Hold up a mirror to the Duke City and what do you see? Do it right and you’ll espy an arts scene surging with talent, ingenuity and a solid gold sense of fun. Do it in ArtBar (119 Gold SW) on May 25, from 4 to 7pm, and you’ll catch a motley mix of playfulness, creation and revelry (lubricated by libations) at the Mirror Games Variety Show. The Sunday extravaganza includes live art from exuberantly chromatic Cloudface and graphically masterful Marc Quetone; brilliant linguistic torrents unleashed by newly crowned Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez; the uninhibited comedy of Rusty Rutherford; graceful belly dancing by the foxy Michelle Farfesha; and tricks from Mischief Magic. Enjoy body painting, tarot readings, games and prizes, plus music from Russell Chase Turek, Zoltan Orkestar, Twinology and Brendangerous. Underground painter Stephanie Galloway joins other vendors of art, jewelry, glass and pottery to round out an evening that costs just $5 for ArtBar members/guests or $10 for non-members. ArtBar • Sun May 25 • 4-7pm • $5-$10 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
Tomorrow night, the play of light along interconnected opaque and semi-opaque geodesic domes becomes a shimmering backdrop for a 6-hour festival in Santa Fe celebrating art, culture, community and dancing your ass off. At the FANTASE Dome Fest, dome-based art installations will begin to light up at dusk. They include Jacob Snider’s “Tunnels,” with beams and shapes projected through fog that respond to the number of visitors in the space; “Find Your Fortune” by Marion Wasserman, in which guests can view their destinies in a “crystal ball video garden”; and “Sensorius” from Española-based arts collective Domasulon, in which visitors’ five senses are engaged with interactive work utilizing the outside of the domes. A skateboarding jam gets things going, then music from the Angel Babies, 3HC, Luke Carr’s Storming the Beaches with Logos, Thieves and Gypsys, and As In We ensures nonstop auditory and booty-shaking pleasure. For more info, check creativesantafe.org or the FANTASE Dome Fest Facebook page. The action kicks off at 6pm in DeVargas Park (where Guadalupe Street hits West Alameda, Santa Fe), runs till midnight and costs you nothing. DeVargas Park, Santa Fe • Fri May 9 • 6pm-midnight • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
Ladies and gentlemen, don your fiesta skirts and your pom-pom-fringed sombreros: Kenny Chavez’ 8th Annual Cinco de Mayo Folk Art & Music Festival returns in all its kitschy, colorful glory to the North Valley with over 30 artists, three bands and a Wild Fiesta Skirt Contest for women and men at 1:45pm.
Tomorrow, May 3 (because who wants to festejar on a Monday?), peruse charming recycled, folk, handmade and mixed-media art from artists like Dagwood Reeves, aka El Melvix, whose painted papier mâché creatures and masks are like three-dimensional cartoons; Dorothy Hawkins, who offers tinkertoy-esque woodwork décor; Tami Sioux and her reimagined flatware; and the folks at Otra Vuelta Tire Recycling of Los Ojos, N. Mex., who create durable mats and bowls. The erstwhile owner of the In Crowd and current manager at Masks y Más, Kenny Chavez himself, will debut what he calls “bottle shrines,” cheerful hangings worked in wire, bottlecaps, tin and glass. Paint the town rojo from 9am till 4pm at La Parada Mercantile (8917 Fourth Street NW), and enjoy food and drink from Farm and Table Restaurant on the patio. Any cash you bring will go toward enriching your life with some art, because the fiesta is completely free. Visit bit.ly/folkart8 for more info. La Parada Mercantile • Sat May 3 • 9am-4pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Believers in the power-cum-responsibility of art to change lives, attitudes and public policy, take heart—an exhibit opening tomorrow, wears its ideological zeal on its sleeve. With an impressive range of artists and artistic collectives whose work amplifies public awareness, WE HONOR: The Art of Activism promotes ecological reverence and justice for indigenous peoples. It’s hosted by Honor the Earth and Honor the Treaties, two Native-led activist organizations that invest in and benefit from connections to the art community.
