Arts and entertainment

What's happening in Taos?

Here's a brief rundown on a few arts and entertainment events this week

By Tempo staff
Posted 5/23/19

Talk about a turbulent spring. One day it's sunny and warm, the next it's cold and snowy. Still, it's what makes living in Taos so exciting ...

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Arts and entertainment

What's happening in Taos?

Here's a brief rundown on a few arts and entertainment events this week


Talk about a turbulent spring. One day it's sunny and warm, the next it's cold and snowy. Still, it's what makes living in Taos so exciting, and exciting is the only way to describe what's happening this week in Taos. In addition to this brief rundown, there's a whole lot of other arts and entertainment news in this week's edition of Tempo magazine. You'll find it inside the latest issue of The Taos News on sale right now.

Taos Arts Council Gala to honor Gus Foster

The Taos Arts Council announces its second annual gala planned June 7, at 6 p.m. at the Stakeout Restaurant, 101 Stakeout Drive, south of Ranchos de Taos.

The gala dinner and performances will honor Gus Foster, the Taos Arts Council’s 2019 nominee for the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Seating is limited, with tickets $85 per person. Reservations must be received by Monday (May 27) and may be made at or via check payable to Taos Arts Council, P.O. Box 263, Taos 87571.

Foster started his professional career in 1968 as an assistant curator in the prints and drawings department of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Some of his early curatorial efforts were shows with such seminal artists as Ed Ruscha and Robert Rauschenberg. By 1975, Foster had moved to Taos and was embarking on a photographic odyssey and sharing studio space with his friend Larry Bell. Foster traversed the nation on foot, documenting the landscape and vistas of this awe-inspiring country with his unusual panoramic camera.

Over time, Foster began to take an interest in the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos and eventually donated private properties he owned adjacent to the museum. He, his sister and mother donated funds to the museum for the establishment of the George Foster Jr. Gallery in honor of his father. Foster was elected to the governing board of the Harwood, where he helped spearhead fundraising for building the new museum wing on the property he had donated.

Because of his association with the Harwood, Foster became involved with the University of New Mexico Foundation as a trustee. He also became a member of the museum’s Collections Committee and has helped guide that collection into the contemporary age. Foster collected the works of artists working in New Mexico and the luminaries of Taos’ art community. He gradually expanded his collection of works to include Ken Price, Ron Cooper, Kevin Cannon, Jim Wagner, Lee Mullican, Ron Davis, Robert Ellis, Bea Mandelman and many other artists working in a new era of New Mexico visual arts.

After 35 years of amassing his collection, Foster donated the Foster Collection to the Harwood in 2013. A compendium of 391 works of art by over 80 artists became part of the permanent collection. Foster continues to collect as well as generously supporting New Mexico artists and nonprofit organizations.

The Taos Arts Council nonprofit was incorporated in 2012 to ensure that Taos County has a vibrant, vital and active arts environment. Its mission is to promote an awareness, understanding and appreciation of the creative arts to enhance the quality of life in Northern New Mexico. As part of its services to the arts community, the Taos Arts Council annually submits a nominee to the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Past nominees from the Council included Peter Chinni and Barbara and Cliff Harmon. The Governor’s Awards celebrate the role that artists, craftspersons and art supporters play in the cultural and economic life of New Mexico. For additional information on the Taos Arts Council, visit

Kenyan writer and activist plans Taos presentation

Taos Center for the Arts welcomes Kenyan writer and internationally regarded intellectual and activist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o for a reading from his book, “Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir,” Thursday (May 30), 5:30 p.m., at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. He is a recipient of 12 honorary doctorates, is a fellow of the Modern Language Association, an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 2014 fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Ngũgĩ, formerly Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Languages and Professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies, New York University, is a novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist from Kenya.

Ngũgĩ is the author of many books – from novels to plays to essays and short stories –and his works have been translated into more than 30 languages.

At the public event, he will read from his most recent book, “Wrestling with the Devil, A Prison Memoir” (New York: The New Press, 2018). The book recalls in flashback when, in the late 1970s, armed police pulled him from his home and jailed him in Kenya’s Kamĩtĩ Maximum Security Prison, one of the largest in Africa.

In a prison block with 18 other political prisoners, Ngũgĩ was quarantined from the general prison population. The book recounts Ngũgĩ’s effort against the humiliation and the purposeful degradation of the spirit. It was during this harrowing experience that Ngũgĩ decided to write a novel on toilet paper, the only paper to which he had access, a book that became “Devil on the Cross.” His recent work is Ngũgĩ’s account of the drama and the challenges of writing that novel under nonstop surveillance.

Executive Director Colette LaBouff said in a statement, “It is with tremendous excitement and honor that the TCA looks forward to hosting Ngũgĩ here in Taos. His life’s work and writing is centered on the importance and value of one’s own language and culture and the deep and wide knowledge inherent in both. I feel that his life story and powerful work will resonate with our communities here in Taos. I hope Taos will come out to welcome him.”

This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. The doors will open 45 minutes before the event. A public reception, book sale and signing will follow.

For questions about this event, contact LaBouff at or Susan Nuss at or (575) 758-2052.

Coming soon The Little Road

“The Little Road: Songs of Journey and Home” is a collaboration between the women’s a cappella ensemble Sound Circle and Shepherd Moon. Fresh, fun, warm, and reassuring, it’s a concert with a dazzling range of styles and colors, grounded in simple presence.

The concert is June 2, 3 p.m., at St. James Episcopal Church, 208 Camino de Santiago.

Tickets are $15 and available in advance at Taos Herb in the Albertson’s Shopping Center (cash/check only), and online at They will be $20 at the door.

