What's happening in Taos this week?

Here's a quick rundown of arts and entertainment events in and around Taos

By Tempo staff
Posted 5/8/19

Locals know its spring because one day it could be warm and sunny and the next day it's cold and snowy. But, that variety of one of the things that makes living here so interesting ...

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What's happening in Taos this week?

Here's a quick rundown of arts and entertainment events in and around Taos


Locals know its spring because one day it could be warm and sunny and the next day it's cold and snowy. But, that variety of one of the things that makes living here so interesting. And, speaking of interesting things, there's a lot going on in Taos this May. Here's rundown of some of the arts and entertainment events coming your way. Of course, this is only scratching the surface. There's a lot more featured in the pages of Tempo magazine, your arts and entertainment guide inside The Taos News. Find it on newsstands and from your favorite street sellers everywhere bright and early Thursday morning.

Omar Rane sings for Mother’s Day

Omar Rane is presenting a Mother’s Day concert of classical, Spanish and jazz guitar Sunday (May 12), 7 p.m., at Unity of Taos. He will be joined by local singer-songwriter Jenny Bird on a couple of songs. Admission is free, donations are appreciated. Unity of Taos is located at 69 Blueberry Hill, Taos. Call (575) 751-1452 or visit unityoftaos.org.

Anne Hillerman to discuss ‘Cave of Bones’

New Mexico author Anne Hillerman continues the fourth book in her series featuring Bernadette Manuelito, Jim Chee and retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, characters originated by her late father Tony Hillerman in his well-known literary series set in Navajo Country. Her fourth is titled “Cave of Bones” and will be subject of a presentation Wednesday (May 15), noon until 1 p.m., at Stella’s Italian Restaurant, 112 Camino de la Placita, Taos. Admission is free, all are invited and books will be available for purchase.

Hillerman’s appearance is part of the Op.Cit. Books Mystery Book Club of Taos.

“When Officer Bernadette Manuelito arrives at an outdoor character-building program, she discovers a camper has just returned traumatized from a solo experience,” a press release on the book describes. “The camper, Annie, stumbled upon something unspeakable while she was lost. And the beloved instructor who hiked in search of her is still missing. The instructor’s disappearance mirrors a long-ago search in which Joe Leaphorn played a crucial role.” In typical Hillerman fashion, deadly confusion abounds.

Hillerman is an award-winning reporter and the author of several nonfiction books. “She writes with a clarity and grace that is all her own,” the release continues. “She depicts the beauty and mystery of Navajo Country and the rituals, myths, and customs of its people in mysteries that build on and complement the beloved, bestselling mysteries of her acclaimed father.”

Hillerman’s fifth book, “The Tale Teller,” has just been released in hardcover and she will do a signing June 15 at Op. Cit. Bookstore. For more information, call (575) 751-1999.

Ida Kavafian announces Music from Angel Fire retirement

Music from Angel Fire Artistic Director Ida Kavafian has announced her retirement after providing 35 wonderful years of unparalleled music throughout Northern New Mexico. Her retirement will be effective September 2, 2019.

“As I look ahead to a new and quieter phase of my life,” Kavafian said in a statement, “I step back to reflect on the amazing run of 35 years that I have had with my heart festival, Music from Angel Fire. While I hope to be associated with the festival for a long time to come, it is time for me to pass the torch of artistic director to someone else. I will be there to assist in any way that I can to ensure that the festival continues to thrive and bring unparalleled music and musicians to Northern New Mexico. I’m grateful to everyone who made the festival such a success during my tenure. Though 35 years is a long time for one person to lead an organization, MFAF has always been about the music and not about me. In that spirit, let’s all look forward to another great season this summer of 2019, celebrating ‘Clara and her Muses.’ “

“Ida’s tenure is unprecedented as one of the longest careers in recent chamber music history,” said MFAF President James Brown. “She has enriched the lives of everyone. We look forward to working with her to present a 2019 Festival that everyone will remember. We appreciate her willingness to assist as we plan for the future that continues great music in Angel Fire and Northern New Mexico.”

MFAF Executive Director Bert Harclerode said, “Ida brings an irreplaceable effervescence to all she does. One of her many hallmarks is the Hilde Howden and the Bruce E. Howden American Composers Project empowering MFAF to commission more than 20 compositions. She has presented world-premiere performances of works by composers ranging from Bruce Adolphe to this year’s composer Grammy award-winning Richard Danielpour. Ida is a remarkable person, as viewed from her mentorship teaching positions at Curtis and Juilliard, her association with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, to her international performances and raising champion Vizsla dogs. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ida, particularly with her signature program featuring Young Artists from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.”

The 36th Music from Angel Fire Festival is planned August 16 through September 1 with six concerts in Angel Fire – three in Taos and one each in Las Vegas and Ratón.

Music from Angel Fire is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts - ARTWORKS, New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, local businesses and individual contributions. All these support its mission “to share the experience of extraordinary chamber music throughout northern New Mexico as we present intimate performances and educational outreach activities by exceptional young artists and world class musicians.” For more information, visit MusicFromAngelFire.org or call (575) 377-3233.

