Arts and entertainment

What's happening in Taos?

Even with the Taos Fall Arts Festival and all the art openings, there's a lot going on

By Tempo staff
Posted 9/20/18

Here's a glimpse of some of the events happening in Taos County this week. For more, check out Tempo magazine inside this week's edition of The Taos News on sale right now.

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Arts and entertainment

What's happening in Taos?

Even with the Taos Fall Arts Festival and all the art openings, there's a lot going on


Here's a glimpse of some of the events happening in Taos County this week. For more, check out Tempo magazine inside this week's edition of The Taos News on sale right now.

Iris Dement headlines Red River Folk Fest

The Red River Folk Festival has quickly become a driving force in the Southwest music scene since it began four years ago. In that time it has blossomed into a beloved tradition that attracts a head-spinning roster of singers and songwriters the likes of which usually play packed stadiums and big city concert halls.

This year's event, planned today through Sunday (Sept. 20-23), features headliner Iris DeMent, along with Max Gomez, Steve Poltz, Chris Arellano, Amy Lavere, Joe Purdy, Lone Piñon, Jed Zimmerman and many more.

DeMent is an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose 1992 debut "Infamous Angel" was hailed by Rolling Stone as "an essential album of the 90s." Combining elements of folk, gospel and country, her rich lyrical landscapes and captivating music have earned two Grammy nominations and the respect of many of her peers, such as John Prine, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.

National Public Radio has called her "one of the great voices in contemporary popular music," and The Boston Globe heralded her 2012 album "Sing The Delta" to be a "work of rare, unvarnished grace and power."

Her second album, "My Life," was nominated for a Grammy Award in the best contemporary folk album category. Honored in 2017 by the Americana Music Association, alongside artists such as Graham Nash and Van Morrison, DeMent received the Americana Trailblazer Award.

A press release explains that she "exemplifies what it means to forge your own path in the music industry" and "(uses) her ethereal voice and songwriting craft to showcase introspection as well as to address more political topics, such as sexual abuse, religion and government policy throughout her work."

Max Gomez, a nationally acclaimed Americana artist who grew up in Taos, said this about festival organizer Steve Heglund in a Tempo article last year: "Yeah. Well, Steve is kind of the head honcho of the Red River music scene, which is actually a great music scene. He's the one who owns all the venues and has been striving to bring great music to Northern New Mexico and Red River. He's been doing it for decades. He's the real-deal music promoter. He owns hotels, restaurants, two bars, an amphitheater - and he works for several other festivals. He's the guy who approached me about doing a festival on a certain weekend. He and I are close friends through music. When he approached me and asked me to do a festival, I said, 'yes,' on account of it being him."

The festival is paired this year with Aspencade, the annual arts and crafts fair where visitors can browse through booths of handcrafted items, jewelry, home furnishings, food, art, pottery and specialty goods while enjoying delicious food and live entertainment. Watch for it in Brandenburg Park in the center of town.

For more information, venues, and tickets that range from $5-$125, visit Red River is located off State Road 38, east of Questa in Northern Taos County.

Shortgrass Festival finale features Denver's FY5

The final concert of the season brings FY5 down from Denver with their proprietary blend of new American roots music. They will take the stage Friday (Sept. 21), 7 p.m., at the Cimarron Mercantile, next to St. James Hotel in Cimarron. Featuring thoughtful arrangements, strong singing and musicianship, this band strives to connect to listeners with stories of common struggles and big ideas, an announcement states.

"The FY5 sound is a tangy home brew of new tunes and country traditionals in a bluegrass setting of honky-tonk steel, solid harmonies and precision picking. Mike Finders (guitar, vocals), Erin Youngberg (bass, vocals), Ryan Drickey (fiddle, strings, harmonies), Rich Zimmerman (mandolin, harmonies) and Aaron Youngberg (banjo, pedal steel, harmonies) were named official showcase artists for the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Association conference with a songwriter spotlight for Mike Finders. Their fourth full-length album, 'The Way These Things Go,' released in early 2018, features the band's trademark story songs. The arrangements are clever, the hooks catchy, the delivery mellow.

"FY5 deserve credit then for their ability to charm and caress, crafting music that defines the essence of the grassicana sound, taking the traditional trappings of bluegrass and melding it with the gentler inclinations of heartland harmonies," writes Lee Zimmerman in Bluegrass Today. "It's a distinctive combination that allows for a rustic refrain and the possibility for attracting the wider audience they so decidedly deserve."

Tickets are $15 at the door, $10 if purchased in advance via the festival website (, and free for age 18 and under. Call (575) 376-9040 to reserve tickets using a credit card.

