Culture Shock: Uranium Mine Uncovered With Art

Marisa Demarco
3 min read
The Tan Can
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The Tan Can—A small, white room in Barelas has been host to some of the most intriguing art in Albuquerque over the last months, including USEA (the Underground Symposium of Electronic Arts, a counterpoint to ISEA) and one of my personal favorites, Living Hand to Mouth, which highlighted totally functional art. For that one, Jessica Kostelnick created "Pee-wee’s Playhouse"-style living quarters in the gallery, including usable ceramic art dishes and anthropomorphic furniture.

The Tan is also reprising for the third time its Fun-A-Day project in which people come up with a concept and produce one piece of work each day for the month of January. The culmination of this daily practice goes up in an unjuried show in the gallery in February. Last year’s iteration brought together the pragmatic and the abstract in a variety of media, and inspired locals to create raw, spontaneous beauty. For more on how to participate, go to the Facebook event at

The Tan’s next show is a group light installation that examines positive and negative space. Candles, lightboxes, luminarias and sculptures will mark the shift to winter. Stop by
The Tan (1415 Fourth Street SW) on Friday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. to see works by David Cudney, Emily McMaster and Lance Ryan McGoldrick.

Dust in the Wind—Sara Schultz’ exhibit collects the stories of New Mexicans who live between the world’s largest open-pit uranium mine and a massive mound of toxic silt. Both are uncovered, and their contents get picked up by the unrelenting winds of the desert. Ambient radon levels in the area were judged to be dangerous by the EPA. Schultz took photos around the towns and tribal lands flanked on either side by these hazardous sites. Many of her subjects have been diagnosed with cancer. See her work at or head down to the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE) for her full, multimedia essay. The show will be up through Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Show of Generosity—In the spirit of giving, New Grounds is hosting a benefit through Thursday, Dec. 20. The exhibition includes limited prints that are available for sale, and a portion of the proceeds go to Roadrunner Food Bank, The Children’s Grief Center, Animal Humane, Albuquerque Academy, Think New Mexico and Healthcare for the Homeless. A reception will be held on Friday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. The completely nontoxic print workshop is at 3812 Central SE in Nob Hill.
The Tan Can

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