SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of Nov. 22

Love on Chama, miss John Candy, give better gifts and feel the cowboy Christmas

Dream a Little Dream

Painter Michael Roque Collins remembers Chama

To call painter Michael Roque Collins’ upcoming LewAllen Galleries exhibit a departure might be a little strong, but In the Chama, Where the Spirit Flows feels more classically representative than some of Collins’ more recent bodies of work. Chama imparts memory, or at least a dreamlike representation thereof. Collins has spent countless days in New Mexico over the years—flyfishing, painting, exploring—and might just find Chama one of the most beautiful places on Earth. How he winds up creating gorgeous expressionistic versions of the area, however, differs from what one might assume of a landscape artist.

“Rock, sky, water, ground—that’s actually what drives my allegorical, post-symbolistic paintings,” he says of previous works, “but Chama was an area I’d visit, and I’d always make sketches with oak twigs and India ink; walnut; sepia; minimally colored and earthen. And I’d also do these studies from memory.”

Collins doesn’t dabble in plein air, he tells SFR, but rather, for this show, he plumbs the depths of his recollections alongside those quick sketches to create pieces rooted in his subconscious. Thus, his version of Chama is both familiar yet inherently unknowable. Works read like dreams wherein landmarks become distorted—you’re you, only you’re not you; you know this place, but it’s not a 1:1 recreation.

“The falling mesas, the setting sun—I realized these bits and pieces,” Collins continues. “Sunflowers on a trail, things growing in a garden...Matisse had this wonderful saying about how unless we, as artists, go back to nature’s rhythms from time to time and dip into them, we have short careers ahead of us.”

Collins’ career has been anything but short, of course. The Houston-based artist has shown in Santa Fe for decades, for example, and today splits his time between his Texas studio and extolling his artistic know-how via academia. Known primarily for using a myriad of tools, from brushes and knives to handmade ephemera developed over time, Collins went pure brush for the new Chama series.

“I think New Mexico has a magic energy,” he says. “I’ve been all over this planet, but I always thought New Mexico is the ultimate.” (Alex De Vore)

Michael Roque Collins: In the Chama, Where the Spirit Flows Opening: 5-7 pm Friday, Nov. 24. Free. LewAllen Galleries, 1613 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 988-3250

A Classic

Going to the movies during the holiday season remains a time-honored tradition that stretches as far back as anyone can remember, but just because we’ve entered the nightmarish Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year’s corridor doesn’t mean the films always feel appropriate for the time of year. Planes, Trains and Automobiles at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, however, feels just right. The John Hughes classic is simplicity incarnate—a man (Steve Martin) tries to get home for Thanksgiving while trapped with the worst possible traveling companion (John Candy). Hilarity ensues, but so do the feel-goods. If nothing else, it’s Martin and Candy at the top of their games, so if you somehow missed this thing before now, make it work. (ADV)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 3 pm and 9 pm Friday, Nov. 24; 6 pm and 9 pm Sat. Nov. 25; 7pm Sunday Nov. 26. $5. Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma Ave., (505) 466-5528

How to Give Gifts Good

Pojoaque’s Poeh Cultural Center has certainly proven itself in recent years when it comes to market events, and its upcoming Pathways Winter Market provides yet another example of how, when a whole slew of Indigenous artists come together to show their wares, Santa Fe’s gift-giving opportunities are second-to-none. This particular market is so sprawling, in fact, that artists will take over not one but two ballrooms at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. And though there’s no way we could begin to fit all the names here, we can point out how the market presents opportunities to give something a little more thoughtful. Throw in live music, dancing and plenty of food and drink, and now you’re partying. (ADV)

Poeh Cultural Center’s Pathways Winter Market: 9 am-5 pm Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26. Free (but pay for items, duh). Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino, 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, (505) 455-5555

It’s Christmastime in the City

Why cowboy types have had such success in the Christmas milieu is anyone’s guess (see Gene Autry), but that’s just the world in which we live, and recent anecdotal evidence suggests wide support for the phenomenon. In this case, we’re talking Michael Martin Murphey, one of those boot-wearin’ troubadours from Texas who, for something like five decades, has won acclaim for his songwriting chops and warm style. Murphey comes to Santa Fe often this time of year, likely to bask in the winter magic of our town, but also to spread some of his own. We know Thanksgiving is still on people’s minds just now, but we’re phasing over to X-mas in a big way, Santa Fe, and Murphey’s country takes on classics and originals ought to help set the tone nicely. (ADV)

Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas: 7:30 pm Monday, Nov. 27. $65. St. Francis Auditorium, 107 W Palace Ave., (505) 476-5072

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