The Daily Word in the Downfall of the US, Fighting at Children's Basketball Games and RuPaul's Drag Race
Let's talk about RuPaul's Drag Race's (low-key) transphobic history.
A message from the future: No more staggered time-delays during the Olympics in the US.
Teaching kids good sportsmanship by getting into a fist fight after yelling rude comments to children is why we can't have nice things.
Are we past the point of protecting the US from its downfall?
A brief look into everyone who's involved in the Trump-Russian Scandal.
As the UK withdraws from the EU, Scotland is making moves to exit, as well.
Now that the Clean Power Plan has been reversed, will the US still be able to achieve the goals set at the Paris Agreement? In short: Hell no.
Winter Beer for My Winter Bod
Friday, Jan 13: Sixth Annual WinterBrew Festival
Santa Fe is alright
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle … Art
Friday, Dec 2: Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival
Featuring Richard Levy Gallery
To celebrate our 25th year properly here at the Weekly Alibi, we're conducting a series of interviews with local businesses and institutions that we've grown with and that have contributed to the growth of our wonderful city.
For our first interview, Calendars Editor Megan Reneau met up with Richard Levy and Vivette Hunt of the renowned contemporary Richard Levy Gallery located at 514 Central SWto ask them a few questions about their 25 years Downtown, the community, art and how it all intersects.
Alibi: What brought you to Albuquerque?
Richard: I went to school in San Francisco for a couple years and then transferred to UNM. I took a couple years worth of English and then decided to switch to art because I grew up in a house with parents who are collectors, so it was a natural transition for me.
That led to becoming a photographer. And I hook rugs … it's a very Northeastern, little old lady sport. It takes me about a year to make a rug. After UNM I opened an antique store … by the Guild. I was attracted to the idea—to graphics of different kinds—so I sold antique photographs, I used to buy old Vogue magazines from the '20s when they were silk screened and made in Paris. By the end of that store, I was selling silk screens and sort of limited edition posters by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, you know, all the classics ...
Vivette: Richard's good at finding things.
Richard: Anything. I can find a source for anything. So in the antique business and in this business, it's a good skill to have.
Alibi: How has Downtown changed in the last 25 years?
Richard Levy: I was going to buy the building and not remodel it but someone else was bidding on the building, as well—my home contractor. He just happened to be working on our house at the same time as all this was going on. I called him and told him I was buying this building and there was silence at the other end. His wife suggested that we buy it together and add a second story.
Alibi: So it's changed a lot.
Richard: Yeah. At the time [JC] Penny's was Downtown but they were leaving.
This was an architecture firm [in the building RLG occupies] and they were just leaving, as well, I mean—mostly people were leaving Downtown then—so I saw that as an opportunity to buy a building at the right moment. I intended to start as a print gallery by appointment only.
Vivette: And that came out of Richard being a publisher.
Richard: I was familiar with what Tamarind was publishing. I knew some other publishers in San Francisco—I knew I could buy their prints and resell them. There was huge demand in those days. People would publish print editions and they would be sold out in a minute. So I started that way, just buying prints and reselling them in very short order.
Alibi: What's your process for collecting the art that will be featured?
Vivette: We're constantly feeling for visual information. If we like something or if we see how it would maybe fit into a project—for example, our next exhibition is snow flakes, it's going to be called “Let it Snow.” We'll fill the gallery with snowflake imagery, so knowing that that's happening, we start scanning. And, you know, Richard's been doing his internet sleuthing [laughs], so it happens in different ways. We have projects in mind, sort of peripherally on our radar, maybe a year or two out once we encounter different types of art. This exhibition is not a great example because this is a celebration of 25 years and celebrating 25 years, you bring a lot of information together.
Richard: Yeah, this exhibition isn’t an example because this is all over the place. What we do is very curated.
Alibi: How does the theme of this relate to the charity We Are This City that you guys are working with?
Vivette: We really wanted to make this exhibition feel more like a community celebration because it’s about the gallery being Downtown for 25 years, so it was important for us to include the artists that we represent today. Our program is a mix of things that Richard finds that we resale blended with artists that we actually work with and consign our art from, so we are career building but we are also making secondary sales.
This show does also reflect that balance in our program. When we go to an art fair, generally a booth presentation will include secondary market and artists that we’re directly working with so we bring them together. We wanted that balance to be reflected in the exhibition well. And Richard is a collector, so we sort of wanted to put a little bit of that aspect of his personality in—the baseballs, that’s a collection of his, so it’s sort of bringing different components that all sort of fit with it being a community celebration.
