SFR Picks: Still Lifes From A Bunker

Capturing Vietnam with an artist's eye

It took almost 30 years and the encouragement of his fellow vets during a three-year outpatient program at a VA hospital for Herb Lotz to view the photos he took during his service in the Vietnam War. “I couldn’t emotionally handle looking at them,” he confesses.

Lotz was an artist before he was a soldier, and he uses his camera lens like many use a paintbrush: to re- create and share his vision with the world. He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in photography before being drafted, whereupon he photographed his fellow soldiers and scenes around him during the conflict. "I just sort of continued to do that when I could," Lotz says.

The young artist took over 50 rolls of film during a 12-month period between March 1968 and March 1969, time he spent in a bunker built around his telecom unit. The best of these images are featured in the upcoming exhibit, Sleeping During the Day: Vietnam 1968.

Lotz was not a foot soldier. "My duty was to pass information," he tells SFR. "I had a secret clearance and I was passing encrypted information over the airwaves."

Unlike the photographs from the most gruesome time in the jungles of Vietnam, which are often blatantly violent and focused on the machinery of war, Lotz focused on people. "They show the interior of these people," he says, "their spiritual or cognizant interior."

Normal Joes were the focus of leading photographers at the time, like Diane Arbus and Kenneth Josephson, both of whom inspired Lotz. He says he kept their works in mind as his shutter closed over fellow Vietnam soldiers. "I was just documenting my life," he says.

Today, the images don't cause him as much pain as they once did, but he still sees loss. "Primarily it's about the loss of innocence on some level," he says. "Being a soldier, you're young and you're drafted or you sign up and you can't really know what it's like to be in a war until you're in one." (Maria Egolf-Romero)

Sleeping During the Day: Vietnam 1968 Opening Reception
5 pm Friday April 7. Free.
New Mexico History Museum,
113 Lincoln Ave.,

Skyward Bound

Local folk-esque/rock-ish musician Daniel Isle Sky has reached out to us a number of times with some friendly things to say. We liked that, so we checked out his tunes and are happy to report they are also friendly. But, y'know—good, too. Sky is a passionate guy, and his original songs are relatable yet beautiful. Think Dylan or Donovan, but with a modern bent. He is, in fact, a credit to one-guy-and-a-guitar performances. You can check Sky out at the Dragon Room on the reg, but more specifically this very night. (Alex De Vore)

Daniel Isle Sky:
5 pm Wednesday April 5. Free.
The Dragon Room,
406 Old Santa Fe Trail,

Make That Paper

Plant new intentions along with your flowers this year and invest in the power of positivity. Spring is time for planting, and after this class taught by Ruth Morris, you can plant your wishes and ambitions on seeded paper. Participants learn the ancient Chinese art of papermaking with a current update: adding wildflower seeds and flower petals to create a unique piece. Simply write down your hopes and stick it in the dirt at home. Spending a few hours making something pretty and planting it with good thoughts in mind sounds like a few hours well-spent in a world of artificial, fast-paced everything. (MER)

Handmade Seeded Paper Art Experience:
10 am Saturday April 8. $35-$50.
Sunrise Springs Spa Resort,
242 Los Pinos Road,

A Night at the Opera

From Viennese waltzes to Scottish castles, who says opera doesn’t have it all? International opera lecturer Desirée Mays proves it with a preview of the Santa Fe Opera’s selections for its 2017 season. The talk is a longstanding tradition for the Santa Fe Opera Guild and provides introductory insights on what audiences can expect this season. Mays, author of

Opera Unveiled,

shares her knowledge of classical music while describing the opera’s five productions, including a world premiere about tech mastermind Steve Jobs. Daisy Geoffrey, of the opera’s public relations department, says, “Audiences can expect a diverse repertory from the baroque to an innovative and high-tech world premiere—in other words, there’s something for everyone.” (Kendall Mac)

2017 Opera Season Preview:
5:30 pm Tuesday April 11. $10.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation,
107 W Barcelona Road,

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