Eminent environmentalist, author and two-time Green-Party vice-presidential candidate Winona Laduke speaks at the opening from 6 to 7pm. Contributing artists include Shepard Fairey, recognized for his iconic red-and-blue Barack Obama “Hope” poster; Gregg Deal, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe best known for “The Last American Indian On Earth,” a performance piece in which he explodes racial stereotypes by embodying them in mundane settings like grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants; and Nani Chacon, the local muralist behind the magnificent “She Taught Us to Weave” in Wells Park and co-curator of this exhibit with Kim Smith. Traditional foods will be served during the free opening reception, which starts at 5pm. Everything happens at Warehouse 508 (508 First Street NW); see bit.ly/wehonor for more info. Warehouse 508 • Thu Apr 24 • 5-8pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
At a time when Albuquerque is making national headlines for all the wrong reasons, let’s remember what we’re fighting for: a culture that celebrates life, community and passion. The National Institute of Flamenco has been a force for good in the Duke City since its founding in 1982. Even now, having lost its Downtown space of 15 years to a calamitous blaze last December, what’s come to light is not destruction, but a vibrant, spirited community of support. De las Cenizas, a benefit for the institute tomorrow, April 5, at 7:30pm, is a grand, gutsy first step toward raising the money needed to plan new facilities. Artists and companies donating their talents to the night include Kalpulli Ehecatl, directed by Mapitzmitl Xiukwetzpaltzin, performing warrior-style traditional Aztec dances; Donna Jewell’s Ecotone Physical Theater, dedicated to improvisational performance through sound, movement, gesture and unexpected props; Niños Flamencos, kid dancers both adorable and surprisingly intense directed by NIF founder Eva Encinias Sandoval; and many more. Your $25-to-$75 ticket for the show at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) will do a world of good toward reminding the world just what Albuquerque is known as: a locus for the flamenco arts, a place where art and history are kept fiercely alive with loving dedication. National Hispanic Cultural Center • Sat Apr 5 • 7:30pm • $25-$75 • View on Alibi calendar
Wake up, verbs. Drink some coffee, adjectives. Put on your mascara already, nouns. Your services are required by Albuquerque’s leading poets. Prepare to rally to action tomorrow when 10 local hopefuls compete in the 2014 ABQ Grand Slam Poetry Slam Championship. The four best will go on to represent Burque at the National Poetry Slam, held this August in Oakland, Calif. The poetic art of the public slam arrived in Albuquerque exactly two decades ago this year, and our homegrown versifiers have been doing us proud ever since with a national win in 2005 and frequent notable finishes. This year’s qualified poets lay down the gauntlet of words at Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE) at 7:30pm in the year’s biggest night of performance poetry. Tickets are available in advance or at the door for $10-$15; visit outpostspace.org, or call 268-0044 for deets. Outpost Performance Space • Sat Mar 29 • 7:30pm • $10-$15 • View on Alibi calendar
“They were leaking jet fuel and aviation gas. ... Kirtland Air Force Base agreed to an estimate of 8 million gallons a few years ago; the New Mexico Environmental Department suggested it could be as high as 24 million gallons, so it’s somewhere in there, in that range. … But even if it’s a conservative estimate, it still makes this the largest underground toxic release in US history. That’s uncontested.”
If you missed our in-depth look at this shocking environmental catastrophe in Burque’s own backyard, catch it here, as well as the response from an Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority board member in our Letters section. Listen to Correia’s informed and informative full broadcast on KUNM here.
Janire Nájera apparently likes her road trips 19th-century-style. The Spanish photojournalist and curator is taking a cue from Antonio Armijo—who laid the groundwork for successful trade along what's now known as the Old Spanish Trail when he successfully hoofed it from New Mexico to California and back (and managed to make a profit in the process)—with a voyage through northern New Mexico, parts of Utah and Arizona, and into Southern California. For the journey, Nájera's own pack animal of choice is an RV from 1984, a bit of an upgrade from the 100 mules of Armijo's trip in 1829-1830. Her goals are social and artistic in nature as she explores, according to the description on her website, how “the traditions of the first settlers [of European descent] ... have merged with domestic cultures, influencing the creation and identity of today's pueblos and modern cities.”
Nájera's journey began in Santa Fe on March 10, and she's already building a fascinating portrait of modern-day descendants of our region's Spanish heritage. See Nájera's video below featuring Julia Gómez talking about the famous Colcha stitch, and her latest blog entry has another great one with Santa Fe hairdresser Faustino Herrera de Vargas, entirely in Spanish, speaking about his storied life.
