Because science continues to lag behind my imagination,the consciousness-splitting self-cloning device is years away from completion, making it very difficult for any one person to experience all of the art Albuquerque has to offer. That's why any "best of" list of mine is going to be incomplete, at best. Still, it's worth a look back. Here are just a few of the notable events, exhibits, people and organizations of 2009.
Hosted at locations all over the city and surrounding areas, this exploration of creation and nature was the biggest thing to hit the art scene in years. Organized by 516 Arts, its monumental scope was stunning. It’s a lot to live up to, but Burquenos are up for the challenge.
Though this professional company isn’t the oldest around (it was formed in 2007), it’s quickly become the surest bet in town. Productions like T he Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer married ambition with competence, resulting in live theater that was exciting and profound.
Housed in Sol Arts’ old space on Central in EDo, Cirq has created a great space for emerging artists and new voices. The openings are fun (replete with DJs) and the art surprises. Thomas Christopher Haag’s spring show was one of the city’s best this year; his mural now decorates Cirq’s west wall, and you can check out some of his pieces hanging up at Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar. Now if only Cirq would work on updating that website...
At the end of 2009, Albuquerque lost two of its greatest champions of the arts. Felix Wurman, NMSO cellist and founder of the Church of Beethoven, passed away on Dec. 26. Maisha Baton— UNM professor, poet and playwright—died on Dec. 27. Their influence on the creative forces in this city cannot be overstated. See for yourself by attending performances at the Church of Beethoven or picking up Baton’s last book of poetry Sketches, published in November by West End Press.
In moving from an old video store on 12th and Lomas to its new home on First and Gold, The Box Performance Space and Improv Theatre (home to Blackout Theatre and Cardboard Box Productions) has become the black box theater Downtown has needed for years. A lovely space to see original plays in the heart of the city? What’s next? A vibrant Downtown? Dare to dream.
Help us out. Share your memorable arts moments of 2009 in the comments.