1 Be a Valentine.
Over 150 local food and artist vendors take over the Rail Yards Market in Albuquerque on Sunday for a special Valentine Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We have farms, chefs, food trucks, bakers, and artisan items,” says market manager Alaska Piper. “It’s a great way for folks to come out and support local during Valentine’s Day.”
The family-friendly affair includes a kid zone, run by the Girl Scouts of Albuquerque, where children can make Valentine’s Day pins. Youth flamenco group Flamenco Works, from the Barelas neighborhood, performs at 11 a.m. La Rondalla, a multigenerational New Mexico folk group, takes the stage after. Look for a photo booth with a floral backdrop created by EMS Farms, and a Valentine-making station.
The market has also created a special Valentine’s gift bag with goodies from five local vendors. It includes a heart-shaped pan dulce from Aroma Dulce, chocolate from Tia Coco, a local-honey-filled bear from Bee’s Honey, a mini Bundt cake from Planty Sweet, and a mini bouquet from Mason Jar Flowers. The bag comes in a Rail Yards Market tote with a mug and stickers featuring work by artist Nico Salazar. “It’s a great event for friends, families, ‘galentines,’ and anyone who wants to come support the community,” Piper says.
Keep the romance going on Sunday when Cerrillos Station hosts a pop-up market, All Things Love, featuring wrapped bouquets by Sage Sparrow Florals, handmade jewelry by NM14 Outpost’s Corey Mansfield, artwork by Diné artist Jesse Joe, and cheese plates from Picnic NM. Give ’em your heart from noon to 4 p.m.
2 Celebrate Art + Sol.
A fiesta of arts that spotlights the vibrant wintertime creativity of the City Different, Art + Sol Winter Arts Festival happens over nine days starting this Saturday. It includes live musical performances, plays, and stand-up comedy at some of Santa Fe’s hottest venues, including the Santa Fe Playhouse, Meow Wolf, and the Lensic Performing Arts Center. On Saturday, six Canyon Road galleries band together for the SweetART Serenade, a trunk show and gallery walk that’s just one of three Art + Sol events happening this weekend. See the full lineup and buy tickets on the event’s website.
3 Ride with Black cowboys.
Part of the Outriders: Legacy of the Black Cowboy exhibition at the Harwood Museum, in Taos, through May 7, the Outriders Film Series begins this weekend. In partnership with the Taos Center for the Arts, the series ranges from documentaries to vintage Westerns, presenting films that delve into the Black cowboy experience. “The cowboy is one of the biggest figures in American iconography,” says Gwendolyn Fernandez, curator of education and public programs at the Harwood. “But if you ask most people to name a cowboy, the examples they give are of white men. Those examples come from film and television, like Clint Eastwood or John Wayne. We wanted to unearth films that were made by Black filmmakers that tell stories about Black cowboys to counter that narrative.”
A series pass gets you access to all the movie screenings and a panel that happens on February 26. The Friday-night films take place at the TCA, while Sunday screenings are at the Harwood. Fernandez says one of her favorite movies in the series is a documentary titled Black Rodeo. “It documents the first Black rodeo that took place in Harlem, in New York, in 1972,” she says. “It’s a really exuberant and groovy film unlike anything I’ve seen.”
4 See the California Stars.
A splashy new exhibit, California Stars: Huivaniūs Pütsiv, opens at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian on Saturday in Santa Fe. Celebrating the contributions made by First Californian artists like photographer Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), fashion designer Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock), and painter Fritz Scholder (Luiseño), the exhibit includes works that span six decades.
Huivaniūs Pütsiv translates to “stars with us/around us” in Chemehuevi, referencing how the luminaries featured in the show have helped bring light to the art world. “I just wanted to honor the illumination and inspiration these artists have given to us,” says Andrea Hanley (Diné), chief curator at the Wheelwright. “I looked at the wonderful relationship many of these artists have had with the Wheelwright. Fritz Scholder had one of his first solo exhibits here in 1977. We have been collecting California baskets since the beginning of the museum in 1937. I am honored to be part of the Wheelwright’s legacy of safeguarding and supporting this work.” See the exhibit through January 14, 2024.
5 Dance to big band music.
Catch some pre-Valentine’s Day jazz at the Macey Center on Friday in Socorro, when the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra performs with special guest Hillary Smith at 7:30 p.m. Get there early and learn some new moves at a free swing-dance class with the New Mexico Tech Ballroom dance club starting at 6:30 p.m., then show off on the dance floor during the concert.
The 18-member jazz orchestra is led by Glenn Kostur, a University of New Mexico professor of jazz studies. The ensemble plays big band hits on saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, and other instruments. “I consider them something of an iconic group,” says Ronna Kalish, director of the New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series. “To have them come to Socorro is wonderful. Hillary Smith is a one-of-a-kind vocalist and powerhouse who will add a lot to the event.”