KUNM

Spencer Beckwith

Producer

Spencer Beckwith produces arts and culture pieces for KUNM.

Ways to Connect

Photo by Artotems Co.

The kids of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony will be given unique access this month to some distinquished professional musicians.  The Harlem Quartet, currently in residence at London's Royal College of Music, will lead a week-long series of workshops for the young musicians along with Cuban composer and pianist Aldo López-Gavilán.  The week culminates on March 3 in a collaborative concert in Santa Fe, a benefit for the Youth Symphony Association.

Subhankar Banerjee

Tucked into the tax bill that Congress passed in December was a provision authorizing oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  This is a move that UNM Professor Subhankar Banerjee has been working for years to prevent, through lectures, articles and most importantly his photographs of the region's unspoiled beauty.  He has organized a symposium on Arctic Alaska, the last oil, February 21-23 at UNM.  It is free and open to the public.

https://newmexicoartleague.wildapricot.org/

In 1929, students and faculty at the University of New Mexico established a separate school in Albuquerque where students of all ages and skill levels could study and appreciate the fine arts.  Ninety years later, the New Mexico Art League is one of the oldest organizations in the United States offering serious arts training to the community.  It also sponsors exhibitions for New Mexico artists, and the current exhibit, Biologique, runs through February 24.

https://www.hectorarmienta.com

He has said that he exists in, and in between, two worlds -- that he is neither Mexican nor American, but rather Mexican-American.  Composer Héctor Armienta explores these bi-cultural roots in his music.  In 2015, he received permission to adapt Rudolfo Anaya's beloved novel of the Mexican-American experience, Bless Me, Ultima.  The opera premieres this month in Albuquerque, a co-production of the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Opera Southwest.

Kaethe Richter

Just before Christmas, a special vocal ensemble made its debut at the annual Festival of the Trees in Albuquerque, a fundraiser for the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation.  Comprised of individuals recovering from brain injury, alongside family members and supporters, the Neuro Choir was organized by Jessica Richardson, Assistant Professor in UNM's Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences

https://www.movingartsespanola.org/

For ten years now, kids in the Española Valley have been traveling after school up to fifty miles roundtrip for the opportunity to study dance, drama, music and visual arts.  The non-profit Moving Arts Española offers classes to kids ages 3 to 18.  Two years ago, the school took over its neighbor, the former Ohkay Owingeh Casino, to create a 6,000 sq. ft. performing arts space.

http://www.musicatstjohns.org/

The format calls for eight consecutive hours of live music, with audience members invited to come and go as they please.  Starting at noon on January 13, dozens of local musicians will gather at Albuquerque's St. John's United Methodist Church to raise money for Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless.  Classical musicians, jazz ensembles, singer-songwriters, choirs, and solo performers will take part in the Midwinter Music Marathon.

http://www.joelnakamura.com/

The story takes place "on a night of a million stars and a million dreams."  A young boy falls asleep, then illustrator and author Joel Nakamura takes him on a journey of shifting identities, landscapes and experiences.  I Dreamed I Was A Dog is Nakamura's follow-up to Go West, his award-winning children's book from 2015.  I Dreamed I Was A Dog is available at bookstores from the local Leaf Storm Press.

https://stephenpaulus.com/

American music lost an important voice in 2014.  Stephen Paulus, internationally-known for his choral compositions and operas, passed away at 65.  One of his last major works was an opera for families based on a story by New Mexico writer Peggy Pond Church.  Shoes for the Santo Niño was originally presented in 2011 by the University of New Mexico, which commissioned it, in conjunction with the Santa Fe Opera.  The Opera brings it back this month for holiday performances.

http://storytellersandwriters.org/

Fifth graders in Santa Fe will perform for the community this month in a program of "tall tales" that they themselves have conceived and written.  The dual-language performance, on November 29 and 30 at Teatro Paraguas, is part of an after-school program called Storytellers & Writers, which works with kids in New Mexico who need extra help reading, writing and speaking English.

https://signalgarden.com/atom-visualizer/

Last summer, during an internship with a Silicon Valley-based startup, a University of New Mexico undergrad developed an app that allows users to visualize atoms in 3D using their smartphones.  "AR Atom Visualizer" is also the first app to use Google’s new augmented reality technology, ARCore.  The app is available for download on Google Play from the startup, Signal Garden.

www.indianpueblo.org/

The great issue facing the film industry these days is inclusion.  How to increase the involvement in the industry of underrepresented communities:  African-Americans, women, Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans.  The question of inclusion is also central to Albuquerque's Pueblo Film Fest.  The fourth annual event takes place November 17-19 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

Since last spring, Santa Fe Community College has had access to a stockpile of decommissioned firearms.  Using the college's forging and welding facilities, students and faculty in the Art Department have transformed these metal parts into sculpture and jewelry, works of art that will be displayed this month and then auctioned off to benefit New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence and SFCC scholarships. 

https://otacontemporary.com/exhibitions/enigma/

His iridescent shapes float in 3-dimensional space, an exploration of the mysteries of light.  "Some people, it puts them in a state of almost infancy," says August Muth of his holographic art.  "They can't resist the temptation to touch the light."  The Santa Fe artist's latest works are on view through November 9 at the Canyon Road gallery, OTA Contemporary

http://news.unm.edu

If you've visited the Maxwell Museum at the University of New Mexico, you might have noticed in its side courtyard a 40-foot-tall totem pole.  That pole has been standing outside on the Albuquerque campus for over 70 years.  This year, it was brought inside, not just for a much-needed restoration but also to answer some pressing questions about its provenance. 

