1 Connect with prints and pottery.
The art of printmaking gets its own celebration in Silver City this weekend during the Southwest Print Fiesta. The main event happens Saturday, when 38 printmakers from throughout the region gather for a market on Mainstreet Plaza. “One of the things we love about printmaking is that it can be kind of lowbrow, like T-shirts and zines, but it can also be high-end fine art with a capital A,” says Kyle Durrie, co-organizer of the fiesta and owner of Power and Light Press. “The printer’s market is a great place to find affordable art.”
The fiesta kicks off Friday evening, when several printmaking exhibits open with receptions at Silver City galleries. The Southwest Print Fiesta’s exhibit—this year juried by Frank Rose, owner of Hecho a Mano and Hecho Gallery in Santa Fe—opens at Light Art Space with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The Horned Toad 8x8 Show, curated by Manny Guerra from El Paso, features work by Texas- and Mexico-based printmakers at Diana Ingalls Leyba Studio & Gallery on Friday night, too.
On Saturday, the fiesta also hosts steamroller printmaking, a fun spectacle wherein a steamroller drives over a linoleum block to create a large-scale print. “It’s really cool to see,” says Durrie. The Herstory Printmaking Collective, which creates portraits of prominent women throughout history, speaks on Saturday evening. On Sunday and Monday, artists and amateurs can take printmaking workshops. The in-person classes are full, but you can catch some of the online courses.
Southwest Kiln Conference
Since 2003, artists and archeologists have gathered at the Southwest Kiln Conference to fire ceramic works in trench, pit, and surface kilns. Held annually in locations throughout the Southwest, this year’s conference takes place in Silver City.
Beyond firing methods, the event highlights the entire process of creating traditional pottery, from harvesting raw clay to creating and firing ceramic works. Hosted by the Western New Mexico University Museum, the 2022 conference focuses on Mimbres culture and pottery. It kicks off Friday with presentations from 9 a.m to 4 p.m., as well as a tile-making workshop at 6 p.m. led by artist Wayne Keene. Bring your ceramics to fire on Saturday starting at 8 a.m.; a silent auction begins at noon. A catered dinner on Saturday evening gives you time to chat and hang out with fellow pottery enthusiasts before Sunday wraps up with more presentations and firings. The conference is free to attend.
2 Find omens in art.
Eight large oil paintings and seven charcoal drawings comprise artist Tina Mion’s Holy Ghosts, which opens Friday with a reception from 5–7 p.m. at Kouri + Corrao Gallery, in Santa Fe. The dreamlike images capture the expansiveness of Southwestern landscapes, while exploring the fear and discomfort of the unknown. “There is always a hint of hopefulness and little omens,” she says, “a colorful Hermès scarf, a green thread in a raven’s beak, a pink ladder in an abandoned pool, or stars and candles lighting the night.”
Holy Ghosts is Mion’s first solo show in New Mexico, where she and her husband Allan Affeldt have worked to restore and revitalize historic buildings, including the Plaza and Castañeda hotels in Las Vegas. (Mion has a studio space in the latter.) Her work has been featured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Phoenix Art Museum.
3 Fire up your taste buds.
Get ready to take the heat—it’s coming for you at the Great New Mexico Chile Taste-Off, happening at the Socorro Rodeo & Sports Complex on Saturday. The bonanza includes live music, dancing, food and drinks, local vendor booths, chile for sale, a chile cookoff, and red and green fireworks. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the event closes with fireworks at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s interesting for consumers to understand the varieties these farmers grow, why they grow them and what it takes to produce New Mexico’s signature crop,” says Travis Day, executive director of the New Mexico Chile Association. “There’s so much work and labor that goes into getting chile from seed to a family’s table.” Meet growers from Tucumcari, Hatch, Taos, Isleta Pueblo, Farmington, and Deming, while on-site roasters sell chile for you to take home. The event is free, and local band Suavecito plays throughout the evening.
4 Have fun with fossils.
Fossils are the focus of Dig into the Past, an interactive event on Saturday celebrating Fossil Day at the Museum of Nature and Science and the Branigan Cultural Center, in Las Cruces. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., local paleontologists present samples and talk about the fossil history of the region.
“We will have both paleontology and archeology activities going on,” says Stephanie Hawkins, education curator at the Museum of Nature and Science. “It’s a great opportunity for people to learn the difference between those two fields.” Representatives from White Sands, Fort Selden, the Bureau of Land Management, and New Mexico State University’s vertebrate collection will be on hand. Learn about local fossil history, participate in hands-on activities, and see tons of cool fossils. The event is free.
5 Take a studio tour.
More than 80 artists invite folks into their creative spaces during this year’s Santa Fe Studio Tour, happening on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m., as well as next weekend. An opening party at the Santa Fe Woman’s Club on Friday at 5 p.m. kicks things off with a preview of participating artists’ works.
Use the tour’s app to help plan your route, which includes artists’ suggestions for their favorite nearby restaurants and local spots. An interactive map on the tour’s website lets you click on studio locations, see a sample of the artist’s work, and view their suggestions. Ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, painting, photography, and furniture design are represented on this tour through the City Different, where you can have the unique experience of buying art directly from its makers while seeing the spaces where those works came to life.
As the leaves turn gold, Abiquiú becomes its most stunning self. It’s an ideal time to visit artists in the area during the annual Abiquiú Studio Tour on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The self-guided tour will take you to artist’s spaces throughout the Chama River Valley, showcasing mediums including sculpture, metal work, furniture, painting, jewelry, and weaving. Find a map of studio locations on the tour’s website or at local businesses in the area.