1 Celebrate new beginnings.
Doña Ana Arts Council opens its new South Water Street space with Vindication, Restoration, and New Beginnings, an exhibition by artist Georjeanna Feltha. Working in a multitude of mediums, including painting and sculpture, Feltha draws on her experience as a Black artist and employs techniques she learned while pursuing undergrad studies at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and an MFA at New Mexico State University.
“A lot of my inspiration comes from my heritage,” says Feltha. “My grandmother sewed everything by hand, and she was a big inspiration. The found-object wall hangings are about New Mexico—we have so much good stuff here.”
Fiber arts are a passion for Feltha, who says this exhibit allowed her to dig deeper into mediums she doesn’t always get to explore. Meet her at the opening reception Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. during First Friday Arts Ramble. The exhibit runs through February 24.
2 Dive into state politics.
New Mexico State Senator Bill O’Neill’s play Save the Bees draws on his life in the Land of Enchantment’s political sphere by following two senators from different parties who sit together and discuss their lives, constituents, and divisive political issues. “Our current political atmosphere has deeply troubled me,” O’Neill says. “I came of age politically in a time when we could disagree, but it wasn’t on this level.”
The two-person play is based on O’Neill’s relationship with his Republican counterpart, Senator Cliff R. Pirtle, from Roswell. After the performance, the two real-life senators (Pirtle and O’Neill) sit for a Q&A session to engage the audience about the issues the play brings up. “This is an effort to address our political reality and offer some hope at the same time,” O’Neill says. Presented in collaboration with Teatro Paraguas and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Save the Bees takes the National Hispanic Cultural Center stage with performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
3 See life in miniature.
The 21st Annual Miniatures Show and Sale opens at the Millicent Rogers Museum, in Taos, on Friday, with a ticketed preview party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The long-running show celebrates the plethora of creativity that abounds in northern New Mexico, with works from almost 200 area established and emerging artists in a variety of mediums. “Our El Norte community really makes this happen,” says Michelle Lanteri, curator of collections and exhibitions at the Millicent Rogers Museum. “Their participation yields this mosaic of northern New Mexico views.”
Standout pieces include a scratchboard work by Jocelyn Martinez (Taos Pueblo). “She’s known for her portrayals of outdoor scenes, like the pueblo homes and vehicles outside,” Lanteri says. “But this work shows a woman in her kitchen. It’s nice to think about what an interior space looks like from a Taos Pueblo perspective.”
In addition, the miniatures show includes entries from the multigenerational López family of artists from Española. Father Felix contributes a bulto colored with his own handmade paints. His son, Joseph, is showing a retablo, also made with the family’s traditional paints. Felix’s daughter, Krissa, contributes a cross featuring straw appliqué. See the exhibit through March 5.
4 Create the home of your dreams.
Have you been thinking about retiling your bathroom or adding new cabinets to your kitchen? Head to Rio Rancho to catch the Home Improvement Marketplace Show at the Rio Rancho Events Center. In addition to exhibits and vendors who can help you make the most of your home, a chili cookoff pits chefs who work in public safety, including Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull, against each other to see who makes the best spicy concoction. Get a taste Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
5 Transform trash into treasure.
Hit up the New Mexico History Museum, in Santa Fe, during its First Friday hours from 5 to 7 p.m., where you can learn to repurpose old materials—perhaps from old relationships—to create new things. They’re History!, hosted by Heather McClure and museum educator Nancy Morris-Judd, presents activities that upcycle books and magazines into origami projects, turn old T-shirts into fresh fits, and create new Palentines for family and friends. “It’s fun and interesting to transform and rethink the stuff in your life,” McClure says. “This event focuses on sustainability, and that is part of the mission and vision of the museum. We want to create a more resilient future.” Admission to the museum during First Friday hours is free to New Mexico residents, and you don’t need to sign up or bring materials to participate in the workshop.