Zachery Lechtenburg and Will Rimel embrace the culture
"I knew I wouldn't cut it doing anything but art," Zachery Lechtenberg tells SFR.
That's mainly a joke, but good for us; Lechtenberg shows his jewelry at Canyon Road's Hecho a Mano Gallery this week alongside Will Rimel, a ceramicist, in
Funko Roasto, a sendup of popular toys but a staggering duo show at the intersection of tongue-in-cheek and fine art.
Lechtenberg's work is often compared to that of Futurama creator Matt Groening, and though he agrees that learning to draw as a youth included inspiration from such shows, his style and pieces are far more one-of-a-kind. When it comes to his jewelry, brooches seem to make up the vast majority of his output. Each is a laborious process or illustration, metalwork and enamel, basically colored glassy powder that Lechtenberg packs into a frame of metal and fires in a kiln over and over again until it looks right; until it looks machine made.
"That's the blessing and the curse," he says. "It looks like a production, it looks like a multiple. It's so well-done in that sense that it looks like something that should be cheap."
He's not being conceited—his work does look like it couldn't be made by hand. Further, no two are alike and they skirt a combination of pop culture and illustration and bizarre character design.
For Rimel's part, his ceramics look like dark and strange toys, like if animator Bill Plympton and R Crumb collaborated. The works are made by hand from a solid block of clay and have narrative elements according to Rimel, though his main goal is to create something aesthetically pleasing. For this, he looks to the pop culture of the '90s, video game design and the idea of escapism, sans the pejorative context.
"I've always been kind of at odds with the fine art ceramic world," Rimel says. "Once you get in the high art scene, people take themselves so seriously, and my whole idea is to make work that has serious undertones and social concepts, but also, the whole point of art is to engage with an audience—if you're making something that's so heady and mind-boggling, that's boring to me."
Each artist has numerous pieces running from the affordable to the kind of prices that court serious collectors. Whether or not you'll buy is up to you, but Funko Roasto is a can't-miss show either way. (Alex De Vore)
6 pm Friday Sept. 27. Free.
Hecho a Mano,
830 Canyon Road,
Power to the People
A spectre is haunting the whole damn globe—that of a people's movement against capitalism and colonialism—and two powerhouses of
people's liberation come together to discuss it. Melanie Yazzie (Diné) is the national chair of The Red Nation, New Mexico's own home-grown grassroots organization committed to the liberation of Indigenous people, and a professor at UNM. Vijay Prashad, meanwhile, is originally from India, studied in the US and founded both Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, which studies mass movements in the Global South, and LeftWord Books, a Marxist publishing house. Together they discuss the social contradictions in New Mexico's history of colonization and exploitation and how to create a brighter future out of those struggles. (Cole Rehbein)
Vijay Prashad and Melanie Yazzie:
7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 25. $5-$8.
Lensic Performing Arts Center,
211 W San Francisco St.
The Band Formerly Backing Prince
Nearly four years later and the loss of Prince still stings. We felt it extra hard in Santa Fe where a bevy of local musicians gathered shortly after the legend's death to perform a tribute concert, but we can take solace in how his one-time backing band, The New Power Generation, is still out there doing shows and living up to the hype. From 1990 to 2013, NPG supported Prince live and in the studio. They even reunited with the celebrated songwriter in 2015 to help record his final album. We can think of no better act to perform a retrospective of hits in a way even Prince would have approved of. Get funky, Santa Fe. (ADV)
The New Power Generation:
7:30 pm Thursday Sept. 26. $35-$69.
Lensic Performing Arts Center,
211 W San Francisco St.,
It's true what you've learned from all movies and TV shows—scavenger hunts are fun! Not to be confused with other, lesser games, the object is to work with a team to find items from a list and, when done right, it can be an exceptionally fun and silly experience. The Santa Fe Walking Collaborative understands this well and, in its quest to give people reasons to get out and walk more often, has devised a fun and not-too-strenuous scavenger hunt fit for anyone who can put one foot in front of the other. You'll have to visit the website (sfct.org/vamonos/) to learn more, but it surely wouldn't hurt to start thinking about who you want on your team. You can do this. You will do this. (ADV)