Back In Black

The aesthetic similarities between the works of renowned San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez (1887-1980) and contemporary Albuquerque ceramicist Jami Porter Lara are remarkable, but the anthropological similarities run even deeper. Porter Lara discusses the ideas in a Wednesday afternoon talk at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

While Martinez is widely considered a traditional Pueblo potter, she was not brought up learning the black-on-black patterns for which she became famous. "Maria Martinez was actually an innovator of that style," Porter Lara says. "It had not been practiced for a long time in New Mexico, and she and her husband Julian developed it in response to some blackware potsherds that were found in a dig in Bandelier." After Edgar Lee Hewett, archaeologist and Museum of New Mexico founder, asked if she could recreate the style, Martinez had to use trial-and-error before she and her husband perfected the method of clay firing to make the pots a glossy black.

"It's an example of a person who's taking or referencing new information," Porter Lara says of Martinez as a contemporary artist. "And it's not so much about bloodlines, or reaching into one's own ancient knowledge, necessarily, as it is dealing with the contemporary information at hand. … I think that rather than mythologizing and attributing it to tradition, it's interesting how she was responding to new information that was becoming available."

Porter Lara's current work follows the same idea. While exploring the US-Mexico border, she took the form of the plastic bottle and revered it, elevated it to the realm of high art, through clay fired in much the same way that Martinez worked. Discarded by migrants, the bottles were left behind in much the same way as the potsherds were left behind by ancestral Puebloans.

"There's a continuity, an unbroken line," Porter Lara says of the detritus along the border, "signifying this continuous flow of people, of culture, of the impulse to move." (Charlotte Jusinski)

People to People Gallery Conversation: Jami Porter Lara on Maria Martinez
12:30 pm Wednesday, Jan. 17. $7-$12.
New Mexico Museum of Art,
107 W Palace Ave.,
476-5072

Slayer for Mayor!

Anson Stevens-Bollen

OK, maybe not Slayer. Maybe a human person. But, also, if you've been wondering when you might get to publicly start questioning the candidates for our upcoming mayoral election (now with ranked-choice voting!), here's your chance. Sponsored by The Santa Fe New Mexican, which we understand is a newspaper of some kind, audience members can run their thoughts on important issues by the candidates. So get out and engage with the process, especially if you feel like complaining down the road … then you can be like, "Well, I went to that forum, so I've done all I can!" (Alex De Vore)

Mayoral Forum: 
6 pm Thursday Jan. 18. Free.
Lensic Performing Arts Center,
211 W San Francisco St.,
988-1234

We’re All Mad Here

Courtesy Mad Hatters and March Hares

Editor Ellen Datlow may be the queen of the horror anthology, but she's loved dark fantasy and Lewis Carroll for as far back as she can remember. Thus, the anthology Mad Hatters and March Hares was born. "At a convention, someone asked if there was any [author] I'd like to do a tribute with, and I said 'I don't know, I love Lewis Carroll, maybe something inspired by Alice,'" Datlow tells SFR. "And afterwards all these writers came up saying they'd love to do that." Hatters is indeed inspired by Wonderland, but Datlow says that its 18 contributors, including Stephen Graham Jones, Angela Slatter and more, took it to original places. Further, she comes to Santa Fe to celebrate the book's release alongside a Mad Hatter contest wherein participants create their best and most avant-garde hats while vying for movie theater gift certs. Lovely.  (ADV)

Mad Hatters and March Hares with Ellen Datlow:
7 pm Sunday Jan. 21. $10-$30; hat contest entry is free.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,
466-5528.

Make Our Heads Sing

Courtesy Wikimedia

At the intersection of indie rock and country lies a sweet spot for age-irrelevant fandom, and this is where Ohio's Jessica Lea Mayfield lives and breathes. Mayfield's made a career out of demolishing "I love everything but country!" opinions, garnered attention—and collaborations—from the likes of Seth Avett and built a safe space for even the snobbiest (and most wrong) of country's detractors to join the flock. In other words, she good, and she's coming to Santa Fe as part of Meow Wolf's seemingly endless cavalcade of increasingly impressive shows. This'll sell out no question … assuming it hasn't already. (ADV)

Jessica Lea Mayfield: 
8 pm Monday Jan. 22. $14-$17.
Meow Wolf,
135 Rufina Circle,
395-6369.