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Courtesy Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art

SFR Picks: A Bookworm’s Hero

Fantastical paintings inspire literary forays

August 31, 2016, 12:00 am

Mary Alayne Thomas is a champion of books—like, the ones with turnable pages and bound spines. And her upcoming solo exhibit is all about spurring her audience to grab a book. “It feels we are getting away from the physical act of really reading,” she says, “so I wanted it to be an inspiration for people to pick up an actual book and read it.”

Storytelling features 23 of Thomas’ watercolor paintings and, according to the artist, “a lot of them are smaller, but it was a lot of work to get together.” Thomas grew up in Santa Fe in a family full of artists, and says she spent her childhood wanting to write. “I thought I was going to be a writer well into high school,” she tells SFR. “Then I discovered watercolor painting and immediately knew that’s what I wanted to do, but I have stories that percolated inside me all these years, and I wanted this show to be an homage to that part of me.”

Thomas’ work is striking in its simultaneous freshness and familiarity with several paintings featuring women with flowing hair, floating upwards as if underwater, full of bouquets and forest animals. As a spectator, you get a sense that their story is classic; you somehow already know it. And even if you don’t know it, you wish you could. “All of the paintings are either pictures of characters interacting with books, or illustrations from some of my favorite fairy tales,” Thomas says.

In this age of internet modernity, books are slowly being forgotten. “Reading things online, you just don’t engage the same way you do when you read a book,” Thomas says. “An artist’s goal is to inspire and bring new beauty into the world and give new ideas, so I hope that people go and are inspired and want to read; I hope they see something that uplifts them and something that’s meaningful, and feel the magic of being transported through stories.” We are with Thomas, and we hope you leave wanting to grab the nearest novel. (Maria Egolf-Romero)

Mary Alayne Thomas: Storytelling
5-7 pm Friday Sept. 2. Free.
Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art,
702 Canyon Road,

Stitching Connections

Courtesy Community Gallery
Forty years after the Holocaust, survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz created a series of 36 embroidered fabric panels to show her children the story of her survival. Stitching Our Stories presents photographs of Nisenthal Krinitz’s panels alongside story cloths made by immigrants living in Santa Fe. “I really want people to start thinking deeply about the way that we treat and interact with immigrants in our community,” show curator Cecile Lipworth tells SFR. “I want people to really feel something that applies to our neighbors and what we can do to change systems that work against immigrants, and ... [have] a human connection to someone.” (MER)

Stitching Our Stories:
5:30-7:30 pm Wednesday Aug. 31. Free.
Community Gallery,
201 W Marcy St.,

Food, Glorious Food

Steven Johnson
Food Tour New Mexico is all about connecting people with great food on their various tours, but the local company’s owner Nick Peña wants to take that a step further with an upcoming food-based scavenger hunt. “I thought it would be fun to come up with a concept that got people out and about and moving,” Peña says. The hunt, which runs through Sept. 11, challenges teams of up to two people to find and photograph 40 different food-related items (and some surprises) from nearly 30 restaurants located all over town. “I think it’ll even challenge locals’ food knowledge,” Peña muses. (Alex De Vore)

Santa Fe Foodie Scavenger Hunt Kickoff:
5 pm Thursday Sept. 1. $50-$75.
Santa Fe Plaza,
100 Old Santa Fe Trail,

Inclusive Public Art

Courtesy Niomi Fawn
Curate Santa Fe and the City of Santa Fe recently teamed up to create a series of artist-decorated bicycle hitches downtown. “There are 10 artists and 12 hitches,” says Niomi Fawn, Curate’s founder/owner. Join her, along with Mayor Javier Gonzales, this Tuesday for a ribbon cutting and walking tour to check out the useable works of art. Fawn says the hitches have already gotten positive reactions. “I feel like public artwork can actually work for the people,” she says. “Sometimes, as artists, we get huffy and puffy and don’t think about what the average person needs, but art is for the people.” (MER)

Hitch Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:
6 pm Tuesday Sept. 6. Free.
200 Lincoln Ave.


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