Local arts collective centers artists, then art

If a gallery artist sells a painting for a five- or six-figure price, where does that money go?

Some of it pays the gallery's rent, so it goes directly into the pockets of the landed class. Some goes to support the artist's Santa Fe lifestyle—the spa at Ojo Caliente doesn't offer grants for struggling -artists, unfortunately. But how much of that sum is contributed to an arts charity or put towards affordable housing or, like, actually used to do something good for our community?

Good news: Art of thousand-dollar quality is within reach, it's being made by artists who don't play on those bougie blue-chip terms, and you might even be able to barter or trade service instead of exchanging dead currency.

This Friday, more than 20 artists -associated with the Alas de Agua Arts Collective -offer their art in support of the concept of "gente-fication," a Spanglish term from gente, meaning people and gentrification, a process of displacement due to rising costs of housing from increased demand (usually from white people) in low-income areas. Instead, Israel Francisco Haros Lopez hopes to enable "people-fication," or a process that centers the needs and wants of marginalized humans in "the midst of gentrification and other -colonizing models that try to dismantle what can never be dismantled." (That thing that can never be dismantled is our collective power, hope and love for one another, by the way, if you feel that.)

For almost 10 years, Haros Lopez has been working towards this dream of creating a community where art serves people and artists are nurtured -independently of their output, the -opposite of the Canyon Road status quo where art serves capital and the wealthy class. Alas de Agua, which he helped -establish, "is probably the only local -artists' collective dedicated to creating support systems and resources for -people of color. We also help queer and other historically marginalized individuals in this town," according to Lopez.

So if you're into art because you value the human experience behind it and not because you're obsessed with inanimate objects, stop by the Mercado, find an artist you like and offer to cook 'em a couple dinners or something in exchange for your favorite piece. (Cole Rehbein)

Alas de Agua Earth Economy Mercado:
4–7 pm Friday Nov. 29. Free.
Wise Fool New Mexico,
1131 Siler Road Ste. B.


Raymond Lopez, Carreta de la Muerte

What do we really know about the Penitente Brotherhood? Not much, as it turns out, but the secretive order has been known to do good out there, helping the people and doing the good deeds. Artists, however, always seem to have a keener insight into such things, and big ol' names like Gustave Baumann, Cady Wells, Gene Kloss, Ansel Adams and more created work based on the brotherhood's traditions. Their interpretations examine the mythos and realities of the order across a wide swath of mediums from illustration and sculpture and, as always, the New Mexico Museum of Art shows us why that's important in yet another meaningful exhibit from the state institution. (Alex De Vore)

Picturing Passion: Artists Interpret the Penitente Brotherhood: 
Through Aug. 16 2020. By admission.
New Mexico Museum of Art,
107 W Palace Ave.,

Final Touches

Public Domain

If you're looking to finish up that last chapter or just hack your way through a case of writer's block, look no further than the National Novel Writing Month Support Group. Its upcoming event at the Santa Fe Public Library's Southside branch is its last for now. Working with like-minded people who know that writing a novel is an intense and difficult thing to achieve comes with the opportunity to spitball ideas off one another and, with a little luck, a chance to grind out those last words. (Cade Guerrero)

National Novel Writing Month Support Group: 
10 am-1 pm Saturday Nov. 30. Free.
Santa Fe Public Library Southside,
6599 Jaguar Dr,

Mid-Week Tracks

Public Domain

Who doesn't love thrashing out until dawn? Probably lots of people. Still—Vintage Vinyl Night is going down once again at The Matador. DJ Prairedog and DJ Mama Goose mix it up with the classic punk, garage and surf rock and, as anyone who has visited can tell you, they know how to put together a bodacious line-up. The pair continues to host the event—for 11 years now—laying down the heavy riffage with tunes from the likes of Agent Orange, The Stooges and Dick Dale, among lesser-known heroes. If nothing else, it'll definitely help you deal with those work-week blues. (Cade Guerrero)

Vintage Vinyl Night: 
9 pm Tuesday Dec. 3. Free.
The Matador,
116 W San Francisco St,