The Final Frontier
From his home in Skagit County, Washington, artist Rik Allen speaks of his influences—the graphic works associated with science fiction by Jules Verne, Lost In Space, dime-store novel covers featuring bizarre futures that feel fantastic but also more realistic and attainable than the sharp lines and impossibly clean look of most modern day sci-fi. They're elements of artistry and design that Allen's held onto since he was a kid, and they speak to the concepts of exploration and the unknown; narrative elements at play in his body of sculptures in glass and metal—spaceships, aquatic exploration vehicles and strange biomechanical intersections.
"Exploration is a big part of it," Allen says. "Looking for some little corner of the world to discover new things and potentially scary encounters."
Allen has shown at Blue Rain Gallery for some time, and until now, his works have mainly consisted of space ships and science-y conveyances. For the newest show—which opens this Friday in tandem with his wife Shelley Muzylowski Allen's glass menagerie of animals—he's expanding his repertoire to include submarines and dirigibles. This ups the accessibility factor, but still maintains a presence in the world of magic realism.
"I came into being an artist as I was moving through life working for other artists," Allen explains. "I fell upon the glass world many years ago working as a studio assistant, and I had an opportunity to pursue my own work and was encouraged to do so."
New works also include found and scavenged bits and pieces as well as Allen's signature red chair, a recurring theme throughout his career that signifies a time in his youth when the world of science expanded his horizons.
"It was like suddenly realizing that things in nature don't come from magic," he says. "Sometimes I make the piece just to highlight the chair." (Alex De Vore)
Rik Allen: New Glass and Metal Sculptures
5 pm Friday Aug. 31. Free.
Blue Rain Gallery,
544 S Guadalupe St.,
I Love a Parade
There were reportedly zero protesters or hateful attendees at the 2018 Pride Parade and gathering on the Plaza, so it sure seems that Santa Fe loves its LGBTQIA friends. But as the world evolves and the people and language with it, there is still plenty to do for future events. Join a panel and discussion this evening to help with just that—fostering community, making Pride more inclusive and effective, and keeping Santa Fe on its trajectory toward glorious intersectional awesomeness and love for all. ASL and Spanish translators will be on hand as well, so if you've ever had the urge to help make Pride better, now's your chance. (ADV)
Town Hall Discussion: The Future of Santa Fe Pride
6 pm Wednesday Aug. 29. Free.
The Higher Education Building,
1950 Siringo Road,
New Mexico, Distilled
Any awards show aiming to celebrate the wide breadth of musical choices in New Mexico has quite a task on its plate—but thankfully the Platinum Music Awards combs all genres and generations to find truly the best that our state has to offer. This year's attendees range from Norteño accordionist Antonia Apodaca (age 94) to the Hummingbird Music Camp (for students age 8-14); also on the honoree roster are Santa Fe's tireless Latin cantadora Nacha Mendez, NMSU music educator and tuba player William Clark, jazz musician Tom Guralnick (who also founded Albuquerque's Outpost Performance Space), and Malcom Yepa, a composer, singer and drummer from Jemez Pueblo. It's a statewide music tour in one single night. (Charlotte Jusinski)
New Mexico Platinum Music Awards
7:30 pm Thursday Aug. 30. $35-$95. Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W San Francisco St., 988-1234
The humble barista is an under-appreciated artist on the shoulders of which the world relies. Celebrating these unsung heroes is the Barista Olympics, an event in which skilled coffee virtuosos compete against one another in such trials as coffee-identifying, coffee mock-tail crafting and a literal obstacle course. In addition to this battle of the champions, there will be live music, cold and rich ice cream, tasty and luxuriant food, frothing brews and prize giveaways. Even if you dislike coffee and those that make it, there is something for you to love if your coffee-enthusiast friend makes you go. (Layne Radlauer)
5-9 pm Saturday Sept. 1. Free.
Iconik Coffee Roasters (Lupe),
314 S Guadalupe St.,