Sound Circle is a 19-voice women’s a cappella ensemble based in Boulder, Colorado, directed by Sue Coffee. Singing together for 25 years, Sound Circle offers music that speaks of their experience of the world, with attention to authentic voice and awareness of the healing power of ensemble singing. Most of their music is contemporary, and much of it is created by women. Sound Circle performances are consistently noted for their creativity and depth of programming, as well as their warmth, freshness, and beauty. For more information about Sound Circle, see

Shepherd Moon features the multitalented musicians Becky Reardon, Julie Hawley and Joan Zucker.

The group creates lush sonic layers of harp, cello, guitar and vocals as they weave joyous, sensuous, and mindful original songs with popular Celtic airs and classical/jazz tunes to create a cross-genre musical feast.

Cynthia Huff reception today at The Taos Inn

After about 17 successful years of focusing on clay work, Midwestern-born Huff switched gears midcareer and started painting full time. She traveled extensively in West Africa, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Greece and many of the symbols and inspiration came from her travels.

Moving to New Mexico created an unexpected change from symbolic motifs and historic references to minimal, nonobjective, abstract compositions. Trying to continue in the East Coast mode was not working and the silent, open-big sky spaces of the West had altered her direction. The canvases became larger, 48-by-48 inches and 24-by-24 inches and very minimal. Huff’s studio is in Ranchos de Taos.

A reception is planned today (May 23) from 4- 6 p.m. at The Taos Inn, 125 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos. Contact Chelsea Reidy at or (575) 758-2052.

Taos Quilt and Needlecraft Guild show their stuff

The Taos Quilt and Needlecraft Guild show takes place over Memorial Day weekend. The guild started in 2004 with six members and has grown to roughly 30. In 2013, they started their annual Memorial Day show at the Stables Gallery, which continues featuring quilts of every size, along with other hand-made goods. A raffle for a quilt is held each year, with profits for materials used in the Quilts of Valor. Each year, the guild donates at least a dozen quilts to Taos veterans and/or family members. The Stables show is always free, nonjuried, and nonjudged. It runs from Friday-Sunday (May 24-26), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, at the Stables Gallery, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos. The quilts regularly exhibit at other local venues: Taos Public Library, The Trading Post restaurant and Centinel Bank.

Clay artists reception

Clay artists celebrate the season of mud in a juried exhibition of works by New Mexico and Colorado clay artists on view in galleries around Taos throughout the month. Participating galleries are David Anthony Fine Art, Copper Moon Gallery, Dragonfly Blue, Greg Moon Art, Magpie Taos, Paseo Pottery, Enchanted Circle Pottery, Mary Stratton Gallery, Ron Larimore Gallery and Wilder Nightingale Fine Art. A reception will be held Saturday (May 25) at 4-6 p.m. at Copper Moon Gallery, 105 Kit Carson Road, Taos. Free to the public. For more information, call Copper Moon Gallery at (575) 758-8833.

Lecture and workshops by watercolor artist at Paseo Norte Gallery

Deborah Rubin is a nationally recognized photorealist watercolor artist ( and a recent Wurlitzer Foundation fellow. Her studio is in Northampton, Massachusetts, and she shows her work at Paseo Norte Gallery as well as several high end galleries on the East Coast including Boston and New York. She will be delivering a free 30-minute lecture on her paintings the evening of May 30, at 7 p.m., on the theme “Making the Ordinary Extraordinary,” at the gallery. Subsequently, on Friday (May 31) from 6-8 p.m. she will hold a free painting workshop involving amaryllis on watercolor paper, and on Saturday (June 1) from 10 a.m. to noon, a workshop involving painting sunflowers on watercolor paper. All events held at Paseo del Norte Gallery, located at 218 Paseo del Norte, Taos. Contact Carol Savid at

Lineup announced for Pechu Kecha Night

Pecha Kucha Night Volume 29 is set to launch with all the “Taos Characters” at the Taos Center for the Arts on June 6. Since 2010, curious Taoseños have gathered together to be inspired by this much-loved local event showcasing local talent. Showtime is at 7 p.m. The lineup includes: Jeff Cochran, Mary Domito, Michael “Ike” Levy, Paul O’Connor, Marcia Oliver, Allan Packer, Monique Parker, Howie Roemer, Hank Saxe, Christina Sporrong, Audrey Valentine and Travis Webb.

Arrive from 5-7 p.m. for Paul O’Connor’s free exhibition opening, “Taos Characters V.” Tickets for the event are $10 at the door or in advance at the TCA offices and are on sale now and online at Taos Center for the Arts is located at 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos. More from Tempo as the date approaches.

Ongoing art exhibits

• Taos Watercolor Society is exhibiting the work of their signature members in two venues in Taos simultaneously. At the Taos Visitors Center, at 1139 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos, the show is ongoing until June 28, with daily hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. The second venue is the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House, 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos, where the exhibit runs through June 23. Admission free. Contact Diane Binder at (360) 223-8101.

• In celebration of Spring Arts in Taos, the Blumenschein Home and Museum presents the Taos Pastel Group exhibition and sale. The show is on view at the museum at 222 Ledoux Street through June 19. The group is an evolution of Taos artist Kathleen Smith’s pastel class. Showing are Mary Gould, Cindy Grossman, Annette Grubiss and Kathleen Smith. For more information, call (575) 758-0505. No charge on Sundays for local residents.

• Taos Community Artist Co-op is featuring two of their artists through the month of May. Ruby Mondragon, is a painter and also artist of wire crochet jewelry; and Reta Fitch works with recycled objects to create her singular art. The Taos Co-op shows 24-25 local artists throughout the year. Free. At the Historic Taos County Courthouse, 121 North Taos Plaza. Contact Effie Romero at the Talpa Community Center at (575) 751-1014 or


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