Sept. 23, 2017
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Bri Cimino

SFR Picks | Of Course, Of Course

The artistic power of horsing around

December 14, 2016, 12:00 am

Must one be trained in some sort of official fashion to create meaningful art, or is there an inherent value in natural talent unshackled by institutional methodology? Of course there is, but it doesn’t always mean the art will be worthwhile. Luckily, photographer Bri Cimino leans toward the latter, and that, coupled with a lifelong love of the powerful, majestic equine, has fueled her to create Beneath the Saddle, a new exhibition of photography shot while riding in the Southwest. “I think that being on horseback, being in that perspective, it gives the viewer a chance to see what I’m seeing,” she says. Cimino has no formal training, but can definitely boast a preternatural compositional eye. Thus, her body of work, mostly black and white, is a gorgeous series that explores the bond between human and horse. So far, Cimino has shot in places like Abiquiu, California, Arizona, Mexico and beyond, though she admits that when she set out to capture these photos she didn’t know she’d wind up traveling. “I realized it would be a good opportunity to learn landscapes, so I asked myself where I would really want to ride, what kind of culture I wanted to know.” This has led to relationships with riders near and far, and an expanded appreciation for what can come of the relationships formed by riding. In addition to her upcoming opening at the Beals & Co. Showroom on Canyon Road, Ciminio is in the planning stages of forming an as-of-yet unnamed nonprofit organization that hopes to provide at-risk youth and women with lessons in horsemanship and artistic expression. “I’d like it to be about providing jobs and opening opportunities to teach life skills through horses,” Cimino tells SFR. “I don’t consider myself religious, but it is most definitely spiritual to be out there; it’s that connection with the landscape. … I feel like what I’m doing is going to be special to someone.” (Alex De Vore)

Bri Cimino: Beneath the Saddle
5 pm Saturday Dec. 17. Free.
Beals & Co.,
830 Canyon Road,

The Secrets of the Garden

Courtesy Georgia O’Keeffe Education Annex

Got a green thumb? You may be interested in Wacky, Weird and Wild: Plant Stories You Don’t Know, a curated compilation of stories heard and experienced by Mollie Parsons and Cristina Salvador of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Salvador says she’d like to encourage all to “be curious about where we are and what we interact with.” The lecture explores the wonders of exotic, carnivorous and even local plants, as well as addressing climate change and food sources. Parsons tells SFR she and Salvador collected stories from local gardeners, which inspired the idea to give plants voices for themselves. (Kim Jones)

Wacky, Weird and Wild: Plant Stories You Don’t Know:
6 pm Wednesday Dec. 14. Free.
Georgia O’Keeffe Education Annex,
123 Grant Ave.,


Will Wilson

Diné photographer Will Wilson’s AIR, a series of self-portraiture, portrays a post-apocalyptic man who must utilize his auto immune response (AIR) to survive on an Earth destroyed by man. “It’s about reconnecting to the land and the histories of renewable energy and resource extraction,” Wilson says. More specifically, AIR touches on environmental change and its negative effect on Native Americans’ health. Wilson has refined the show since 2004 and says that, given our new presidential administration, now is the right time to exhibit his work in hopes that it can challenge viewers to question the system. (Kim Jones)

AIR Opening Reception:
5 pm Friday Dec. 16. Free.
Peters Projects,
1011 Paseo de Peralta,

Get Crackin’

Public Domain
Ballet is always breathtaking, but one can shake it up a little with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The company has presented The Nutcracker for 20 years now, and the perennial favorite features all the spectacular brisés and petit jetés you’d expect from its world-class dancers. But, says ASFB marketing manager Jessica Moore, this presentation steps outside the traditional ballet realm to feature sequences of authentic Spanish flamenco, aerial Arabian and Chinese dances as well. The show brings a little dignity to a season that may be overrun with hectic schedules and cranky in-laws, so sit back and enjoy. (Charlotte Jusinski)

The Nutcracker:
2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday Dec. 17;
1 and 5 pm Sunday Dec. 18. $25-$94.
Lensic Performing Arts Center,
211 W San Francisco St.,


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