New Mexico Museum of Art makes the invisible visible with Breath Taking
The New Mexico Museum of Art's Curator of Photography Kate Ware was ready to go with the exhibit Breath Taking last year when the pandemic began. What once was meant to be a celebratory look at breath and breathing suddenly became a lot more complicated. If breathing can kill us—which, as we've learned with COVID-19, it can—how does a curator rework a show about breath and breathing, and make it a bit more current?
"[The pandemic] gave us the opportunity to reevaluate," Ware says. "Instead of breath being a good thing that keeps you alive, it becomes threatening; and because we also looked at the renewed call for racial equity, I think it's a much stronger show."
In addition to the roughly 75% of the original show that made it through to the final exhibit, the upcoming opening will feature a wider range of pieces. Take, for example, Washington, DC-based photographer Tony Mobley, whom Ware found on Instagram. With powerful black and white photographs of protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis—and Eric Garner's words, "I can't breathe," still ringing in our ears—Mobley captured a poignant and unforgettable moment in time.
Look also to video workshops from artist Shaun Leonardo, which teach lessons in how to escape a chokehold; or to the photos of Don Usner, who snapped New Mexicans across the state, masked and grappling with the new breathing realities of a COVID-19 world. Elsewhere in the show, works by Alison Keogh, Jill O'Bryan, Frank Rodick and many others hit the concepts of breath and breathing from most conceivable angles, from interpersonal to environmental and beyond.
"It's a little bit of an absurd idea for a show of visible art to be about something invisible," Ware adds, "but I'm always interested in how art, particularly photography, can articulate what's invisible." (Alex De Vore)
Breath Taking Opening:
All Day, Saturday, March 13. By admission.
New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W Palace Ave.,
Since it's important to celebrate the small victories right now, how nice is it outside lately? It's seriously nice. And pretty warm. In fact, it's pretty good ice cream weather. But this ain't your daddy's Baskin Robbins, any-old-ice-cream-will-do kind of year—you need something that's so for real. Enter Xzavian Cookbey and his ever-popular Freezie Fresh ice cream truck. A mobile monument to fresh-made ice creams with your choice of add-ons, Freezie Fresh's annual appearances have become the stuff of legend, a veritable feast of delights for both taste and sight; the concoctions are made fresh before your eyes on one of those freeze plate things (think crepe pan, but cold), rolled up and placed in a cup. Eat it. Believe us. Find him in the Big 5 parking lot. (ADV)
Freezie Fresh Opening Day:
Noon-8 pm Friday, March 12. Free (but pay for ice cream, duh).
2860 Cerrillos Road,
We'll pretty much use any excuse to put blues legend Taj Mahal in the paper, and when the folks at the Lensic Performing Arts Center collaborate with the man for, oh, we don't know, the bazillionth time, we still find ourselves thinking about how everyone should know. What can even be said about Taj Mahal that hasn't already? Not a lot, but for this particular event (which will be livestreamed as part of an ongoing series), Mr. Mahal joins forces with his own Phantom Blues Band as well as New Orleans funk master Jon Clearly, a mainstay on shows with the likes of Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John and other such well-known musical heroes. You'll have 48 hours to watch the show once you're registered, too, so even if the premiere doesn't work for you, there's time to get satisfied and tickled, too. (ADV)
Taj Mahal with John Clearly:
7 pm Saturday, March 13. $25-$32.
For the Kids
A friend of ours with young kids recently lamented how he and his wife "picked up the kids from school one day, and they didn't see their friends again for nearly a year." It's a tough time to be a kid (it always is, kind of), but the people at the Santa Fe Children's Museum want to soften the blow of COVID-19, isolation, etc. We're talkin' about that 2021 Wee Wonder Virtual Play Program, a series of online events for children ages 3-6 featuring stories, songs, movement activities, show and tell, STEM stuff and more. The program works in tandem with the museum's bilingual Grab-and-Go Kits and only runs $25 for two interactive storytime sessions (scholarships are available; free for members). This week's theme is Ocean Adventures. (ADV)
Wee Wonder Virtual Program:
9-11 am Tuesday, March 16. $25.