We’d been looking for the right partner—Richard and I have been talking about this for a while—we finalized that partnership in May or June. We Are This City was interesting to us because of their arts and cultural overlap, but it’s very different: It's very millennial-based. It seemed like a good fit for us, bringing our two networks together.
Alibi: Has changing media impacted your business?
Richard: Oh totally. When I first started—I mean, there were computers—but everything was very old fashioned. To get things printed, you had to go to the print shop and they would have to have things photographed—you didn’t bring them files. Nobody did anything over the internet because most people barely had AOL.
Vivette: When I got here in 2000—even at that time—we'd get a piece of art in, we’d have to load it up in the truck and take it to the photographer and the photographer would photograph it, we would get slides then get the slides digitized... But even at that time, a very small percentage of our collectors were actually looking at art online even though that was for putting it on the website. We weren’t really sending a lot of images. Now most of our sales are online.
Richard: That didn’t happen till a couple years ago.
Vivette: Yeah, that’s a trend that’s really solidified in the last five years.
Richard: But we still go to a lot of fairs. We show up with a bunch of crates and we fill a 20x24-foot space in New York or wherever, Dallas, Seattle or Miami—they’re all destination cities at the right time of year. And we see 10,000, 15-, 20-, 25,000 people at those.
Alibi: That’s a lot.
Richard: Those are people who are committed to art in some way. People still need people to look at the artwork and see what the painting’s like. You can’t really understand paintings online, the brush strokes, you know it's...
Alibi: Yeah, it’s a completely different thing seeing it in person. But it sounds like changing media has impacted your business a lot, has that change affected the art that you've received or that you’re interested in?
Richard: It’s certainly changed photography. It’s much easier to print out photographs and everything photography became digital, but as far as painting and prints, prints have changed too because it’s—
Vivette: Open to the digital world. Some painters that use technology to expand their toolset, like Beau Carey is a very traditional painter but, that being said, when I see this landscape painting here on the wall (Mt. Analogue, 2016), I can’t help but think it’s somehow influenced by looking at digital information.
Richard: But that’s just the collective unconscious. That's everybody being online and looking at stuff. But when it comes down to painting, you still have to paint.
Vivette: Yeah, you still have to pick up the brush. It's just the way you're conceptually connecting the dots. On the other side, we have a painter that we represent that has modified a CNC router which is driven by software. They generally cut special shapes but he modified it and put a robotic arm so it does an individual paint drop application and he writes the software to tell it what to do. So I mean, he's painting but he's not picking up a brush ... it's definitely a creative process.
Alibi: Why is the art scene so different from Santa Fe?
Vivette: Albuquerque is a much more affordable place to live and allows a creative community of many, many different income brackets to be established here. Santa Fe is a little priced out and not accessible to such a diverse group of people.
Richard: The Santa Fe market really started with the more traditional New Mexican, classic kind of images that were more expensive and a little more traditional—
Vivette: And a little more conservative. There’s more room for experimentation here with the universities pushing intellectual, conceptual and—again—economic boundaries. If you're not under the gun to pay huge overhead on your studio space, you can afford to take a few more risks. It allows room to be more experimental.
Alibi: Has the Alibi influenced the art scene in Albuquerque?
Vivette: Yeah, it’s helped get people to events.
Richard: Yeah, and when they started and when we started, we used to do art walks. The city arts organization did that. The city was divided into three or four sectors so the Northeast Heights had one and Downtown and the University area together had one and the Valley had one. I think that was it. And we used to do them regularly. Everybody in the area would be open on a certain day, and we would take out ads together and that was in the calendar section and that’s how people knew about that stuff.
Monsters from the Multiverse
Friday, Oct 7: House of Halloween
I Wish I Was the Tune Tonight
Saturday, Sep 17: Neko Case
Meow Wolf: Where Only The Absurd Exists
Go ahead, lose your mind
My journey into an unreasonable world began gradually, transitioning from a seemingly normal, domestic home into increasingly peculiar surroundings. I walked inside of a house, or maybe warped through a space tunnel. I'm still not sure. It was dark, but unlike nighttime; time wasn't a factor. Instead, everything—including the impossible—simply existed. Creaky stairs led me to a small study, a bathroom and two bedrooms. I walked slowly, picking up on an eerie sensation from the desaturated and somber-looking family photos that hung on nearly every wall. Even the photos that contained smiling faces looked inherently sad. Something strange clearly happened here ...