Proceeds from ticket sales are used to support music education in Colfax County through outreach programs that bring performance artists into regional schools or Raton's Shuler Theater, where more than 400 students from Northeast New Mexico and Southern Colorado gather for a real-time concert experience. Two school events are planned this season at the Shuler: Lone Piñon Sept. 28, and Bayou Seco Nov. 9, both funded by Whited Foundation. Concerts begin at 9 a.m. Parents and members of the community are invited at no cost.

Desert Dwellers herald the advent of fall

"There's no better way to enter the fall season than getting down with Desert Dwellers," according to a press release. The Fall Equinox Electronic Music Festival from Mothership Productions is Saturday (Sept. 22) at Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. The show starts at 5 p.m. and continues until after midnight. Tickets are $15. Camping is available on-site at Hotel Mystica: $28 with camping pass, $43 with RV pass. The event is all ages, bar with ID.

Performers include Desert Dwellers, Planewalker, MANDELbot, Zia Zombie and Adem Joel.

Desert Dwellers consists of Amani Friend and Treavor Moontribe, who began their careers as independent music producers and DJs in the deserts of New Mexico and California. Coming together in the late 1990s after connecting through the legendary Moontribe scene, today the duo enjoys a reputation as one of the most pioneering and prolific downtempo, psy-bass and tribal trance acts in the United States. Visit

Planewalker calls on his ancestral Irish and Egyptian roots to infuse his compositions with the ancient tones and rhythms of the druids and the magi. Weaving memorable stories and gems of spiritual wisdom seamlessly into the stream of sounds, every song is designed to unlock the hidden powers inside you and inspire you to align with the divine will. Visit

Because of Adem Joel's mindful attention to research and detail of tribal dance music, he set the tone for nu-skool and tribal breakbeat style music in New Mexico, back in 1999. At 18, he landed his first residency at local after-hours hot spot, The Dragons Empire in Albuquerque. Visit

MANDELbot is described as a transdimensional bio mechanic organism, spreading his love of fractal geometry through music and vibration. Visit

For more on Zia Zombie, visit For more information on the show, call (575) 758-1900 or visit

Jill Cohn at Eske's

Singer-songwriter Jill Cohn has released her 12th album, titled "Balanced on the Rail," and is planning a stop in Taos on a tour to promote it. Cohn is well-known to local audiences having performed here during numerous previous tours. She will perform songs from "Balanced in the Rail" Friday (Sept. 21), 6:30 p.m., on the Beer Garden Stage at Eskes Brew Pub, 106 Des Georges Place, east of Taos Plaza. There is no cover charge, but donations will be appreciated.

The album features her Seattle Band and production by Malcolm Burn. It was also supported by her fans with a successful funding at Kickstarter. The first single, "Legends" has already received more than 4,000 listens on Sound Cloud. Here's a link to where you can hear the songs online:

Winer book signing at Op. Cit. Taos

Author Jeanne Winer will be signing and discussing her novel, "Her Kind of Case," Saturday (Sept. 22), 2-3:30 p.m. at Op. Cit. Books Taos, 124A Bent Street.

"Her Kind of Case" is a legal drama that centers on Lee Isaacs, a female defense attorney on the cusp of turning 60, who, out of curiosity, determination and desire for a big, even impossible, professional challenge, chooses to take on a tough murder case in which a largely uncooperative young man is accused of helping kill a gay gang member. This beautifully written novel is built around a gradually resolving mystery and fully fleshed-out characters, particularly the strong-willed and sharp-witted Lee.

"Her Kind of Case" was reviewed Aug. 23 in "Pages," Tempo's book review column.

Winer has been a criminal defense attorney for more than 30 years, including death penalty cases. She is the author of numerous published short stories and poems, which have appeared in literary journals. A longtime resident of Boulder, Colorado, she was co-counsel and cooperating attorney in the groundbreaking judicial overturning of the anti-LGBT rights Amendment 2. She is a hiker, rock climber and skier, and a third-degree black belt in karate.

For more information, call (575) 751-1999.

Woodall Fine Art breathes new life into 'rock house'

Carmen and Pat Woodall will open their new gallery and framing shop Saturday (Sept. 22) from 4-8 p.m. in the totally refurbished “Rock House,” 122 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos. The building, a Taos landmark but admittedly one that until recently had seen better days, will be the new home for Pat Woodall Fine Art and Southwest Framers. The longtime residence has been restored by its owners, Tom and Ruthann McCarthy, along with the Woodalls. Exactly 100 years after its construction in 1918, the house will now be a commercial art gallery and frame shop while its grounds will be transformed into a sculpture garden and seating area, a press release states. The Woodalls said in the release they extend “a warm welcome to all the many, many Taoseños who have been so very enthusiastic in complimenting our efforts through the restoration.”

