The big news this week is that the Indian Market will unveil its 82nd annual bonanza of American Indian art. This Saturday, August 23, and Sunday, August 24, 1,200 artists from approximately 100 tribes will descend on the plaza in Santa Fe to sell their wares to collectors and gallery owners from all over the planet. Around 100,000 buyers and browsers will be swarming around 600 booths to inspect the high quality indigenous art for sale. Each year, artists are carefully screened by the organizing committee so that only the very best art is sold. For details, call (505) 983-5220 or log onto www.swaia.org.
Albuquerque Contemporary at the Albuquerque Museum
Every year Magnífico puts together a broad juried sampling of work from artists living in and around Albuquerque. Every year the show is a jumbled, chaotic mess. Yet for whatever reason, every year it's also enjoyable.
Now in its 14th year, Albuquerque Contemporary 2003 presents work from 42 different local artists. In terms of styles, media and themes, the show is all over the map. Historically, that's often been the exhibit's greatest strength, and this year is no different.
Cynthia Barber's "Press Box"—incorporating a papier-mâché mask surrounded by dollar bills, the mouth stuffed with shredded newsprint—is a little too clever for serious political commentary, as is John Gannett's "Comforter," a giant blanket of shredded magazines.
Dramatic Universal Movement (D.U.M.) is a troupe of local playwrights, actors and musicians who will be putting on a fresh, politicized evening of sketch comedy at the Vortex starting this weekend. I'm told the evening will be filled with subliminable messages about the current screwed-up state of our nation. I'm also told the performance will be distinctly bipartisan. Everyone's getting skewered in this one. If you're looking for something a wee bit different, George W. D.U.M . runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 6 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 247-8600.
Calling all geeks! Calling all geeks! This is ground control. Bubonicon 35, New Mexico's annual science fiction convention, is closing in fast on the starboard side of your star cruiser. The convention will take place Friday, August 22, through Sunday, August 24, at the Howard Johnson East (just off I-40 and Eubank behind the Owl Café). Set phasers on stun. This should be a lively one. A total of 38 authors and artists, along with a real live scientist and a local filmmaker, will be on hand to make this 35th annual installment the best ever. Novelist Charles de Lint is this year's guest of honor. For complete details, use your 10-digit telephonic unit to beam an electronic voice message to Solar Admiral Craig at 266-8905.
Tricklock Performance Space
Since 1996, lots of hip local freaks have been turning up at the Tricklock Performance Space for the late night variety show, The Reptilian Lounge. The lounge is opening for another six-week run starting this Saturday, August 23, running each Saturday through Sept. 20. From cactus musicians to circus stunts to comedy to poetry to belly dancing, snake charmers and more, The Reptilian Lounge has something for just about everybody. Scrounge together $5.77 so you can throw change at the famous Target Girl to show appreciation for your favorite act. The show kicks off at 10:30 p.m. 254-8393.
Back in the 15th century, a form of poetry called renga came into vogue in Japan. In renga, several different poets would add sequential verses until the poem was complete. In the following century, this medieval form inspired haikai, a poetic form that parodied renga by incorporating word play and humor.
Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Lensic
Paul Taylor doesn't believe in dance as we know it. The world-famous modern dance choreographer is known for refusing to define his dances or limit them to specific movement. So when his Paul Taylor Dance Company, now in its 48th year, appeared last Sunday at the Lensic Center in Santa Fe, all bets were off.
Greg Tucker's illustrations—which have appeared everywhere from the Utne Reader to Psychology Today to the Dallas Morning News—have a glossy, streamlined feel that makes them ideal for high quality commercial publications. At the same time, Tucker's work can be extremely provocative. Examples of Tucker's more devilish side will be found in spades in his new exhibit, The Devil Made Me Do It, opening Friday, August 15, at Exhibit/208 with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. The show will run through August 31. 266-4292.
The Harwood Museum of Art up in Taos is currently presenting a major exhibit incorporating 49 prints created by the great American artist Jasper Johns. The bulk of prints are from the '60s and '70s when Johns was in his most productive print-making period. The show also includes some rarer examples of prints from the '80s through 2001 when Johns focused primarily on painting. It's worth the trip up north to see this broad exhibit of prints by one of the most celebrated American artists of the 20th century. (505) 758-9826.
Astronauts say the best thing about traveling in space is that it allows them to look back at our big, blue, beautiful Earth. An exhibit currently on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science features a spectacular series of high resolution Landsat satellite images of our planet. From the swamps of the Florida Everglades to the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro to the dunes of Australia's Great Sandy Desert, these images will remind you how lucky we are to live on Earth. (Try ordering a gin and tonic on Mars.) The exhibit runs through Oct. 31. 841-5955.
Madame Mao at the Santa Fe Opera
If creating a sympathetic portrait of a tyrant is difficult, creating one of a tyrant who's personally caused you and your country enormous misery would seem almost impossible. Yet that's exactly what composer Bright Sheng has accomplished with his new opera Madame Mao, which recently had its world premiere at the Santa Fe Opera (SFO).
Dagoberto Gilb's Gritos
David E. Stuart apparently wrote most of The Guaymas Chronicles—his funny, graceful memoir about some time he spent in Mexico—while loitering at the Flying Star Café on Central. Although I haven't seen a copy yet, a reliable source at Bookworks tells me this book, published by UNM Press, will ice almost anyone's cake. At the signing, Orange Crush will be served (because Stuart drinks it throughout the book) along with tasty treats concocted by Flying Star. I've also been told that Stuart is an excellent reader so this should be an enjoyable signing. He'll be at Bookworks on Monday, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m. 344-8139.
I will not lie to you. Don Quixote is my hero. I can't tell you how bummed I am that Terry Gilliam's film version of Cervantes' masterpiece tanked under a tsunami of bad luck. It doesn't matter too much, though. The movie will never be able to compete with the book. Lovers of the old man of La Mancha should swing by the Special Collections Library sometime between now and Sept. 20 for an exhibit featuring editions of Don Quixote printed from 1680 through the present, including visuals of the errant knight created by a host of talented illustrators. 848-1376.
Mark Kurlansky's recent book, Salt: A World History, made a lot of people realize that this innocuous, edible rock that we humans love to sprinkle on just about everything we stick in our mouths is intimately tied to almost every aspect of human history. In Pure: Grains of Salt artist Haninga Thiel takes a more creative stance. Yet like Kurlansky's book, Thiel's conceptual installation, which has been showing for a couple weeks at [AC]2, explores and illuminates the many surprising facets of this ordinary, extraordinary household product. The exhibit will be up through Aug. 17. 842-8016.
Michael Peters and his wife Karen look like they've got a pretty groovy show going on at Art is OK. Michael offers some odd twists on commercial imagery. Karen presents some really bizarre sculptural constructions as well. Their exhibit, Push ... Pull!, opens this Friday, Aug. 8, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Stop by and give it a gander. 883-7368.