing our physical world. In 11 hands-on activity stations, Roll, Drop, Bounce: The Science of Motion aims to explicate, elucidate and demonstrate important physics concepts for the curious. Principles like velocity, acceleration, elasticity and momentum are turned from dusty textbook lessons into intuitive knowledge when explored interactively with the swinging spheres of a Newton’s cradle, air currents, catapults, cars and more. The exhibit opens on Saturday, Feb. 1, and runs through April 27. And if you’re of a mind to celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics, you might consider stopping by for ice cream created by liquid nitrogen, a flight simulator and rocket launches, among other brainiac pursuits, on Discover STEM Day, which is Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10am to 3pm. The museum, open 9am to 5pm daily, charges $8 for adults and $7 for kids and seniors. So multiply your mass times your velocity until you’ve got the necessary momentum to get your science on.