1 Think abstractly.
A new exhibition, Viewpoint: Abstract Minimalism in Taos, New Mexico, opens Friday at the Taos Center for the Arts in partnership with the Taos Abstract Artist Collective. The exhibit showcases works by Taos-based artists who create work in a variety of mediums under the umbrella of abstract minimalism. Curator Hilary Nelson chose 13 artists from more than 150 submissions; the group includes fashion designer and textile artist Josh Tafoya, mixed-media artist Dora Dillistone, and installation artist c marquez.
Lauren Smith, co-founder of Taos Abstract Artist Collective, says a visible thread ties the works together. “A lot of the artists are using materials found in nature, like pollen, and environmental materials like snow and fog,” she says. “What comes through are the artists’ relationships to material and place.” An opening reception happens Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. See the work through May 14.
2 Hear folk songs at an old bar.
Beloved singer-songwriter Joe West is known for sparkling folk songs with lyrics that touch on deeply felt experiences. He’s been recording since the 1980s, and has performed alongside greats like the Violent Femmes, Arlo and Sarah Lee Guthrie, and James McMurtry. With fellow singer Lori K. Ottino, West takes the stage at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. The duo performs an Americana-laced set of hits and originals, heralding the end of March and the start of spring with theatrical flair.
3 Sweeten up your life.
Indulge your taste buds at the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo NM in Albuquerque, where 190 vendors make this weekend the biggest bonanza of deliciousness yet. The two-day event includes a baking competition, chocolate and coffee cocktails, morning yoga classes, and five stages with demonstrations and tastings.
“Chocolate, coffee, cakes, and candies are unifying elements of life,” says Dean Strober, producer of the festival. “They can bring people together from as wide a spectrum as possible.”
The festival supports small businesses that attend the festival from around the country, providing chocolatiers, confectioners, and roasters a platform to showcase and sell their goodies. The fun is extended to next Friday, April 7, with a 21-and-over Chocolate & Coffee Fest afterparty at Electric Playhouse, where DJ Aaron Bliss plays dance tunes and attendees can sip chocolate and coffee cocktails. “Electric Playhouse redesigned their digital playground to be chocolate- and coffee-themed,” Strober notes. “It looks really cool.”
Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $15 online, $20 at the door, and $5 for kiddos. Get them here.
4 Be an early bird-watcher.
As the sun rises and the earth begins to warm, birds are some of the first creatures to greet the day. To catch some of that feathered-friend magic, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and birders Mary Parsaca and Mary Orr are hosting a Bird Walk at Los Luceros Historic Site, in Alcalde, on Sunday. At 7 a.m., Orr and Parsaca lead attendees through the massive old grove of cottonwoods growing along the Río Grande. Over 150 species of birds make their home at Los Luceros, including mourning doves, magpies, woodpeckers, and many varieties of songbirds.
“Los Luceros is an important bird area,” says Rebecca Ward, instructional coordinator at Los Luceros. “Right now, we’re looking at more migratory birds. If you come, you have a really good chance of seeing the woodpecker species, including some sapsuckers, and the Lewis’s woodpecker, which is the one with bluish wings and a pink breast.”
While the walk will be gentle with plenty of stops, make sure to watch your feet. “There are little ditches and hills all over, because we water with the acequia system,” Ward says. Bring binoculars, snacks, and a water bottle. The walk ends at 10 a.m. You have to register to attend.
5 Greet Holy Week with music.
The First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe is filled with harmony this weekend during Baroque Holy Week, with performance Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) by Santa Fe Pro Musica’s Baroque Ensemble. The set list includes cantatas and instrumentals by Telemann and Graupner performed by violinist Stephen Redfield, baritone Michael Hix, and Kim Pineda on the flute and recorder. Get your ticket here.