1 Experience catharsis.
Painting in the style of pointillism, Starr Hardridge creates brightly colored pieces that resemble—and are inspired by—the beadwork of his Muscogee (Creek) Nation people. A large work can take him a month, working every week for 40 hours to see the image come to life. “Some people see the work and think it’s a weaving or beadwork,” he says. “But it’s paint, painted one dot at a time.”
Marvel at them yourself when Blue Rain Gallery, in Santa Fe, opens Renewal, a solo exhibit of 10 paintings, with a reception Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Hardridge created the works between October 2022 and this January. “It’s been a pretty dramatic year for me,” he says. “I’ve lost loved ones and had big changes in my health and personal life. Renewal refers to the beginning of a new year, and a renewal of spirit. [Painting] is a cathartic release, a crying out of the spirit in order to repair itself. There is a deep spiritual sense to the work and the process.”
See the exhibit through March 11.
2 Piece it together.
From historic textiles to contemporary masterworks, more than 100 quilts celebrate the art of the stitch during Gathering of Quilts, held Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Truth or Consequences Civic Center. The free event includes quilting demonstrations and raffles for door prizes.
Melissa Rucker, a member of the Winter Quilters of Sierra County, says she loves the camaraderie involved in quilting. “We meet every Wednesday and we sit together, visit, and quilt,” she says. “It’s a nice way to sit with people and do something for the community.” The group makes quilts for local organizations like the police department, veteran’s center, and pregnancy center. “Some of these ladies have been quilting their whole lives, and most of them are in their seventies and eighties.”
3 Rock on.
Sparkly specimens abound at the Museum Rocks! Gem and Mineral Show at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, in Las Cruces, this Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vendors from around the country display (and sell!) gems, minerals, jewelry, meteorites, petrified wood, and fossils. There are educational materials, books, jewelry-making supplies, and tips on rockhounding. Sample softer treats from the Cowboy Grill, Chico’s Taco Truck, and No Worries Bakery.
4 Mellow out.
Musicians Phil and Erica Hamilton used to live a fast-paced touring life, constantly on the road, performing around the country. But the pandemic forced them to remap their lives, with lowkey performances around Ruidoso. “It’s taught us a lot about our music,” Phil says. “Playing in this little town has been really special. New Mexicans are different during shows; they’re so receiving of the music.” On Saturday at 7 p.m., you can hear the Hamiltons’ mix of Americana, soul, and blues at Downshift Brewing Company’s Hidden Tap.
“Our songs are always storytelling types of songs,” says Phil, who says he and Erica write music together when they aren’t occupied by their 7-year-old daughter. “I think it makes our songs more real. Doing life together and having this little girl who is our whole world, writing about real-life experiences. We really feed off each other.”
5 Catch a rising star.
Cellist Daniel Kaler, a rising star in the classical music world, joins the New Mexico Philharmonic Sunday for a matinee performance at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill neighborhood. Part of NMPhil’s Afternoon Classics series, the concert features compositions by Haydn and Mozart—and will probably sell out, so grab a ticket right now.