When Sunday, Jan. 5, arrives, you might be exhausted from your year-end festivities. Maybe you’ll be tempted to throw yourself wearily on your couch and wish Monday morning would never come. Resist that urge. Instead, don your dancin’ duds and head Downtown to Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW), where Lance Ryan McGoldrick opens his newest art show with a reception from 6 to 10pm. McGoldrick is a multi-genre artist who’s already made waves as the originator of the now-defunct (but fondly remembered) fashion line 2DayCircus Ltd. Co. And in his current day job as a display artist at Urban Outfitters, he's responsible for all the in-store installation art. His work often merges organic textures with stylized two-dimensional whimsy for an optic eureka that’s both lovely and playful. With A Buffalo and a Swan: A Love Story, McGoldrick promises all-new pieces that combine his affinity for illustration with found object assemblage, his drawn creatures emerging from leather on canvases of aged wood. On top of great visuals, winsome folk-family Cactus Tractor and the ever-luminous Jenny Wren provide the tuneage, and you know Blackbird serves up brews and burgers like nobody’s business. So ignore the allure of the post-holiday sofa, and get into these goodly goings-on.
When I was a kid, my parents brought me back a souvenir from their vacation in Mexico—a stiff velvet sombrero bristling with sequins and gold braids. It was awesome. What I’m saying is: I’ve seen some fancy hats in my day. But until now I didn’t know just what mine was aiming to imitate in its own tacky, tourist-baity way. Charros and charras are specialized horsemen and women of Mexico; the sarapes, Adelita dresses, saddles and other 150 objects of Arte en la Charrería: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture feel familiar because we’ve seen them (or something kinda vaguely like them) all our lives in movies and ads. The real deal turns out to be rather extraordinary, though, and a true insight into Mexican folk traditions. These are round-brimmed sombreros whose soft felt surfaces are veined with intricately embroidered roses, fronds and snaking geometric motifs; spurs worked in iron and inlaid with silver so they glint with subtle textures; silver buttons running from hip to ankle and encircled with abstract suede appliqué. Now at the Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain NW), the exhibit runs through March 28. The free opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 2 to 5pm includes a 2:30pm lecture on charrería and 3:30pm presentation on the legend of China Poblana. More info’s at 243-7255 or bit.ly/1emKHqH.
The Axle Contemporary van as it appeared after a 2012 E Pluribus Unum event in Santa Fe
courtesy of Axle Contemporary
There’s a lot of us, and no doubt we’re all precious snowflakes. But we form, by definition, one humanity. E Pluribus Unum is the Latin phrase adorning our cash—“Out of many, one”—and surely, if there were ever an arcane slogan that could inspire multiple, maybe even conflicting, definitions, this is it. But then if you take all those interpretations and lay them side by side, doesn’t that totality become its own new and larger meaning? Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel seem to think so. The Axle Contemporary founders are bringing their mobile gallery/studio to Albuquerque Jan. 6 through 12 for a project appropriately dubbed E Pluribus Unum (One From Many): Albuquerque that attempts to collect and assemble our city’s many voices into a unified whole—and they literally cannot do it without you. Grab an object of significance to you and bring it to one of the studio’s scheduled stops, including Gold Street Caffé, OFFCenter, The Grove Café & Market and several others (see axleart.com for the complete schedule). Once there, your portrait will be taken and two copies printed on the spot, one for you and the other to be glued onto the van. Through technological sorcery, all the photos will be synthesized into a meta-image and ultimately included in a book. The van’s first stop is La Montañita Co-op in Nob Hill (3500 Central NE) on Monday, Jan. 6, 9am to 5pm. Come and be a part of everyone.
Albuquerque and the dance world suffered a tragic blow on Dec. 18 when a blaze ravaged the National Institute of Flamenco’s 80-year-old building at 214 Gold SW. The conflagration likely started in the studio, according to news reports, though an investigation into why and how is ongoing. Thank heavens no one was hurt, but holy fuck, the NIF lost nearly everything that’s gone into and come out of their storied world-class program since it was founded in 1982—costumes, computers, photographs and more. The one nice thing to see in the midst of all the sadness and suckiness is the ardent support, both citywide and across the globe, awakened by the catastrophe. The NIF folks have set up a National Institute of Flamenco Community Page on Facebook to collect reminiscences, photos and videos, so stop by and share your memories. Folks who’d like to donate time, money, space or even just send a message of support can find a form to do so at nifnm.org. And keep your ear to the ground—plans are in the works for a specific fundraising goal and a new permanent facility.