It's always encouraging to see struggling local artists take their creative destinies into their own hands. Case in point: I just received the debut issue of the Donkey Journal. Printed nine times per year, this attractive local contemporary arts periodical comes in the form of a simple folded poster. It's produced by David Leigh, Larry Bob Phillips and Sherlock Terry, three Albuquerque artists who recently opened the nonprofit Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SE) to exhibit their own art and that of other underrepresented artists.
The Dot of the Polka
Stacy Hawkinson's Solo Show at the Downtown Contemporary Art Center
Stacy Hawkinson is a big fan of the polka dot. As you walk up the wide stairs just inside the entrance of the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW), the first thing you'll see are brightly painted Styrofoam balls floating above your head like strange interplanetary fruit. Once you get to the top of the stairs, you'll notice brightly colored dots bouncing through the entire exhibit.
Albuquerque's going to get slammed upside the head next year, when the city hosts the 2005 National Poetry Slam next August. You'll get a sweet little teaser this Saturday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. when poet, playwright, journalist and four-time Individual National Slam Champion Patricia Smith comes to the KiMo Theatre. If you love performance poetry, do not miss this event. Smith is universally recognized as one of the greatest spoken word artists on the planet, and she's coming to Albuquerque to raise funds for next year's National Slam. $12. For tickets, call 768-3544.
Nickel and Dimed
Barbara Ehrenreich's bestselling 2001 book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Making It in America, chronicled the lives of the working poor in America in a highly effective way. Taking three low-wage jobs for a month each, Ehrenreich tried to make ends meet and soon discovered the task was impossible. Joan Holden has now translated Nickel and Dimed to the stage. A production of Holden's provocative play, directed by the very talented Eugene Douglas, will be staged at UNM's Rodey Theatre beginning this weekend. Oct. 8 to 9 and 21 to 23 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. $12 general, $8 seniors, $6 students. 925-5858 or www.tickets.com.