SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of Jan. 3

Something queer at the library, plus witches, songwriters and self-reflection

Something Queer This Way Comes

Something Queer at the Library event educates and elucidates queer issues in US and beyond—plus, it’s a book club

Most young New Mexicans spend their years fantasizing about getting out of the state—and some plan to come back while others fastidiously try to avoid it for fear they’ll stay forever. In the case of local librarian and academic Samuel Buelow, a native of Los Alamos who now calls Santa Fe home, what had been a plan for a brief return turned long-term when he landed a job at the Southside branch of the Santa Fe Public Library.

“My PhD is in cultural anthropology, but I was burned out with that and needed something that would keep me in one place,” he tells SFR. “A position opened up at the library and it turned out to be the dream job I didn’t even realize I was dreaming about.”

Buelow has been with the library since last summer and has already kicked off a series of queer-focused events and gatherings under the banner of a discussion group and book club. Thus far, he says, the group has dug into Carolina De Robertis’ The Gods of Tango and Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt—plus the film Carol based on that book; at the forthcoming Something Queer at the Library, Buelow will delve into time he spent in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan before and during graduate school at Indiana University.

“Central Asia was of interest to me for both personal and professional reasons,” he explains. “A lot of it centered around identity aspects for me—I’m mixed East Asian and Central European and sort of blended in in a way that was really comfortable—and I just knew it was someplace I wanted to spend more time.”

During that time, Buelow worked with LGBTQ+ NGOs on a more personal level to learn the stories and situations of queer folks in both countries. In many cases, queer marginalization is practically universal, according to Buelow, and he’ll present tales of violence and state-sponsored oppression, but also of hope and good work.

“We’ve got a really good core group, too,” he says of those who have attended the events on the second Tuesday of each month. “The positive feedback we’ve received is immense…overwhelmingly positive.”

One needn’t register to attend; simply show up.(Alex De Vore)

Something Queer at the Library: 6-7:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 9. Free. Santa Fe Public Library (Southside), 6588 Jaguar Drive, (505) 955-2820

Ooooh, Witchy Women

We’re on the cusp of a threshold here, people, and it’s wise to stay receptive. That’s exactly the kind of language that might bum out a nay-sayer who isn’t yet ready to embrace their place in the natural universe now; for others, it’s a siren call to a collective consciousness. There, there be witches. At the upcoming Witchy Wednesday event at Midtown boutique hotel and café The Mystic, a veritable coven of knowledgeable, powerful witches descend with the intent to help. Whether that’s psychic readings from Nina Wilson, palmistry from Eve Ostara or herbal matchmaking with Fauna Gold remains up to guests. Find tarot as well with Stephanie Alia, who uses two custom-designed decks she conceived personally and had illustrated by Barcelona-based artist Daniella Efe. “It can go several different ways,” Alia explains of her readings. “I think of the cards like energies, a path, a potential cheat sheet.” Open your mind to that, and know that pricing for each service varies. (ADV)

Witchy Wednesday: 7 pm Wednesday, Jan. 3. Free (but pay for services, duh). The Mystic, 2810 Cerrillos Road, (505) 471-7663

Self on the Shelf

Navigating the concepts of identity and self have grown more complex over time, and that’s actually a good thing. People needn’t be one thing anymore; they needn’t be anything we don’t wish. They do, however, need to self-examine. In a way, that concept underpins Strata Gallery’s ongoing Selfhood exhibit juried by artist Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, a sprawling 30-artist affair that digs into visual representations of self, self-discovery, self-definition and self-direction. Experience multiple mediums and concepts, ranging from gender politics, personal progression and perspectives and, perhaps above all, a sense of fluidity. Yes, the show has been open for a minute, but Strata hosts the official reception this week. Check it out. See what you can learn about yourself. (ADV)

Selfhood Reception: 5-7 pm Friday, Jan. 5. Free. Strata Gallery, 125 Lincoln Ave., (505) 780-5403

Battle of the Jamz

Though music seems more powerful as a tool for bringing people together rather than a force around which to build a competition, it’s hard to argue with the lineup for the first qualifying night of the Santa Fe Brewing 2024 Songwriting Contest. For said event, nine musicians including Lucy Barna, Bricey, Christina Gomez, Jon Yelvertion and more duke it out across two original songs each for a panel of judges. The audience votes for their faves, too, and the winner advances to the next round. The event is free, but attendees pay for ballots (up to three per person.) Is it weird? Kind of, yeah, but these are talented people performing, so who knows—you might get swept up into the flow of things. (ADV)

Santa Fe Brewing 2024 Songwriter Contest Qualifier Night 1: 6 pm Saturday, Jan. 6. Ballots $7-$12. The Bridge @Santa Fe Brewing Co., 37 Fire Place, (505) 557-6182

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