SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of Feb. 16

An arts dynasty, la vie is SO en rose, Black excellence on film and an illuminating talk

A Family Affair

Wheelwright goes deep with the iconic Abeyta family

Most shows at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian are fairly personal for Chief Curator Andrea Hanley, but in the case of the recently opened Abeyta | To’Hajiilee K’é, dedicated to the illustrious Abeyta family of Navajo artists, it’s a little bit more intense. Hanley previously worked with Pablita Abeyta at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and not only did she get a front-row seat to the celebrated artist’s creativity and personal life, she learned a lot about how the institutional art world works. For this and countless other reasons, Hanley is proud—and should be—of the new show, which runs through early January next year.

“I just really wanted to do something for the family, and for the sisters, Pablita and Elizabeth, who had been featured in group shows, but hadn’t had a major exhibition of their work,” Hanley tells SFR. “It’s also about looking at the deeper connection to important historical moments the family has had with things like self-determination, conflict, expression.”

Most in the art world know the name Tony Abeyta. He is, as Hanley says, “a rockstar,” but the Wheelwright’s broadened scope includes pieces from the expanded Abeyta clan, including patriarch Narciso Abeyta—a one-time Navajo code talker and artist who rubbed shoulders with the likes of Fritz Scholder and Allan Houser in his time.

“I think the show really looks at this sort of idea that this family of artists played a larger role and had a larger impact not only on the art world, but the Native world,” Hanley continues. “Pablita had her lobbying work and the Smithsonian; Elizabeth was sort of this pioneer in terms of immersing herself into the modernization of the Southwest and its art scene; and Tony, well, the work speaks for itself.”

What this means for the scope of the show’s pieces is inestimably exciting. Sculpture, illustration, jewelry, ceramics, paintings—the list goes on. And while as much credit as possible goes to the ongoing Abeyta dynasty for their seemingly tireless contributions to the ever-evolving Indigenous arts world, you’ve really gotta hand it to Hanley for somehow gathering a cohesive show from so many decades of work.

“You look at this family and all the things they’ve done, and it’s important for us to talk about that,” she concludes. “Thinking about all those beautiful things that connect these works, looking at tribal ideas of art and broadens our ideas of Native American art history through this amazing, dynamic family. It protects our collective memory through creativity, agency, sovereignty.” (Alex De Vore)

Abeyta | To’Hajiilee K’é: 10 am-4 pm through Jan. 7. 2023. By admission. Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, 704 Camino Lejo, (505) 982-4636

Aww, Geez, Edith!

Either you know French singer Edith Piaf from, like, knowing music, or you were down with the 2007 Marion Cotillard film La Vie en Rose. However you know the celebrated chanteuse, though, you can learn a lot from the internationally touring Piaf! The Show, which wends its way to the Lensic Performing Arts Center boasting more than a million ticket sales across 50 countries. Learn all about Piaf’s journey from French creator Gil Marsalla and become bewitched by the much-ballyhooed titular performance from Anne Carrere, whom some have described as Piaf’s musical heiress. You’ll know some songs, learn some new ones and gain a deeper appreciation for how dang hard it once was to make a go of it in music. The whole thing’s in French, just know that. (ADV)

Piaf! The Show: 7:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 17. $35. Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W San Francisco St., (505) 988-1234

We All Are

If you haven’t been keeping an eye on Santa Fe’s Earthseed Black Arts Collective since it formed in 2020, you’ve been missing out on a treasure trove resource that encompasses dance, visual arts, music, theater and, now, film. At this week’s We Are Film Festival, founding members Raashan Ahmad, Nikesha Breeze and Tigre Mashaal-Lively come together to host a trio of films by Breeze, Ahmad and Mashaal-Lively, as well as filmmakers Ay Billi, Rashad Pridgen, Ezrah, Miles Tokunow and more. With three showings in one day, the micro-fest aims to raise funds for Earthseed’s ongoing projects while shining a light on Black excellence in New Mexico. We’ve yet to see Earthseed produce anything short of profound and inspirational, and We Are should prove no different. Tickets will be limited to assure COVID safety, and the whole event works on a pay-what-you-can donation system. (ADV)

We Are Film Festival: 6 pm, 7:30 pm and 9 pm Friday, Feb. 18. Suggested donation. Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma Ave., (505) 466-5528

Rise, Resist, Learn

The Santa Fe Art Institute continues its mission of gathering illuminating artists from across borders at the upcoming Sites of Resistance virtual talk on Zoom, a part of the ongoing Desierto Mountain Time series. Featuring Philadelphia-based artist Maria Alarcón, Texas designer, artist and educator Nansi Guevara and New Mexico’s own multimedia visual artist and dancer Nikesha Breeze, the collaborative talk presented by SFAI, Albuquerque’s 516 Arts and the Roswell Artist-in-Residence program is meant to delve into artists who work to engage the intersections between diasporic communities and culture. In other words, these are artists with powerful messaging working across more mediums than seem possible to help us better understand those from cultures who have so often been othered. Prepare to have your minds blown and your hearts swell, folks—this is as meaningful as it gets. (ADV)

Sites of Resistance Virtual Talk: 1 pm Saturday, Feb. 19. Free.

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