Over 60 artists, celebrities and community leaders from around the country have been asked to transform simple wooden boxes into elaborate works of art. These boxes will be sold at a special celebrity art auction on Friday, July 8, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center to raise funds for the center's foundation. There'll be music by Jasper along with wine and tapas. Tickets are $25. To order, call 766-9858. You can preview the art as well as read about each artist at www.nhccnm.org. (Click on the yellow "Tesoros" box.)
Let's be honest. Art isn't the only factor to consider when evaluating the quality of a gallery. Atmosphere always plays a significant role. The truth is that most people enjoy a little romantic ambience to go with their art viewing, and why shouldn't they? Fine visual art deserves a fine visual space in which it can be viewed.
This year's winner of the Manoa Project's statewide playwriting competition is Ashes by Shannon Rogers of La Cueva High School. Ashes follows a group of slaves struggling to find belief in their humanity. It's the third year for this impressive teen playwriting and ensemble apprenticeship program, which features four performances of the winning play at the Tricklock Performance Space—all produced and performed by the Manoa Ensemble. Composed of young artists, the ensemble is created during a theater-training institute that runs all summer. On Saturday, July 9, at 2 p.m. the Manoa Ensemble will also present a staged reading of the runner up, Love Something Like a Blender by Dani Mettler of Sandia Prep. $6 suggested donation. Ashes runs July 7 through July 10, Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Tricklock Performance Space (112 Washington SE). $12 general, $9 students/seniors. 254-8393 or www.tricklock.com.
Good things never happen in stories that begin at gas stations on the New Jersey interstate, so when John Haskell's new novel American Purgatorio opens on the Palisades Parkway, you sort of know something is up. Sure enough, as soon as our hero Jack exits the filling station office, snacks in hand, he realizes that his car—and his wife, who was in it—are both gone. Most men would fly into a rage of confusion, but Jack simply sits down and decides to wait it out. "Something had happened," he says, confident of his powers to simply reason his way out of panic. "That much I could translate."
Buster Keaton's classic independent films from the '20s weren't merely ahead of their time. They were ahead of our time. Keaton created 10 classic feature-length films and 19 shorts filled with eye-popping effects and acrobatics that can't and won't ever be imitated with anything approaching his sense of visual and comedic style. These films are silent. They're black and white. Yet they somehow look like products of the 21st century.