High Road Studio Tour

The Third Annual High Road Youth Art Show will be held as part of the High Road Artisans Studio Tour, the weekends of Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 22-23) and Sept. 29-30. The exciting venue is the beautiful Peñasco District Station, made possible by generous support of the U.S.Forest Service. Exhibition hours are 10- 5. Emerging artists ages 4-18 who live along the High Road to Taos are submitting original works depicting the theme, “Trails take us everywhere!” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Wilderness and National Trails System Act. The Youth Art Show is an opportunity for local young artists to see that their art has value and power. There will be a people’s vote throughout the exhibition and cash awards from $25 - $100 will be given out at show’s end by none other than Smokey Bear. Along with the rest of the High Road studio artists look forward to hosting visitors from all over the globe, who can enjoy the spectacularly colorful vistas of the High Road in autumn along with fun, diverse art destinations. Call Blair Brown, HRA Youth Art coordinator for the location of the Peñasco district station. (830) 708-4822.

The Ojo Sarco Community Center will be a pop-up gallery again during the High Road Studio Tour Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 22-23). Among the art forms for sale and viewing will be eco-dyeing by Mary Steigerwald (mother, Santa Clara pottery by Joy Cain, photos and mixed media by Joan Zalenski (, glass art and jewelry by JoAnne Paulk and Leanna Stoneback, Mary and Gloria Martinez with jewelry, quilts and the best biscochitos while they last. Also silver wire jewelry by Nina, paintings and jewelry by Rebekah Twocrows and more. Located at 158 County Road 69, only 0.8 miles off State Road 76.

The High Road Art Tour is a destination and an event. Each fall in Northern New Mexico artists on the High Road to Taos open their studios and galleries two consecutive weekends for the High Road Art Tour. This is when the trees turn yellow and the autumn sky deepens to cobalt so the tour offers one of the loveliest drives in the loveliest of seasons. It is also an historic trip that winds through tiny, old Land Grant villages and rural countryside.

But best of all, the High Road Art Tour allows visitors to see multiple arts and crafts, traditional and contemporary, created by local artists. The tour allows visitors to meet and purchase directly from these artists. Many of the studios are open year-round, and some only during the tour.

Zaring, Littlejohn at Total Arts

An exhibit of artwork by Barbara Zaring and Melinda Littlejohn opens with a reception Friday (Sept. 21) from 5-7 p.m. at Total Arts Gallery,122 Kit Carson Rd, Taos. “A study in contrast with two long standing Taos Artists Melinda Littlejohn and Barbara Zaring,” a press release states. “These two could not be more different in their artistic styles and we think this dynamic will be something beautiful to behold hung in our show room at Total Arts Gallery.” The show can be previewed online at

In a development known to some, but still sad for many, this will be the official final show of the esteemed Total Arts Gallery, which will be closing it’s doors forever Dec. 31, 2018. “We are so please to have this show of two local artists at the end,” a gallery statement reads. The exhibit will be on view until Oct. 12. Call (575) 758-4667.

'Reflections on Immigration' at SOMOS

A benefit for immigrant families will be given Sunday (Sept. 23) from 4-6 p.m., at SOMOS. Sponsored by SOMOS, Writers and Poets Resist and Taos Immigrant Allies, the presentation, “Reflections on Immigration” will include the following speakers: Anita Rodríguez, the Rev. Mike Olsen, Jose Gonzales and some of the “dreamers,” students brought here as children who have been given a reprieve from deportation while they finish schooling and find work – at least for now. Presentations will be given by Heyam Khweis, David Gardner, Pastor Steve Wiard and Patsy Alaniz. SOMOS is located at 108 Civic Plaza Drive. Admission $10-$20.

Calls for entry

• Ammann Gallery in the John Dunn Shops has an opening for an artist who can work one day a week plus commission, rent. Ceramics, wearables, leather, wood, and so on are welcome. Bring samples on Fridays and speak with owner, Susan or email images to (575) 758-7450 next to Bent Street Deli.

• TAOSFOLK, a pop-up store in the Stables Gallery from Nov. 23 until Dec. 24, is inviting artists and crafts people to apply for the TAOSFOLK 2018 show. Go to the website and click on “participate” to request an information packet. TAOSFOLK offers for sale only high-end handmade items such as hand-painted scarves, knitted wear, pottery, jewelry as well as natural soaps, salves and skin creams and more. TAOSFOLK does not offer any items to hang on the wall. Stables Gallery, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte No. D, Taos. Call Cathleen Lambridis at (773) 595-8065.

