1 Go with the flow.

SITE Santa Fe’s newest exhibition Going with the Flow: Art, Actions, and Western Waters examines the role the essential element plays in the world and especially in the desert. The group show features sound, performance, and site-specific installations that ask viewers to engage with questions about what it means to be a steward to this resource vital to all life on Earth.

“Art and artists have this beautiful way of being a powerful catalyst for change,” says Brandee Caoba, curator at SITE and co-curator of Going with the Flow.

The exhibition includes works by Paula Castillo, Basia Irland, Sharon Stewart, M12 Studio collective, and the collaborators of There Must Be Other Names for the River (Dylan McLaughlin, Marisa DeMarco, and Jessica Zeglin). “Through the lens of contemporary artists, information can be more accessible.”

Going with the Flow opens Friday with a reception from 5–9 p.m. that includes music by Felix y Los Gatos and DJ Dynamite S, drinks from Paloma, and food-truck treats. See the exhibit through July 31 with programs and activities in and outside of SITE throughout its duration.

The funky town of Carrizozo hosts a variety of World Art Day activities. Photograph courtesy of World Art Day.

2 Celebrate art, ’Zozo-style.

On Saturday, the funky town of Carrizozo hosts an extravaganza of creative fun to mark World Art Day, including a fashion show, a celebration of a new sculpture, a poetry reading, and a concert. The first World Art Day happened in 2012 to honor international creativity on Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday. Carrizozo became the first New Mexico community to join the global art party in 2018, and the celebration has only grown from there.

A big tent set at the intersection of U.S. 54 and the arts district on 12th Street is home base for the event, and the spot to see the N’Awlins Gumbo Kings perform at 4 p.m. Local galleries—including New Mexico’s largest photo gallery, the Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography—will be open and will help unveil a new collaborative sculpture.

Created by 20 artists who live in Carrizozo, the collaborative installation takes inspiration from famous works that feature flowers. “One piece is inspired by Gustav Klimt, and it features pieces of an old window,” says Cynthia Johnson, organizer of Carrizozo’s World Art Day. “Another is inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and has old animal bones. And another, inspired by Renoir, has actual flowers attached.” Together, the 20 works create a flower garden. “It’s a very eclectic group,” Johnson says.

One of Central America’s most gifted musicians, Aurelio Martinez, aka AURELIO, performs Saturday at the AfroMundo Festival. Photograph courtesy of the AfroMundo Festival.

3 Explore a global community.

With the theme Resistance & Creativity, the AfroMundo Festival blasts off in Albuquerque on Saturday. The festival lineup includes a full week of events, with live music, dance, film screenings, poetry readings, culinary events, and panel discussions. Artists come from around the world—including Peru, Honduras, New York, Brazil, and Chicago—to perform and engage in this festival, which is focused on building community.

“The festival is designed to explore the complexities of Latinidad in the sense that most people think Latinos look a certain way, they think it’s limited to one thing,” says Loida Maritza Pérez, executive director and founder of the festival. “The best way to explore historical issues and even difficult social issues is through culture. Not just song and dance but multiple arts and humanities programs.”

Running through April 22, festival events are free and take place at venues throughout the Duke City, including the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Outpost Performance Space, and the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. “Building community should not come with a price tag,” she says. “We’re doing it to foster equity and foster community. Those conversations should be free.”

Grab some friends and head to the Cottonwood BrewFest in Alamogordo. Photograph by Elevate/Unsplash.

4 Drink beer in the sunshine.

Enjoy a frosty craft beer and bask in the spring sun at the Griggs Sports Complex in Alamogordo during Cottonwood BrewFest, Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m. Enjoy games of cornhole and a ring toss, tons of local vendors selling handmade goodies, and food trucks with delicious snacks.

Manuel Carrillo's "Man in Doorway," is among 19 images in a new exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art. Photograph courtesy of the New Mexico Museum of Art.

5 See through the lens of a Mexican modernist.

Focusing his lens on everyday moments in his native Mexico, the late photographer Manuel Carrillo illuminated the beauty of the commonplace. A new exhibition featuring 19 of his works, Manuel Carrillo: Mexican Modernist, opened April 12 at the New Mexico Museum of Art, showing off his street photography and its brilliance. Organized by Katherine Ware, the Santa Fe museum’s curator of photography, the exhibition shows Carrillo’s dedication to Mexicanidad, a movement aimed at communicating the Mexican experience.

“Carrillo’s skill as a photographer relies on his ability to transform the seemingly mundane into something visually and emotionally engaging,” says Mark White, executive director at the New Mexico Museum of Art. “There’s a lot of heart in Carrillo’s work.” See the show through February 4, 2024. 

Read more: For more things to do, check out our online calendar of events.