Campus Film Series Acts as Eye-opener: UNM org hosts People Before Profit screenings
UNM is, unfailingly, full of hidden gems—those thought-provoking spray-painted works of art behind random pillars on campus, the Beatles music course students can take for upper division credit, Eli's burger sauce at the newest restaurant in the Student Union Building. There’s always something new to discover as a regular wanderer of the campus I call home. And today I stumbled upon another: the People Before Profit film series, which happens every Monday in the SUB Theater.
This fall marks the sixth semester in which UNM's peace studies program and Students Organizing Actions for Peace will have hosted the film series. Begun as an internship for a peace studies student, People Before Profit aims to raise awareness about social issues and encourage students to think and talk about these problems. Long after its commencement, the event is still going strong.
Encouraging respectful, responsive discourse, the series is still facilitated by UNM students and professors, but it’s now open to the community—and free. Previously it brought films like Salt of the Earth, Genetic Chile and An Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, and it continues to bring up topics such as war and gay rights. Last night, PBP screened Gus van Sant’s popular 2008 Harvey Milk biopic Milk.
The PBP series is essentially a free course about events and trends that, at some point, will affect us all. With recent, rattling terrorist attacks on Kenya and Pakistan, and the always active social and environmental justice climates, I can't think of many better ways to spend a free Monday night. Catch it every Monday at 7pm in UNM's SUB Theater.
Old Man Gloom’s New Clothes: Santa Fe artist debuts Zozobra-themed group exhibition
Every child who attended a Santa Fe elementary school made some picture or papier-mâché version of the infamous Zozobra during their academic career. And then, if they were anything like me and my friends, they proceeded to burn at least one of these homemade depictions.
Zozobra, an often-misunderstood tradition, is as much a part of our culture as are green chile roasting and farolitos during Christmastime. For unfamiliar Burqueños or visitors to the state, Zozobra is a 50-foot-tall puppet, deemed “Old Man Gloom,” into which we cast all our troubles every autumn and watch them burn away.
However, as much as Santa Feans appreciate the tradition, very few dream of the day when Zozobra would become a thread in their lives' work. Santa Fe artist Robb Rael is an exception.
Rael organized a group show featuring satirical depictions of Zozobra. The exhibit’s opening reception happens on Sept. 6 from 5 to 8pm, and the show will run through Sept. 15. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Rael's paintings will be shown alongside the work of at least 10 other artists at his business, Get Framed Inc.
Rael’s work has long included this cultural icon. In fact, one of his designs was chosen as the official Zozobra poster in 2009. In general, his paintings tend to contain various New Mexican cultural elements and icons coupled with use of psychedelic colors and patterns. Staring at his bright, fun displays, viewers are challenged to reflect on the meanings behind them.
Though Rael has worked cooperatively with the Kiwanas Club, which hosts the burning of Zozobra, this show is independent of the annual event. While Kiwanas does display depictions of Old Man Gloom, the organization takes care to ensure that he’s not presented in religious or political contexts that may be deemed offensive. On the other hand, Rael sometimes creates to shock people, as he told the Journal.
The show, titled GLÜM – Madder Than the Old Man, will be full of color, culture and wit. Check it out at Get Framed, in the Design Center (418 Cerrillos, Suite 3, Santa Fe).
Join or Be Exterminated: Whovians find home on campus
Where can you find the UNM fight song translated into the language of Gallifrey? Try UNM's newest fan club, UNM Whovians.
The new “Doctor Who” fan club debuted at UNM's Welcome Back Days last week, in time for the popular British sci-fi show's 50th anniversary in November. Which means we now have a quantitative measure for exactly how far behind New Mexico is compared to the rest of the planet.
The television program currently features Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara, his mysterious companion. The Doctor, a Time Lord who spends his days traveling through time and space, saving the universe from certain doom, is the star of the phenomenon. On and off the air in the UK since 1963, the show returned to public consciousness in 2005 with its new series. It began gaining popularity in the US around 2010 and Americans have been dressing up as bow-tie wearing aliens ever since.
The UNM fan group was formed and is headed by Ben Ginsburg, a sophomore majoring in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media. On the UNM Whovians Facebook page, Ginsburg describes his inspiration to form the club:
"I am a pretty shy and awkward guy unless conversations are brought to me rather than me starting them. But after wearing my TARDIS hat around campus 2 days, I get so many people coming up to me telling me they love my hat and sometimes [we] get into some hardcore [Doctor Who] discussions. Conclusion = Whovians are the most awesome people on campus."
The group's Facebook page also contains information about club events, student fan art and tons of opinions about newly cast Peter Capaldi.
American Whovians tend to be a sprightly, enthusiastic group, often excited to meet others whom they have traveled with through time and space all these years. As a proud Whovian-Lobo, I believe this club has the potential to unite a whole group of great friends who've yet to meet one another. Ginsburg likewise hopes that the club will bring together Who fans who otherwise “have no common ground.”
Keep an eye on the group’s Facebook page for upcoming events.
Come Over, Karl: Andrew Wyeth’s painting to be housed at Albuquerque Museum
In our Instagram world, it is rare to come across a piece of art which clearly and deliberately took many painstaking hours to create, but Albuquerque is privileged to exhibit such a work for the next five years. Andrew Wyeth's “Karl,” an egg tempura painting lent by a private curator, is now on display at the Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain NW).
Wyeth is one of the most popular US painters of the last century, known for his dark, somber themes and intricately detailed work. “Karl,” the portrait of a German immigrant farmer, follows suit. The painting causes the audience's eyes to focus on every last color and wrinkle in this man's face, while necessarily noting the dramatic meat hooks on the ceiling. The piece moves audiences to an appreciation of its eeriness and depth.
The portrait is displayed between notable work “A Shower in a Dry Year,” by Peter Hurd, Wyeth's brother-in-law, and the work of Wyeth's sister, Henriette Wyeth. This classic representation of American art can be viewed at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History located on 19th Street and Mountain NW in Old Town.