1 Feel the music at Ghost Ranch.
See some of the best indie bands perform against a stunning orange- and cream-hued backdrop at the Ghost Ranch Music Festival: Blossoms and Bones. Headliners include Toro Y Moi, Japanese Breakfast, Yola, and Spoon. The music starts around 5 p.m. Friday and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the headline performers taking the stage at 9:30 p.m. each evening. To keep the party rockin’, DJs from Team Everything perform after the bands finish. Then, get up for morning yoga with Rising Appalachia. Lawn-style means you’re welcome to bring a camping chair or blanket. Fuel your festival vibe with pizza from Tender Fire Kitchen and smash burgers from One Trick Pony Burger.
2 See New Mexico though its people.
In 2022, artists Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase Daniels traveled to 22 communities in northern New Mexico—including Chimayo, Pojoaque, Mora, Abiquiú, and Questa—in their mobile gallery, Axel Contemporary. They invited community members to sit for portraits, capturing their subjects with a small but significant item they brought along.
Chase Daniels and Wellman printed two copies of each photo, keeping one and giving the other to the folks who sat for their project. This weekend, Axel Contemporary presents the culmination of their project in the exhibition E Pluribus Unum, at the Taos Center for the Arts’ Encore Gallery. It features each of the 1,300 portraits, as well as a large collage of all of the images.
Axel Contemporary has been working on the project since the 2012 exhibition Time Lapse at SITE Santa Fe, which included 560 portraits of folks around the city. “Every time we do this, it changes a little bit,” Chase Daniels says. “We get better at processing the photos, laying out the books, getting the word out.”
That energy helps build momentum and bring new community collaborators. “We really want [the subjects] to feel comfortable and be who they are in the photo,” he says. “People are often a little nervous or shy, so they sometimes have a forced smile. We found that because they are holding an object, that disarms that a little bit, and we get better, more genuine portraits.” See the exhibition through October 8 at the Taos Center for the Arts.
3 Belly laugh at the Fiesta Melodrama.
Written by anonymous bawdy and beautiful Santa Feans, the Fiesta Melodrama pokes fun at recent local happenings and notable figures from politics to the press. In a tradition more than a century old, this year’s witty performance is directed by Felix Cordova, who’s overseen the show for 10 years. The drama takes the stage at the Santa Fe Playhouse for the first time this weekend with performances happening through September 10. Regular showings begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on the weekend.
4 View the land from a new perspective.
This weekend, New Mexico Highlands University alum Katherine Brimberry opens a new exhibition at NMHU’s Ray Drew Gallery. Titled Timescapes: What Was, What Is and What Will Be, it features nearly 20 works that examine the relationship between the land and time. Brimberry, who lives and works in Austin, Texas, where she is a member of the Women Printmakers of Austin, and co-founder, director, and senior master printmaker at the Flatbed Center for Contemporary Printmaking, was inspired to create these prints when she came across a series of 24-by-24-inch black-and-white photos the Bureau of Land Management took from an airplane, capturing vast Texas landscapes. “I was fascinated by them,” Brimberry says. “By the patterns, and all the things you see in photographs like that.”
In 2018, she started drawing on and inking the images, creating mixed-media works. Then she started making prints. “The etchings in the show came after those mixed-media pieces to explore the ideas further,” says Brimberry. “In printmaking, since you have the plates and the memory in those plates, you are able to try different colors and different ways of stacking the colors, you have more ways to look at time.”
As Brimberry worked on the series, she thought about elements that affect the land, like fire and water. “I remember thinking I am working on the fire to come, the flood to come,” she says. “It’s kind of eerie to show the work in a time when these things are actually happening.” See the exhibition through September 29.
5 Celebrate a Mesilla icon.
In life, J. Paul Taylor was larger than his slight figure. A prominent figure in New Mexico, Taylor passed away in February at 102. Every year on his birthday, August 24, J. Paul and his wife, Mary Daniels-Taylor, welcomed folks into their home to celebrate. The Taylors donated the historic home, parts of which date to the 1880s, to the New Mexico Historic Sites, and it was proclaimed a state monument in 2004.
The Taylors’ birthday-party tradition stands today, though both Taylors have passed. “Celebrating Mr. and Mrs. Taylor without either of them is certainly bittersweet,” said Rhonda Dass, manager of the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Site in a press release.
The party happens Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with booths along Mesilla Plaza that highlight important historical happenings. Taylor family members will be in the courtyard of the Taylor home from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. if you’d like stop in for a visit.