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Tattoo flash as fine art

Tattooers are artists in their own right, though they're often defined as folks who use stabbing machines to shove ink in people's skin. But many have no difficulty making brilliant and beautiful works of art (see our BOSF 2018 cover designed by talented tattooer Marie Sena), and an upcoming show at the Zalma Lofton Gallery on Guadalupe Street aims to blur the lines between tattoo and fine art.

"Tattoo artists don't consider themselves fine artists," says Alberto Zalma, owner of the gallery. "If you ever ask them if they want to be in an art show, they'll say 'I guess so,' and they'll show you these paintings—and you'll be like, 'Holy shit. This is stuff is amazing!'"

In conjunction with Albuquerque-based shop True Grit Tattoo, Bones to Pick is an exhibition at Zalma's gallery featuring tattoo artists from across New Mexico. The theme is, as the name implies, skeletal.

"Tattoo art is definitely alive and well," Zalma continues. "My gallery's goal is to change how people see [that] world."

True Grit owner Johnny Mac Howell is one of the participating artists. In one of his works, a skeletal hand bathed in lavender and fuchsia blossoms holds a burning, ornate torch. The fire itself is vivid and textured. There is a kind of magnificence and regality evident in the work.

"It's gonna be a really eclectic combination of people, a good mix of people from New Mexico," he tells SFR. "I'm stoked that it's a lot of local people."

Jacob Larrazolo, Dave Briggs and Steve Candlemaker are just a few of the other artists in the show. A piece by Briggs depicts a figure reaching towards a heart in the heavens. Flower petals rain from the sky and the skeleton's ankle is shackled to an object off-canvas. A mask—or the head of some masked entity—looms in the background, its curves and expression accentuating the skeleton in the foreground. There is a distinct blending of cultural and artistic elements and borderline religous iconography, and it strikes one as a work of both freedom and oppression. In one of Larrazolo's pieces, a vicious-looking snake wraps around a melting skull. The canvas is tinted a stark yellow-green with a dark, faded border—making the piece an apocalyptic vision of life and death.
(Layne Radlauer)

Bones to Pick
5 pm Friday Oct. 12. Through Oct. 31. Free.
Zalma Lofton Gallery,
407 S Guadalupe St., 670-5179

So Indie

Courtesy Ghost

DIY space Ghost continues its indie band onslaught with quite the lineup this week. Find Storming the Beaches With Logos in Hand's Luke Carr going solo for starters, an enticing thought given Carr's track record of songwriting excellence. In fact, we've been dying for a followup to Carr's fantastic 2013 EP Pigrow, and this might be the next best thing. There's also Blanchard with the key-heavy indie-pop that feels so good courtesy of frontman Dylan Blanchard and the mysterious tunes of newcomer Void Mixer—whom we don't know yet but are excited to learn about. Know what? We're just gonna go ahead and say it—Ghost might be the coolest venue in Santa Fe today. (Alex De Vore)

Luke Carr, Blanchard and Void Mixer
7 pm Thursday Oct. 11. $5-$10.
2899 Trades West Road

STEMming the Tide

Courtesy Stem Santa Fe

We understand that 8 am is mighty early, but when it comes to a day-long event aimed at educating and inspiring young women from fifth to eighth grades, it suddenly sounds a lot more doable. See, all over the world, young women are being told they have no place in STEM fields (that's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), when the truth is we need them now more than ever. STEM Santa Fe hosts the event, and the director of the National Science Foundation, France Córdova, speaks on bringing the number of women working in such areas up. Scholarships are available for those who might not be able to afford to attend, and more details are available at (ADV)

STEM Santa Fe: Expanding Your Horizons Conference
8 am-3 pm Saturday Oct. 13. $15.
Santa Fe Community College,
6401 Richards Ave.,

The Bomb

Courtesy Ursula McDaid

While lots of us look forward to fall and winter, it's still a tough time of the year. Feelings change with the seasons, and spending a little time doing something nice for oneself is paramount. Enter Nihlisme Beauty, a Santa Fe-based Etsy shop that specializes in making vegan bath bombs for pleasant bathing experiences—and a biz that will teach you to do the same at an upcoming workshop at Dandelion Guild's new space with proprietor Ursula McDaid. "Everything from scents to colors to base oils is customizable," McDaid says. "Additionally, a portion from all of our sales, including the tickets for this workshop, go to support the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society." (ADV)

Bubbling Mystical Cauldron Bath Bombs
1-2 pm Sunday Oct. 14. $35.
Dandelion Guild,
1925 Rosina St., Ste. H;
register at