Chomp on This

Bite Size Film Festival screens local shorts bursting with New Mexico talent

Oh, we're longtime fans of local artist/illustrator Lindsay Payton's particular brand of creepy/Halloween/folklore-inspired work. There's just something so bizarrely wholesome-yet-evil about the horror aesthetic mixed with references to flora, fauna and the ritualistic. That's why this time of year we're usually feeling pretty pumped because we know Payton will almost always unleash a new body of macabre works for us to peruse and feel scared about. It's almost like Poe's head split open and the insides escaped, or at least like Payton cut her teeth during the golden era of '70s and '80s horror and the old Universal monster flicks. However she made it happen, this is Payton's time of year and the output has been good.

"This exhibit casts a pretty wide net—a lot of it was done this summer while in quarantine," Payton tells SFR. "It does fall within my usual schemes: folklore, witchery, cautionary tales, and some recognizable cult classics that came with the season, but if anything, the pandemic gave me time and patience to play around with new mediums, so that was a bit of a silver lining."

First among the new mediums was watercolor, something Payton says she's long wanted to work with. Additionally, having extra time at home allowed her to start dabbling in larger-scale pieces, another plan that's been in the hopper for some time.

"With that extra time I got the courage to explore with watercolor more, which opened up a new wave of ideas—mostly a series of witch's familiars," she explains. "I also tend to stare at pieces for a long time anyway, so it's been a good lesson in diving into it instead of being nervous about what mistakes I could make."

For an artist who'd always planned to stick to smaller pieces, this departure is welcome to those who know her work.

"I always thought I'd say mini forever because I have a penchant for the mini stuff, and they're only about 7×10 inches, but that's a big step for me," Payton says. "But the momentum is still going to create so I want to ride that wave as it goes. Now that I've tried my hand at some new avenues, I'm really excited for what's in store. And it's the best time of year. I'll definitely be creating through October."

Catch the virtual opening of Payton's show through the folks at Eye on the Mountain Gallery, stalwart supporters of the horrific fun.

By the Pricking of My Thumbs Virtual Opening:
6 pm Saturday, Oct. 3. Free.

Get Sacked

Courtesy Steeplechase Films

Frankly, the Center for Contemporary Arts has been killing it with mid-pandemic programming, and the next item on the org's Living Room Series list is all about Oliver Sacks. See, turns out the prolific writer, neurologist, professor and generally loved guy was an interesting sort right up until his death in 2015. Filmmaker Ric Burns knows this well, and his documentary on the man, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, covers pretty much everything there is to know through candid and intimate interviews with friends, family and even patients Sacks helped. All you've gotta do is watch the film at your leisure (even after the discussion is fine), then tune into the CCA's webinar with Burns. Worth it. (ADV)

The Living Room Series: Celebrating Oliver Sacks:
7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 30. $12.

Madrid Celluloid

Public Domain

By the time you read these words, the third annual Madrid Film Festival will have already completed its first day this year. The coming together of film dorks Joe West and Andrew Wice, this annual affair has long aimed to put filmmaking prowess into the hands of everyday New Mexicans, and this year, despite concerns COVID-19 would ruin everything for everyone, the show goes on. In a press release, Wice and West say that "despite the difficulties imposed on filmmakers by the virus shutdown, the quality of films submitted this year was astonishing." Sounds good, but how do we attend this evening while staying safe? Easy, friends—tables. See, this year's fest is presented Golden Globes style, at socially distanced tables thanks to Beer Creek Brewing Co., where the free fest takes place. So drink a brew, order a pizza, watch your statemates' movie magic. (ADV)

Third Annual Madrid Film Festival:
6 pm Wednesday, Sept. 30. Free.
Beer Creek Brewing Co.,
3810 NM-14,

Go For the Gould

Courtesy Foto Forum

There's something strangely comforting about the photography of Meggan Gould. Oh, sure, she's got all the credentials like learnin' from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (plus a sweet arts teaching gig at UNM), but in the works that'll be shown at Santa Fe's Foto Forum starting this week, there's something more emotional than academic. Gould created her own pigments in a rainbow's worth of colors, then used them to dye anything from dandelions and cotton swabs to tampons, popcorn and marshmallows. Such slight alterations help us peer at the easily over-lookable with fresh eyes, questioning our perceived realities and drawing our minds to thoughts of why we accept the things that just are. Of course, that's just us—you'll have to put on your mask and make your own calls.

Meggan Gould Solo Exhibition:
5 pm Friday, Oct. 2. Free.
Foto Forum Santa Fe,
1714 Paseo de Peralta,