Inside the master bedroom was a computer with a talking head, spewing information about “the power of positive mechanics.” I didn't stay in this room very long. The closet beckoned with a blue glowing light and I entered, turned left and disappeared down a dark corridor into another dimension. Ambient sounds came from a room beyond where a man sat at a piano pressing keys that didn't exude melodic chords, rather, monstrous sounds and spooky vibrations. I got chills.
Inside was indistinguishable from outside at first. Each place was equally inconceivable and they blurred together. Nothing was linear and everything was open to interpretation.
Downstairs, I opened a refrigerator, walked inside of it and through a brightly lit hallway that led to a tunnel. I ended up in a corridor with neon-colored coral wriggling up from the ground and giant fish floating four feet above my head.
Then: on the other side of thick, plastic streamers I stepped inside a dark, foggy room with red laser beams traveling vertically from a rocky formation to the ceiling. I reached out to touch them, plucking different notes with each different beam.
I peered over a railing and looked down into a glowing pink cavernous room with white, cave-like walls, stalactites and stalagmites. How did I get there? … Much later, I crawled through a fireplace and found myself in the pink cave room. Giant ribs floated above my head and I played them with a bone like a xylophone.
Up in the treetops, I crawled into a room with a tiny opening and took a seat on a pillow made of grass. Dragon eyes stared at me from the other side of the concave wall, with dark, silvery pupils and multicolored irises.
Because neither time nor space seemed to function normally, I don't know how long I stayed exploring or how far I wandered in what could have been circles. When I left, I had the urge to open any door, peer inside any window pane and explore anything unknown. I felt a profound curiosity and interest in everything I didn't understand. I was transfixed by a desire to explore, uncover and discover. Thanks to this timeless jumble of enigmatic spaces and objects and bizarre sensory illusions, the whole world became a playground.
ABQ Trolley Co. to Launch Tour Excursions
Trolley trips include transportation to Sandia Peak
Albuquerque, NM (July 26, 2016) – For the first time ever, New Mexico visitors (and locals) can enjoy full tour packages designed and hosted by locally-owned and operated company: Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory (AT&SF). Starting August 9th, ABQ Trolley Co., a division of AT&SF, is offering half-day, full-day, and multi-day tour packages. Provided year-round on AT&SF's newest vehicle, ABQ Trolley X , excursions immerse patrons in local art, culture, nature, and history.
"There's not another company in Albuquerque or New Mexico that does half-, full-, and multi-day tours for leisure tourists," says AT&SF co-founder Jesse Herron. "Typically, people have to sign up with a large group tour from an outside company."
"We're two local guys, helping people experience our destination in the most unique and enriching way possible – a ‘small-batch' craft tour with a private guide for VIP service," adds other co-founder Mike Silva.
NM Xcursions, as the tours will be known, begin August 9, and take place Tuesday-Friday. Full schedule details at www.abqtrolley.com. More excursions are in the works and will be unveiled soon. Multi-Day tour packages will begin this fall.
NM Xcursion #1 — Kicks on Route 66
This is a full-day outing that celebrates the Mother Road like only Albuquerque can. Not only does our city have one of the best-preserved sections of this highway, we have two of them. Sixteen miles of the legendary road pass through Albuquerque, with neon signs buzzing overhead and nostalgic restaurants, shops and attractions along the way. This excursion includes history, interactive demonstrations, visits to AT&SF All-Star shops, and lunch at a local diner. It also includes a drive on the musical highway, a new attraction many locals have yet to discover. All museum fees, lunch, snacks and water are included.
NM Xcursion #2 —- TRAMsporter
This summer also marks the 50th anniversary of the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. In all of those years, there has never been affordable transportation from Old Town to this popular attraction. AT&SF is making history by offering an evening excursion directly from Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town to the Tram. The TRAMsporter will enable patrons to experience the stunning sunset views and mountain vistas of the Sandias at the most beautiful time of day. It is perfect for visitors and locals who want a fun, unique evening or a great date night. Ticket includes round trip TRAMsportation to the base of the mountain where patrons will experience the Sandia Peak Tramway (Tram tickets are not included), restaurants and nature trails at their leisure.
"There's definitely been a huge need for a service to the Tram since it opened in 1966," says AT&SF co-founder Mike Silva.
"Sandia Peak receives numerous requests seeking transportation options. We are pleased that ABQ Trolley Co. has taken the initiative to provide this alternate service to visitors," says Debi Owen, Director of Communications at Sandia Peak.