• The Taos Center for the Arts’ Self-Portrait Exhibition is back for its ninth year. Various media will be accepted, including photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Artists are encouraged to create works that reflect personality, life stories and feelings. Deadline for submissions is Monday, Nov. 26 at midnight. To submit, go to

• Taos Center for the Arts announces a call for exhibitions for the “TCA Presents” program at the Encore Gallery and The Taos Inn for 2019. Proposals will be accepted through Oct. 12. Submissions may be for solo or partnered shows and are open to emerging or established artists living in or represented in Taos, who have not exhibited with “TCA Presents” within the past three years. Accepted media includes drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, photography or a combination of wall and sculptural works. Visit

Ongoing art exhibits

Sage Gallery is featuring longtime Taos artist, Sal Giglio’s award-winning watercolors and oil paintings of local scenery and still life for September. His colorful paintings are mostly done en plein aire and include recognizable historic sites, old abandoned adobes, beautiful florals, open fields, rivers, and so on. Giglio is one of the founding member of Sage Gallery. Sage Gallery is at 115C East Taos Plaza. Call (575) 737-0211.

The contemporary painter Jack Nichols has his exhibit “In the Blink of an Eye.” at Hillcrest Bank,1356 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos. The show runs through Sept. 28. N Call (512) 762-7629 for more information and visit to view more art.

Debra Villalobos is presenting her first solo show of assemblages, collages of nature and found objects, linoleum block prints and monotypes at the Farmhouse Café at the Overland Sheepskin Company on Paseo del Pueblo Norte in El Prado for the month of September.

“Bruce Williams: 25 Years of Taos Furniture Design” features 25 pieces from his 25 years of making Northern New Mexico style furniture. On the walls of the Fechin Studio, will be his detailed scale drawings in his handmade frames alongside some of his and Nicolai Fechin’s furniture. Members are free, nonmembers $10. Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House, 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos. Please call (575) 758-2690 ext. 101, or email to reserve your seat.

Taos Plein Air Painters, a group of local artists who paint all over Northern New Mexico, will present their fall show, “From the Outside In,” at the Trading Post Cafe, 4179 State Road 68 in Ranchos de Taos. The show ends Oct. 31. Over 20 members will have work on display in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel. The Trading Post Cafe is open Tuesday-Saturday 11a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Equinox,” an exhibit of work by Nat Wilson runs through Sept. 30. Magpie Gallery is at the Overland Ranch, 1405 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, El Prado. Call (781) 248-016.

The Taos Arts Council’s annual showcase exhibition, “Taos and Beyond: Open Studio Tours in Northern New Mexico,” continues at Taos Town Hall, 400 Camino de la Placita, Taos until Oct. 10. Hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. with ample free parking available at Town Hall. This show is part of art in public spaces program of the Taos Arts Council. Among the organizations are Questa Studio Arts Tour; El Rito Studios, Sept. 29-30: Angel Fire Studio Tour (ArtUP), Sept. 29-30 and Dixon Studio Tour, Nov. 3-4. More than 25 participating artists offer examples of ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor, drawing and mixed-media works. For more information vsit

The Rory Wagner “Traditional to the Obscure” exhibit will be on view until Sept. 30 at the Taos Historic Museums’ Blumenschein Home and Museum, 222 Ledoux Street, Taos. Wagner was a nationally acclaimed realist artist who lived in Taos many years and found much inspiration in the people here. However, his work is not often on view in Taos. The museum is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sundays noon-5 p.m. Sundays are free to local residents. Call (575) 758-0505 or visit

Treasured embroidery, quilts, crocheted table coverings and handmade baptismal outfits made by local families, especially large crocheted pictorials by Nancy Vialpando of San Luis, Colorado, will be on exhibit until Oct. 19 at La Hacienda de los Martinez, 708 Hacienda Road off Lower Ranchitos Road, Taos. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (575) 758-1000.

Margaret Henn-Romero’s exhibit of oil paintings continues at the gallery at the Blumenschein Home and Museum, 222 Ledoux Street. Call (575) 770-9011 or email

Gail Russell Studio exhibits the owner’s photography celebrating the lush colorful world of plants in her exhibit, “The Green Universe,” at Gail Russell Studio, North Star Plaza 65 State Road 522, Building 65, Suite A4, a half mile north of the blinking light, Taos. By appointment for art and tea call (575) 776-8474.

Continuing through September is “Water and Spirit,” an exhibition of new paintings by Lance Green as well as the paintings of Jim Keffer at Copper Moon Gallery 105 Kit Carson Road, Taos. Call (575) 758-8833 or visit

An exhibit of pastels and collages by Kathleen Smith and her students: Mary Gould, Cindy Grossman, Annette Grubis, Avis Vermilye, Anna Mae Patterson and Marion Jackson is showing at the north side Hillcrest Bank, 219 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. The exhibit continues through Sept. 30.


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