1 Get your mitts on some prints.
More than 30 printmakers from throughout the country are participating in the inaugural Fistful of Prints art fair, a three-day exhibition and print sale at the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA), in Santa Fe. The show opens with a ticketed artist reception Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and continues Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Part of the first Print Santa Fe event—a monthlong series of artist talks, exhibits, studio tours, and demonstrations—it takes after other successful print-centered events, like Print Austin.
“I am really excited by the caliber of artists coming to Santa Fe,” says Miranda Metcalf, director of Print Santa Fe. The gallery space inside CCA will be set with tables and walls to display the prints. “I think it will have a free-flowing vibe,” Metcalf says. Look for a lounge space created by Zane Bennett Contemporary Art and drinks from Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery. “We wanted to create a place where people can hang out, talk about prints, enjoy a drink, and maybe make some new friends.”
On Saturday, catch Print Santa Fe performances by Marwin Begaye (Diné) and Dennis McNett at Container in the Baca Railyard. Begaye will set a large woodblock carved in collaboration with students from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on a giant piece of paper. Local dancers will move on top, creating the print with the pressure of their footwork. “It’s printmaking meets land acknowledgment,” Metcalf says. “It speaks to Santa Fe as a traditional trade point for local Indigenous communities.” McNett will orchestrate a parade of masks, created during a mask-making workshop, alongside massive 12-foot puppets he creates in his own practice.
2 Catch a budding filmmaker’s work.
Celebrating its 20th year, the Desert Light Film Festival, in Alamogordo, highlights movies made by local high school and middle school students. On Friday, young filmmakers from throughout New Mexico gather in Alamogordo to show their creations on the big screen. Categories for festival submissions include documentary, animation, and music video, each with its own set of guidelines to help budding movie enthusiasts create their best work.
Head to the Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts at 12:30 p.m. to see the movies. “We had more than 140 films submitted,” says Joan Griggs, director at the Desert Light Film Festival. “We will show probably 25 to 30 of them.” Many of the kids who show their finished films at the festival have been working on their movies for a long time. “They look forward to it for years,” Griggs says. “It makes me feel awesome to see these young people spend their time on these films.”
3 Witness the Gathering of Nations.
The annual Gathering of Nations powwow brings Indigenous people from all around the world to Albuquerque to share culture and celebrate Indigeneity. Attendees feel a sense of magic and community as they witness the diversity of Native culture and traditions on proud display. Dancers in full regalia, a Miss Indian World Pageant, a horse and rider parade, and an artisan market are part of the gathering. The Miss Indian World Pageant presentations happen Thursday at the Kiva Auditorium in the Albuquerque Convention Center, and the powwow is a two-day affair, held Friday and Saturday at Tingley Coliseum at Expo New Mexico.
4 Enjoy a free, family-friendly fest.
A plethora of springtime activities and entertainment make up the ¡Mira! Las Cruces Festival, happening Saturday on downtown’s Main Street and the Plaza de Las Cruces from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Catch a live show by Frank Ray, a local country star who was named one of Pandora’s artists to watch, as well as openers Rodeo Norteño. Other live performances feature Centennial High School’s drum line, the Organ Mountain High School cheer team, Mariachi Jalisciense, ballet folklórico, and more. Music starts at 2 p.m. Other activities include a chalk art competition, a screening of Transformers, a car show, beer and wine gardens, interactive booths, a farmers’ and makers’ market, and the creation of a community mural. Mira Festival is free to attend.
5 Sip some wine.
One of New Mexico’s oldest wineries, La Viña, celebrates the season with the Spring Wine Festival, held at the La Unión winery. “It’s a nice time of year for a spring festival,” says Ken Stark, owner of La Viña. “We bottle two times a year: white in the spring, and red in the fall. So it’s a chance for us to present our wines to the people who like to try them.”
The $20 festival admission includes a commemorative glass and your choice between tasting 5 different wines or a full glass of your favorite. Look forward to live music, more than 70 arts and food vendors, bouncy houses for the kiddos, and new varietals to sip. The festival happens Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.