We're now officially in 2021—is the world arbitrarily fixed yet? If not, we're just gonna go right back to leaning on the arts for comfort in a more serious way than we usually do (which is already pretty serious).

If there's one thing to glean from the following words, it's that a virus can't keep a good gallery down. Postponements? No problem. The art workers are working it out, and you're reaping all the benefits.

Find here out top recommendations for shows running (or already open) this month.

Holly Grimm: Art & Machine Learning @Facebook Live
4 pm Thursday Jan. 7 

Everybody's favorite new media folks welcome former Denverite and Diné artist Grimm to her new hometown of Santa Fe with a talk on how she uses AI and machine learning in her practice. This will be a kind of introductory thing, so no need to be a computer scientist before signing up. In a nutshell, Grimm does everything from plein aire sketches, color study informed by Navajo tradition and the aforementioned computer stuff. The way we hear it, she's even written her own neural net based in things like composition, texture, contrast and color. The future is now and sounds super-sweet.

Find “Queer Messiah” by Anthony Hurd at KEEP Contemporary this month.
Find “Queer Messiah” by Anthony Hurd at KEEP Contemporary this month. | Courtesy Anthony Hurd_queermessiah

Michael Scott: Fire and Ice @Evoke Contemporary
Through Feb. 20 

This one opened the day after Christmas so all is forgiven if you missed it—just know painter Scott's tribute to the duality of fire and ice is another home run for Evoke, a gallery that already shows the likes of Patrick McGrath Muñiz and Soey Milk. In Fire and Ice, Scott bisects the Railyard space with contrasting oil works based in the show's title. From there, he deconstructs notions of how an artist must work. Representational? Borderline impressionist? Even tiptoeing up to Ukiyo-e? It's all in here in works like "Old Faithful at Night," "Fire Hole," "Ridge Fire" and "Beaver Lodge, Dusk," among many others. Award extra points to Scott for finding the serene in something as terrifying as a forest fire, or the imposing in something as empirically calming as a flowing river. You can even tour the show virtually on the website.

Everything is Illuminated/Michael Anthony Hurd: Beyond the Rainbow @Keep Contemporary 
Through Jan. 17 

Time's running out to see this pair of shows at downtown Santa Fe's home to highbrow, lowbrow, contempo-weird and all points in between. On the Everything is Illuminated side, find more than 40 artists at the annual event. What's it for? Celebrating the gallery's 4th anniversary, of course. We're partial to a subtly dark portrait-meets-tattoo piece by Chile's Huge Cisterna and the Tarot-like spirituality of Fran de Anda's "Magician of the Flowers," but Anthony Hurd's strange and nightmarish rainbowscapes in the concurrent show drew us in and kept us there. Hurd's a local, we hear, and we hope this kicks off years of exhibits to come. Frankly, it's just satisfying to see such bold and imaginative use of color. Make an appointment to visit ASAP (the gallery takes distancing and masks very seriously).

Cesar Santos’ “Valentina” from 5. Gallery’s most recent show, one that’s extended through the end of the month.
Cesar Santos’ “Valentina” from 5. Gallery’s most recent show, one that’s extended through the end of the month. | Courtesy 5.Gallery

Friendship and what we find in the commonality of our differences @5.Gallery 
Through Jan. 31 

5. Gallery proprietor Max Baseman extends his current group show—which tragically opened during that two weeks when we all thought things were getting back to normal—through the end of the month. A small but powerful assortment featuring Marc Baseman, Wes Mills, Cesar Santos and Turner Vinson, find painting, illustration, textured excellence and some of the most striking portraits we've seen since the portrait we mentioned up above. Don't forget to support the indies, especially when they're operating outside the downtown system

Family Room @form & concept 
Jan. 29-May 15 

An exhibit dedicated to recreating and celebrating the idea of queer familial spaces—both blood and chosen family—comes to form & concept after the pandemic made it a non-starter in June. According to Gallery Director Jordan Eddy, the concept is about giving local queer artists a chance to collaboratively design a living space. Quelle surprise—they're actual human beings! Find works from champs like Niomi Fawn (whose Wild Home show at Eddy's side project artspace No Land a couple years back inspired Family Room), Anastasio Wrobel, C. Marquez and a gaggle of others. Note that the show is interactive, so appointments and masks are a must (Eddy says the show will be deep cleaned between appointments). Did we mention Albuquerque drag cadre Saints Ball is part of the show? Assuming all goes well, more performance pieces might find their way into the exhibit later this year, and we even hear publications (like zines!) are onhand to up immersion at the touchable and nigh-livable show.