http://www.ccasantafe.org/

When he was a teenager living in northern New Mexico in the 1970's, Tom Joyce apprenticed himself to a local blacksmith.  Over the next decades, those skills, along with his unusual rapport with iron and steel, led Tom Joyce to a career as an artist of forged metal.  He was recognized with a MacArthur "Genius" Grant in 2003.  His latest sculptures are on display through 2017 at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe.

https://paseoproject.org/

On the night of September 23, the facade of the historic La Fonda Hotel in Taos will be illuminated by patterns and images created by the Japanese-born, Brooklyn-based artist Motomichi.  The display is part of the Paseo, Taos's 4th annual celebration of art and community.  And projected right alongside Motomichi's display, and complementing it, will be art created by Taos students. 

Chiaroscuro Gallery, Santa Fe, https://chiaroscurosantafe.com

The Montage Music Society commissions and performs music composed in response to visual art, and every concert includes projections of the art that inspired the music being performed.  Pianist Debra Ayers and her Montage colleagues wanted to address the fear many people have of new music.  "Let's help the audience get their imaginations going, hearing music and seeing the visuals that inspired the music."  Montage has found that the experience changes the way audiences listen.

https://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/kimo/

The late 1920's was the golden age of movie palaces, those elaborate showcases for films and stage shows.  Albuquerque got one in 1927, the KiMo, which this month celebrates its 90th birthday.  But the KiMo was different from other movie palaces, with a style all its own:  architecture and decoration unique to the Southwest.

http://saap.unm.edu/

A new contemporary art museum is looking for an innovative light fixture to welcome visitors into its lobby.  That was the fictional problem posed to design students at universities throughout the country in the 2017 Robert Bruce Thompson Student Light Fixture Design Competition.  Two of the top three honors in the competition went to students at the University of New Mexico's School of Architecture & Planning, Madison Wickstrom and Arjun Bhakta.

http://www.blackouttheatre.com/

"One forges one's style on the terrible anvil of deadlines."  So said prolific writer Émile Zola.  Albuquerque's Blackout Theatre Company challenges local theater artists to a 24-hour deadline -- they have just one day to write and stage a new one-act play.  The various results, 24/7, will be performed for the public on August 12.

http://art.unm.edu/project/college-of-fine-arts-downtown-studio/

One of the ways in which the University of New Mexico collaborates with the City of Albuquerque is through the City's Public Art Urban Enhancement Division, which supports Albuquerque's fine arts projects.  The Division and UNM joined forces in 2015 to create an off-campus gallery that showcases student artists alongside local artists.  The College of Fine Arts (CFA) Downtown Studio is located just off Central at 4th and Copper.

http://www.fluxquartet.com/

For the past five years, young composers who are out on their own for the first time and discovering what it means to be professional have found themselves invited to spend a week at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.  The seven-day workshop centers on a string quartet that each young composer has written especially for Santa Fe, and also includes rehearsals and discussions with the Flux Quartet and finally performances of the new works in a Festival concert.

https://www.folkartalliance.org/

The world thrives on innovation, but what role can innovation play in an art form based on tradition?  Folk art is about traditional materials, traditional techniques, and generations-old ideas of craft and style.  The organizers of The International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe struck a balance between innovation and tradition by creating a new section for the 2017 Market, taking place July 14-16 on Museum Hill.

http://www.subhankarbanerjee.org/

Subhankar Banerjee is an internationally known writer, environmental activist and scholar.  He is also an extraordinary photographer and has said that photography, for him, is a portal to activism and knowledge.  Several of his large-scale photographs of Arctic Alaska are now on display in Long Environmentalism in the Near North, Subhankar Banerjee: Activism – Photographs – Writing at the UNM Art Museum in Albuquerque.

http://santafesymphony.org/

Four years ago, the Santa Fe Symphony collaborated with the local think tank, the Santa Fe Institute, on a program for all ages that combined music with entertaining educational demonstrations.  The Majesty of Music & Mathematics caused a lot of excitement and it will return to the Lensic Center on June 19.  The performance will be taped for broadcast on New Mexico PBS.

http://www.marcuszunigaart.com

With digital projections and multi-channel videos, electronic artist Marcus Zúñiga is offering us a unique look at the cosmos.  His installation Ya Veo (Spanish for "I see") is on view June 10 and 11 at the No Land Art Space on the Santa Fe Plaza, as part of the opening weekend for the 2017 Currents New Media Festival. 

Courtesy Paul A. Hutton

Distinguished Professor of History at the University of New Mexico Dr. Paul A. Hutton specializes in U.S. history and history of the American West.  But he is also a scholar of film and popular culture, and he has curated an exhibit on view through August at the Albuquerque Museum, Hollywood Southwest: New Mexico in Film and Television.

Photo courtesy of Anne Podlesak

The colors and patterns she creates are inspired by the landscape surrounding her studio in White Rock, in the mountains south of Los Alamos.  There, Anne Podlesak hand knits with yarn she spins and dyes herself.  Her work will be featured May 19-21 in the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Council Fiesta at EXPO New Mexico.

Courtesy of Museum of New Mexico Press

In the 1960's and 1970's, young people from both coasts, borne on a passionate wave of new ideas, traveled to the Southwest and settled into a landscape and mix of cultures that they found enticing and inspiring.  Their migration was part of what's now known as the "counterculture," and it's the subject of a new book from Museum of New Mexico Press and a new exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum.

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