1 Go to an art fair.
More than 70 artists will display hundreds of works in mediums such as weaving, painting, woodworking, and silversmithing at the 12th annual Las Cruces Art Fair. Hosted by the Doña Ana Arts Council, the two-day event takes place at the Las Cruces Convention Center on Saturday (10 a.m.—5 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.—4 p.m.). “We have some really fine artists from all over the state, and other states, too,” says Karen Conley, program manager at the art fair. “We had quite a few new artists sign up.”
Chimayó-based textile artists Eugene and Rose Vigil show new work, along with painters Jerry Salazar, Michael Toya, and James Tsoodle. “It’s a juried fine art show,” Conley says. “There’s a lot of traditional work, but also artists who are a little different.” The show includes a silent auction and a live musical performance from students of the Alma d’Arte Charter School. Buy tickets here or at the door.
2 Hear women roar.
Who runs the world? Girls! On Friday and Saturday, WomenFest celebrates that sentiment with art, panel discussions, workshops, and live performances at New Mexico Tech in Socorro.
Emma Stover (Oglala Sioux), a graduate student in physics at New Mexico Tech, helped organize the panel, titled “Pathways to Resistance: Promoting Indigenous Success.” Featuring women from tribes throughout the country, the panel aims to paint an accurate picture of what it’s like to be an Indigenous woman working in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. “It shows we can really do anything we put our minds to, and it’s inspiring,” says Stover. “It will help Indigenous kids who don’t think they have the potential to be in STEM. I struggled with that, maintaining my culture and my spiritual practices while working in STEM.” The panel is Friday at 1 p.m.
The rest of WomenFest is stacked with fun. The String Queens, a jazz trio, performs Friday evening. On Saturday, look for a lineup of music and dance performances, work by local women artists, and workshops. Held at the Macey Center, all WomenFest events are free.
3 See all that glitters.
The inaugural Truth or Consequences Rock & Gem Show highlights the bounty of mineral magic New Mexico has to offer with field trips to rockhound sites; vendors selling crystals, geodes, beads, and jewelry; and demonstrations of rock tumbling and wire-wrapping stones.
On Saturday, visitors can pan for riches. “The gold and sapphire panning are pretty unique,” says committee chair Megan Holden. Or spin the Wheel of Fortune to win a rock for just $.50. Hit the wild card square and win your choice. Holden says the hands-on activities are fun for kids. The show includes educational bits like a two-part lecture by retired geologist Michael Eatough, which gets into gem identification. It’s free to attend on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4 Celebrate civil rights.
On Saturday, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, celebrates civil rights leaders César Chávez and native New Mexican Dolores Huerta. The Recuerda a César Chávez Committee’s 30th annual César Chávez and Dolores Huerta Celebration starts with a march at 10 a.m. where Avenida Dolores Huerta and Avenida César Chávez meet.
Afterward, the National Hispanic Cultural Center hosts a party with Huerta as the keynote speaker. The committee hands out its Sí Se Puede awards to community members who exemplify Chávez’s and Huerta’s ideals of community service and education. Mariachis and the Albuquerque-based big band group Cascabel also perform.
“Our theme this year is ‘Nonviolence is Our Strength,’” says Linda Garcia Benavides, chair of the committee. “We are emphasizing the power and effectiveness of non-violent protest. With all that’s been going on this year, we want to make it an even more powerful tool of peaceful resistance.” The party goes from noon to 4 p.m.
5 See the world in pastel.
The Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos hosts an exhibition of the Pastel Society of New Mexico’s Signature Members, on view Saturday through April 16. Featuring more than 60 works by 25 artists, the show is all about color.
“It’s really exciting,” says Michelle Lanteri, curator of collections and exhibitions at the museum. “It’s a deep dive into pure pigment from the soft pastel.” The works show still-life scenes, landscapes, clouds, sunsets, people, architecture, and portraits by members of the society, which includes many local artists. An opening reception happens the following weekend on Saturday, April 1 from 3 to 5 p.m.