SOMOS announces first literary pilgrimage to Ireland

Journey to Ireland on a SOMOS Literary Pilgrimage to roam its breathtaking countryside and immerse yourself in the origins of famous Irish writers and poets. A free informational meeting is planned Thursday (May 16), 5:30 p.m., at SOMOS, 108 Civic Plaza Drive. The trip is planned for May 2020.

“We will discover how the beauty, shape, and color of the land and sea inspired the poets’ writing and informed a whole genre of Irish literature, the Dinnsheanchas (place-lore),” a press release states. “Over nine days we will place our ‘feet on the ground’ in many of Ireland’s northern and western counties to trace the mythic landscape and literature of James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, W.B. Yeats, C.S. Lewis, Edna O’Brien, John Millington Synge, Oscar Wilde, and Nuala O’Faolain, among others. Your literary guide, Jan Smith, executive director of SOMOS, has a (master of fine arts degree) in creative writing from Goddard College. SOMOS is a 36-year-old literary organization that presents national and international writers for readings/ workshops and offers ongoing literary programs.”

At the informational meeting, a detailed itinerary (via power point and images) will be given. Attendees can learn about pricing, a timeline for payment plans and chosen dates. Space is limited to 20 literary pilgrims. To be placed on an email list for further information about the trip, email: somos@somostaos.org or call Jan Smith at (575) 758-0081.

Gonske returns to Prix de West

Taos artist Walt Gonske will participate in the annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale on June 7-8 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for the 43rd time in his career, according to a media announcement.

Gonske started his art education and career in the northeast where he graduated from the Newark School of Fine Arts and worked as a commercial illustrator. In 1972, he moved to Taos and has been a full-time artist ever since. Gonske is known for his luscious, emotion-laden strokes of rich and varied color applied loosely, almost abstractly, to the canvas. At the 2012 Prix de West, Gonske won the Frederic Remington Painting Award for exceptional artistic merit.

The 47th annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale offers more than 300 paintings and sculpture by the finest contemporary Western artists in the nation and features works ranging from historical subject matter that reflects the early days of the West to more contemporary and impressionistic pieces. The show continues through August 4, 2019.

Prix de West Opening Weekend events include seminars, artist demonstrations, a live auction, master art classes, receptions, awards, an art sale and several trunk shows at The Museum Store including Pearls by Shari and Mary Teller Navajo jewelry. Reservations are required for most Prix de West Opening Weekend events. To make reservations, see a full schedule or arrange a bid by proxy, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/prixdewest.

Fall Arts poster artist announced

The Taos Fall Arts Festival has announced its poster award winner and two Image Artists for 2019. The theme of this year’s open exhibit is “Of Heaven and Earth / Del Cielo y de la Tierra.” It will take place September 20-29 in the historic Guadalupe Parish Gym on Don Fernando Street, downtown Taos.

Sasha vom Dorp’s image, “15.15 Hz Sunlight 04.01.2018 09:16:17.003 36o24’22”N 105o34’31”W,” has been chosen to be the 2019 poster image. Vom Dorp began his artistic career as a painter in oils and began exhibiting his work in 1992. His work has evolved to include kinetic sculpture, photography and interactive multimedia installations. In his current two-dimensional work, he attempts to “map” the universe, seeking to represent change through time using sound, sunlight and matter, and that same matter’s relative density.

A native of Taos, vom Dorp has lived in Sweden, Mexico, Taiwan, the Philippines and Los Angeles, where last year the Kellogg University Art Gallery held a major exhibit of his work. Vom Dorp works and lives in Taos with his wife and four children.

TFAF also recognizes and will feature two Image Artists at this year’s show: Robert Perez, Jr. for his oil painting, “The Reaper,” and Karen Ahlgren for her watercolor and gouache painting, “Cloud Dancer.”

New exhibits just for springtime

In celebration of Spring Arts in Taos, the Blumenschein Home and Museum presents the Taos Pastel Group exhibition and sale. The show opens with a reception Saturday (May 11) 4-6 p.m., at the museum at 222 Ledoux Street. It will be on view through June 19. The group is an evolution of Taos artist Kathleen Smith’s pastel class, which she has been teaching for many years. The group meets once a week to work either in the studio or plein air in the summer and fall. The group enjoys working together for the sharing of ideas about pastels and for how the involvement with art enriches our lives. Showing are Mary Gould, Cindy Grossman, Annette Grubiss and Kathleen Smith.

Pastels are formed from compressed pigments. They are an exciting medium to work with because they are so immediate and the color arrays are rich and vibrant. Once a work is finished it is framed under glass to protect the luminous surface. Smith explains in a statement, “Pastels became my chosen medium for their immediacy and the purity of colors which were part of my experience in the New Mexico light.” For more information, call (575) 758-0505. No charge on Sundays for local residents.

Also, Taos Watercolor Society is exhibiting the work of their signature members in two venues in Taos simultaneously. At the Taos Visitors Center, a reception for their new show featuring a good dozen artists takes place on Friday (May 10) from 4-6 p.m. The event is free, the artwork is for sale and the show is ongoing until June 28, with daily hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Taos Visitors Center is located at 1139 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos. The second venue is the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House (see story on Page 12), where the opening reception takes place on Saturday, from 5-7 p.m. This event is free with museum admission ($10). The exhibit runs through June 23. Taos Art Museum at Fechin House is 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos. Contact Diane Binder at (360) 223-8101.


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