Julia Gómez at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art on the Colcha stitch
Follow Janire Nájera's travels along the Old Spanish Trail at her blog Looking Forward, Moving Back, and keep a weather eye out for the book and photography exhibit that will be the eventual result.
The Addams Family defines the word “resilient.” Starting out as a series of single-panel comics in The New Yorker, the macabre clan became a laugh-tracked camp-fest for two seasons of sitcom history in the 1960s. And while many fondly remember the films of the early ’90s, I say that any franchise capable of surviving the theme-song maw of MC Hammer rapping his way through 1991’s “Addams Groove” is one that must and shall rise again. Which brings us to the musical comedy skittering across the Popejoy (203 Cornell NE) stage for six performances tonight through Sunday, March 20-23. Featuring a schmaltzy new story about Wednesday bringing her boyfriend and his button-down Midwestern folks home to meet Gomez, Morticia and the rest of the uncanny gang, The Addams Family unabashedly panders to lovers of the ghoulish and the goofy with conga-line zombie ancestors, moon puppetry, loony musical numbers and coroner puns galore. Tickets for the spooky spectacle start at $32.50 for the balcony, so whether you’re a fan of Uncle Fester or a lover of Lurch, prepare for some silly, satisfying entertainment from the newest reincarnation of America’s weirdest family. Showtimes are as follows: Thursday (March 20) at 7:30pm, Friday (March 21) at 8pm, Saturday (March 22) at 2 and 8pm and Sunday (March 23) at 1 and 6:30pm. Popejoy Hall, UNM Center for the Arts • Thu Mar 20 • 7:30pm • $32.50-$62.50 • View on Alibi calendar
Upcycle your denim at Hip Stitch with the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild
Saturday, March 15, is a big day around these parts, and the question on everyone’s mind is: Who will reign supreme when vicious rivals the Heritage Farm Quilters and the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild—armed with titanium shears and topstitch needles—clash in their upcoming battle to the death?
Okay, that’s not really a question on anyone’s mind because this is not West Side Story. Though highly skilled with sharp objects, quilters tend to be remarkably nice people. Besides, they’ve got their territories pretty well sorted out by this point.
But I’m not kidding about Saturday. Depending on who you ask, March 15 is either National Quilting Day or Worldwide Quilting Day—in either case, folks will be gathering to celebrate a longstanding art that, much like knitting, soap making and moustache waxing, has experienced a resurgence of popular interest in recent years.
At Hip Stitch (7001 San Antonio NE, near Louisiana), members of the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild are ready to put the power of piecing into the hands of the people with free one-hour demos covering two useful skills. At 10am, Linda Hamlin demonstrates the “slice and insert” technique, essential for creating quilts in the easier-than-it-seems “Paper Shredder” pattern. And at 11:30am, Lois Warwick gets fancypants with a demo of a sweet quilt called “Forever in Blue Jeans” that features jeans upcycling, or can be made with a layer cake (collection of 10”x10” squares of fabric) or four charm packs (collections of 5”x5” squares). (Is it just me, or do quilters have the best jargon?) Possibly due to territorial disputes, space is limited; call the store at 821-2739, or visit hipstitchabq.com to reserve your spot.
If your tastes run to the more traditional branches of quilting, the Heritage Farm Quilters are displaying their favorite cozy works of art at the Botanic Garden's Showroom and Heritage Farm (at the Biopark, 2601 Central NW) from 10am to 2pm. This group of adept stitchers has been congregating for more than six years at the Heritage House, sharing their secrets and bringing a timeless art to new generations of gang members quilters.
And if it so happens that a single day of quilting glorification isn't enough, be sure to stop by your local library to scope some of the breathtaking works on display throughout the month of March. The New Mexico Quilters’ Association has quilted gems on display at these ABC branches: Cherry Hills (6901 Barstow NE), Lomas Tramway (908 Eastridge NE), Main (501 Copper NW), Special Collections (423 Central NE), Taylor Ranch (5700 Bogart NW) and Tony Hillerman (8205 Apache NE).
Some people just don't know when to quilt—but clearly, there's a thriving community in Albuquerque just waiting to help them with that very problem.