NM Xcursion #3 — Not Your Father's Santa Fe
AT&SF is partnering with revolutionary arts production company, Meow Wolf, to invite guests to step outside of the adobe box in Santa Fe. This full-day excursion follows the Turquoise Trail from Hotel Albuquerque to Santa Fe for a fully immersive and unique tour. The final destination is Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return for an other-worldly experience described as "surreal" and "mind-blowing." Other highlights include unusual art collections, a ghost town brought back from the dead and lunch at Duel Brewing. This is the perfect tour for visitors who want more from Santa Fe than traditional arts, museums and historic sites.
"Not only are we proud to work with Meow Wolf to showcase the hip, active and exciting part of Santa Fe, we are also looking forward to offering this much-requested tour service between our two cities," says Silva. Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory (AT&SF) is the parent company of ABQ Trolley Co., Duke City Pedaler, Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk, Albu-Quirky, and Mother Road Bike Taxi. ABQ Trolley Co. was founded by Jesse Herron and Mike Silva in 2009 and expanded to AT&SF in 2015. Additional information can be found on www.atsfworks.com
AT&SF is proud to have recently been inducted into TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame, and has now received their esteemed Certificate of Excellence for six years in a row.
*For media inquiries, please contact Kristi D. Lawrence with StarFire PR & Marketing at email@example.com or call (505) 720-7403 .
What's On Your Bucket List?
N.M. Authors Celebrate "Bucket of Fun"
New Mexico authors Barbe Awalt, Loretta Hall and Patricia C. Hodapp are celebrating the release of their Bucket List books with a "Bucket of Fun" event at 3pm on Sunday, July 17, at Page One Books. Awalt's latest is The Ultimate Green Chile Cheeseburger Bucket List, Hall has The Complete Space Buff's Bucket List, and Patricia C. Hodapp's effort is The Complete Santa Fe Bucket List.
Awalt's Green Chile Cheeseburger is described as such: "The Complete Green Chile Cheeseburger Bucket List is the sixth book in the series of Bucket List books from Rio Grande Books. New Mexico didn't invent the cheeseburger, but it did invent the green chile cheeseburger and is famous for it. When you visit New Mexico you need to eat a green chile cheeseburger. The book documents green chile cheeseburgers all over New Mexico with the epicenters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. There are even green chile pizza, lamb cheeseburgers, vegetarian, make your own, and with every kind of topping known to man."
Hall's Space Buff is teased as such: "The Complete Space Buff's Bucket List talks about, of course, the usual things like great museums, planetariums, astronauts, space suits, rockets, planets, and stars. But it also has duct tape, Tang, Cosmos, movies, space burial, Astronaut Ice Cream, Biosphere, aliens and the Meteorite Crater. Each Bucket List book is dedicated to an appropriate non-profit and this book highlights The National Space Society. If you have things on your bucket list that are not in this book, no fear, because there is a blank list in the back of the book. This book is a fun and light space book that will appeal to astronauts everywhere."
And Hodapp's Santa Fe list is thus described: "The Complete Santa Fe Bucket List Book is the fifth in the series of Bucket List books by Rio Grande Books. Patricia C. Hodapp, Director of the Santa Fe Library, lists all of the Santa Fe events, places, and distinctive fun that makes The City Different is one of the greatest tourist locations in the US. There are 100 things that she thinks are noteworthy including: green and red chile, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, sunsets, blue skies, art of Hispanics, Native Americans and Anglos, museums, Canyon Road and the Plaza."
Awalt has hung and curated countless art exhibits including nine venues for the Our Saints Among Us travelling exhibit. She is also the co-publisher of Tradicion Revista, the only regular magazine featuring the Hispanic arts and culture of the Southwest. She lives in Albuquerque.
Hall, formerly a high school math teacher, started a new career as a freelance writer in 1990. She has written magazine articles on many topics, including travel, business and construction. She has also written reference book chapters on such topics as Native American tribes, biographies of scientists and mathematicians, and how various products are made. In 2009, when plans for Spaceport America, the country's first purpose-built commercial spaceflight facility, began moving forward, she was fascinated to discover the important role New Mexico has played in the development of space travel. She decided to herald that unheralded history by writing Out of this World: New Mexico's Contributions to Space Travel, the only book to document the historic events in the state and the personal stories of the people who accomplished them. She also created a website, NMSpaceHistory.com, to supplement the book with news items and additional insights. Out of this World was named Best New Mexico Book in the 2011 New Mexico Book Awards. She is a member of the National Space Society, the Society for the History of Technology, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Historical Society of New Mexico's Speakers Bureau. She and her husband, Jerry, live in Albuquerque."
Hodapp is the director of the Santa Fe Library, and lives in the City Different. Hodapp started her book with questions that she has been asked in the library and on the street. She enjoys encountering visitors with the simple question, “Where are you heading?”