SFR Picks

SFR Picks-Week of April 3

Four Star Tattoo celebrates its 25th anniversary, star-filled poetry and more


Santa Fe’s oldest tattoo shop Four Star Tattoo turns 25 this week with no signs of slowing down

Take a look around the Santa Fe tattoo shop-o-sphere and a picture begins to emerge: one of a town that once boasted a number of quality shops you could count on one hand, but that now claims some of the finest artists in the world (yeah—the world).

Its nucleus, however, or maybe its Big Bang, is inarguably that of Four Star Tattoo, that most legendary custom shop that as of 2024 will count 25 years in business under owner/tattooer Mark Vigil. Not one to let the milestone go by unnoticed, Vigil and his crew will celebrate the quarter century victory this Saturday with a full day of flash deals, revelry and general tattoo excellence.

“I love tattooing,” Vigil, who has worked professionally since 1992, tells SFR. “I think about it every day and I’m super-passionate about it still; from the smallest to the biggest, it’s an honor to do this and we just want to keep it going.”

Vigil can and should take a bow at this point, given all he’s done in and for the tattoo scene in Santa Fe. Under his tutelage, artists like Los Lunas’ Miguel Chavez, Shrine Tattoo co-founder Zac Scheinbaum, Seven-Ten Studio’s Jeffrey Pitt and many others have thrived in the industry. Vigil has also assembled quite the dream team at his own shop, including mainstays J. Green and Scott Buffington, plus new-ish Four Star faces like Bud Wizzo, Cameron Forsley, Caleb Barnard, Patrick Jones and Noah Trainor. Still, reflecting upon 25 years feels wild, Vigil says.

“Hopefully I have another 10 years tattooing in me,” he says. “I mean, I love it so much, but you never know. I’ve been doing this 32 years and I’m confident I have more. I would just like to continue serving Santa Fe and New Mexico—and I think, 25 years…why am I lucky enough to have that? Why did I make it through the heaviest parts of the pandemic? I guess if you care about something like that, you’re gonna do it.”

Amen, brother. And Happy Anniversary. (Alex De Vore)

Four Star Tattoo 25th Anniversary: 11 am-5 pm Saturday, April 6. Free (but pay for tattoos, duh). Four Star Tattoo, 825 Topeka St., (505) 984-9313

Cool ASL

With roughly 30% of Americans over the age of 12 experiencing hearing loss in both ears, it’s likely you know someone who uses American Sign Language, but how can we shine a light and educate others about the Deaf community? A new monthly ASL hangout event at Cake’s aims to do just that. “We encourage people to come in and turn their voices off and just embrace the culture, and it does not matter if you’ve never signed before,” coordinator Chelsie ‘Chacha’ Reed says. “There’s interpreters that come in, and people who just appreciate the language who are willing to help others learn…and everybody just sits and chats and meets each other.” Grab some food, coffee or your favorite alcoholic beverage and get to learning and creating community. (Evan Chandler)

ASL & Deaf Night Out: 5-8 pm Thursday April 4. Free. Cakes Café, 227 Galisteo St., (505) 303-4880

Camp Stories

Though she herself is not an astronomer, New Mexico Poet Laureate Lauren Camp did land the Astronomer in Residence gig at the Grand Canyon National Park in 2022. How does that work, exactly? Well, it’s complicated, but suffice it to say that Camp led nighttime poetry events alongside rangers dedicated to expounding knowledge of the night sky, but she was often left to her own devices to write. This led to Camp’s newest book, In Old Sky, from which she’ll read at Geronimo’s Books this week alongside Arizona poet Joni Wallace. “I was writing for a particular audience,” Camp says. “The audience who might never see dark skies, might not live near a place where dark skies exist or for people who might love the Grand Canyon but never see it. By thinking about it that way, it was a kind of freedom—I got to see it in a way that really only the rangers and workers get to experience.” April is Poetry Month, so you’d better go. (ADV)

Lauren Camp and Joni Wallace Reading: 4-5 pm Sunday, April 7. Free. Geronimo’s Books, 3018 Cielo Court, (505) 467-8135

Parody Paintings

“The point is to create a space in between these two very different things that generates a collision of ideas—that juxtaposition,” artist William Nelson tells SFR of the dozen oil-on-canvas paintings he presents in his new exhibit at LewAllen Galleries, Curious Collisions. Resembling photo collages, Nelson’s newest works combine old Hollywood glamor aesthetics (and actors) with cartoon and comic book characters to create parodic pieces that raise more questions than they answer.

“You hear songs and have your own interpretation of them, regardless of the lyrics or music,” Nelson says. “I think people are reluctant to do that to visual arts, and I’m trying to lift that veil…and they’re fun and they’re accessible.” (Mo Charnot)

William Nelson: Curious Collisions: 10 am-6 pm Mon-Sat; through Saturday, April 27. LewAllen Galleries, 1613 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 988-3250

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