1 Go west.
New and young artists are changing the Western art scene. Young Guns, a new exhibit opening this weekend at Manitou Galleries, in Santa Fe, highlights innovative works that also pay homage to the artists who came before them. The show includes sculptures and paintings by Chase Tafoya, Aaron Hazel, Campbell Dosch, and Curtis Wade. Hazel and Wade will demonstrate their processes at the gallery all day Friday, and an opening reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. See the exhibit through May 2.
2 Fly a kite.
Grab your kite and head to the Whitewater Mesa Labyrinths in Glenwood on Saturday for the 16th annual Kite Flying Picnic. Happening for the first time since 2019, the event is sanctioned by the American Kitefliers Association and draws learned hands from throughout New Mexico to show off their skills.
Cordelia Rose, organizer of the Kite Picnic, says to expect delta-shaped kites, which are the easiest to fly, as well as caterpillars (the ones with long tails) and a few box kites. “We have a couple of international prize-winning kite makers coming with their innovative and beautiful kites,” she says. Rose says wearing gloves will help avoid string burns from the kites, and a good sun hat will help to keep the sun out of your eyes. Fliers of every experience level are welcome to send up their kites from noon to 5 p.m. on the mesa, which overlooks the picturesque Gila National Forest. (You can walk the labyrinth, too!)
3 Celebrate women ranchers.
The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, in Las Cruces, honors women who work the farming industry in the changing exhibition Her Land: Women in Agriculture. “Museums typically focus on our ancestors and their incredible accomplishments,” says Executive Director Heather Reed. “We often forget that history is unfolding right in front of us within our communities and our states. Her Land spotlights the amazing feats and contributions of modern-day women and showcases young women working on the future of agriculture.”
The exhibition occupies a display wall in the museum’s central corridor, and it features a new woman every six months. Currently, Her Land focuses on Sophia Moreno, a 21-year-old who lives in La Union, and has been both Miss Rodeo New Mexico Teen and the Southern New Mexico Fair Rodeo Queen. She and her family raise livestock and horses, and she plans to become a veterinarian. Moreno hopes to have her own family and pass along her knowledge of agriculture to her children.
4 Honor an Indigenous artist.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, honors late Indigenous artist Deanna Autumn Leaf Suazo (Taos Pueblo) with a special exhibit, Traditional Girl With a Contemporary Pop, opening this weekend. Suazo combined her love for Japanese anime with traditional Indigenous imagery, often painting on ledger paper and sheets of music.
A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, she was hitting her stride with commissions that included decorating a room at Nativo Lodge, in Albuquerque, when the 29-year-old’s life was cut short by violence in November 2021. (Her boyfriend was later charged with the crime, which happened on Taos Pueblo.) This exhibit, curated by her artist parents, Geraldine Tso (Diné) and Gary David Suazo (Taos Pueblo), celebrates her life. Refreshments at the opening on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. will be provided by the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women.
“This exhibit is about the beauty, humor, and laughter, as well as inspiration, this young artist brought to many lives, and shows us her unique view and perspectives,” says head curator Paula Mirabal (Taos Pueblo). See the exhibit in the Art Through Struggle Gallery through February 18.
5 Rev up.
Artesia becomes a car-lover’s paradise this weekend during the 23rd annual Main Event Car Show & Cruise. It starts with a cruise down Main Street on Friday at 6 p.m. where participants will show off classic tractors, vintage rides, and lowrider works of art. The event continues all day Saturday with all the cars on display, plus fun activities like face painting, food trucks, and live music. Attendees are encouraged to dress in period costumes and can win awards for decades from the 1920s through 1970s.