516 ARTS presents In the Balance, a large-scale installation by Karl Hofmann, an Albuquerque-based artist with a lot of international exposure. His solo project was commissioned to transform the windows and entrance of the gallery, in part to “engage the cityscape and street traffic in Downtown Albuquerque with non-traditional visual art.” Hoffman uses repurposed scrap building materials to surprising effect, and says, “The title of this project references the profound sense of uncertainty I feel as much of the world seems to teetering between order and chaos.” Check it out from Dec. 1 (when the opening reception’s held in conjunction with First Friday Artscrawl) through Jan. 13. Details at 516arts.org.
Hosted by 516 ARTS in partnership with the Albuquerque Museum, a dynamic show titled The US / Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility, co-curated by Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims and Ana Elena Mallet, opens in the new year on Jan. 13 and runs through Apr. 15 at the Museum, and Jan. 27 through April 14 at 516 ARTS. The idea is to feature designers and artists working along the US/Mexico border. This is an opportunity to understand what their lives are like in that region of the world and experience images of the migrant-citizen hybrid culture. Details at: 516arts.org and albuquerquemuseum.org.
Here’s a delightful way to enjoy art: The exhibit The Art of Christmas: New Mexico Style at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Dec. 2–Jan. 7, features approximately 430 handmade ornaments created by more than 125 New Mexico artists. This collection is on loan through the Duran family (Matt, Jeanette and their son Gabriel), who have been garnering the seasonal orbs for nearly 20 years. Details at nhccnm.org.
You have two full days—Dec. 16 and 17—to peruse the art of nearly 200 artists at SWAIA Winter Indian Market. Located at the venerable and historic La Fonda on the Plaza hotel, this is a seasonal alternative to the well-known, 96-year-old SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, which is the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world and the largest cultural event in the Southwest. Details at swaia.com.
It’s not just light, it’s GLOW! Dress for the evening chill and stroll on out to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Dec. 15–31, where they are “Bridging Time,” with an “artful illumination of nature.” This means thousands of lights all aglow throughout the Botanical Garden, including in the Ojos y Manos section, the Garden’s newest addition. Kids 12 and under are free(!) and you can enjoy a hot beverage by the fire, listen to holiday music and even do a little holiday shopping in the gift shop. Check out the special light shows and exhibits this year! Details at santafebotanicalgarden.org.
Everyone is invited to the 100-year-old New Mexico Museum of Art Holiday Open House on Dec 17. Designed with children in mind, the event features a series of puppet plays, art-making projects, selfies with the Baumann Santa Claus marionette and other activities. Details at nmartmuseum.org.
The galleries in the 400 block of Canyon Road––Ventana Fine Art, Mark White Fine Art, Canyon Road Contemporary Art, Pippin Contemporary and Wiford Gallery––are ready to celebrate the season with a block party on Dec. 15 from 3–7 p.m. In addition to shopping for beautiful art gifts, ranging from $50 to $1,000, you and yours can enjoy farolitos, bonfires, music, holiday food and cheer. Details at canyoncontemporary.com.
There’s always something stirring to experience at the E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum, which is maintained much as it was when the artist and his family were alive. Coming up on Dec. 1 through Jan. 6, with an opening reception on Dec. 2, see something new and truly wonderful. A solo show, part of The New Masters of Taos Fine Art Series, will feature Oil and Water, new works by Chris Bundy. She says of her inspiring home, “When the path of my life brought me to Taos, New Mexico, I knew I had found my true home in this land rich with creative energy and history. It was a blessing to find that the same unique light which inspired the Impressionist painters in France was alive and well in the mountains of northern New Mexico.” Details at taoshistoricmuseums.org.
Over at the Harwood Museum of Art, in Studio 238, photographer Meredith Garcia’s show Stone Free runs through Dec. 29. Of her work, Garcia says, “I exercise the abstract spirit, capturing the essence of the geological formations of the American Southwest, taking them out of their usual context and viewing them in a new way.” In her previous life as a neurobiologist, Garcia spent hours analyzing black and white film photomicrographs of the brain, which seems to inform her current work. She describes her work as being in the tradition of Ansel Adams, Minor White and Jan Gruber. Details at harwoodmuseum.org.
by Cullen Curtiss