Looking at Ryan Singer’s painting Scorched Earth Policy, in which Star Wars archvillain Darth Vader is in hot pursuit of an X-wing fighter through a high-walled canyon, it’s easy to see how a young Navajo man, familiar with his tribal history, could relate to a movie story about a fight for freedom from tyranny. 

Using imagery derived from a pre-Columbian divinatory manuscript, artist Moira Garcia created a series of mixed-media works on paper that commemorates the artistry of the Mixtecs. She gives a talk on Sunday, Dec. 16, at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Store.

Today, the term "nocturne" is applied generally to any nighttime scene and is as common a subject for art as it is for music. The New Mexico Museum of Art has a surprising number of nocturnes of its own, including some by the more prominent 20th-century artists in its collection: Gustave Baumann, Gerald Cassidy, and Georgia O’Keeffe. 

When a selection of more than 200 of the Hispanic Society’s works was on tour at the Prado Museum in Madrid in the spring of 2017, nearly 500,000 visitors turned out to admire the collection. Following a three-month stay at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the third stop of that royally recognized, New York Times-dubbed “blockbuster” show is Albuquerque. Visions of the Hispanic World: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library opens at the Albuquerque Museum on Saturday, Nov. 10.

As any New Mexico resident knows, our state is an amalgam of cultures and traditions, both indigenous and imported. The artistic productions that have emerged from that commingling of cultures are as diverse as the people who live here.

Before the publication of The Birds of America, painter and ornithologist John James Audubon’s monumental avian survey that first saw print in 1827, flora and fauna were primarily depicted by naturalists as specimens, separate from any rendering of an ecological context. Gottlieb, whose Invasive Species series is a hybrid of Audubon’s images and her own original work, depicts a variety of invasive botanicals integrated into prints from The Birds of America. 

To Paint without Thinking, an exhibition of works by Frederick Hammersley (1919-2009) that premiered at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, in October 2017 and opens at the New Mexico Museum of Art on Friday, May 25, presents viewers with a conundrum: that Hammersley’s meticulous practices also allowed him ample room for freedom of expression. 

In Diné (Navajo) philosophy, hózhó is a complex set of principles to guide one’s actions, thoughts, and speech for the purpose of maintaining wellness and balance. The best way to approach and appreciate the work of artist Melanie Yazzie is from such a perspective, which enables a person to see beyond a facile reading of her art — as expressions of a lightness of being — to its deeper philosophy.

A staple on Garcia Street for more than two decades, Photo-eye Bookstore and Project Space has made a recent move to the up-and-coming arts district developing in the vicinity of the Meow Wolf Art Complex, a move that enabled the shop to expand its footprint. The bookstore's grand opening in the new location includes an exhibition of the works by the Santa Fe-based photographer.

Nagatani, who died in Oct. 2017, is being honored at the University of New Mexico Art Museum with an exhibit of works made near the start of his career. The show provides a fascinating look at his influences and career-long interest in a cinematic style of photography.

The Spanish Colonial Arts Society has a long history in Santa Fe as an outgrowth of the Society for the Revival of Spanish Arts and the Society for the Restoration and Preservation of Spanish Mission Churches of New Mexico, both of which date from the early 20th century. But on Oct. 29, 1929, writer Mary Austin and artist and author Frank G. Applegate, along with a committed group of collectors, officially founded the society, which still exists today. 

Since the 1969 Agrarian Reform in Peru, folk artists have used their crafts as means of economic survival through times of political violence and upheaval. In conjunction with its current exhibition, which is on view through March 10, 2019, The Museum of International Folk Art brings three Quechua artists and activists whose work is at the forefront of the struggle for truth and reconciliation to discuss their work and experiences. 

The artist is deeply committed to honoring those whom history has forgotten. The Chinese and American subjects of her works are laborers, refugees, and others whose names may not be recognizable but whose lives Liu commemorates with portraits that are at once intimate and noble.

Most professional photographers love seeing their images big, but Jan Pietrzak is going in a different direction. Long an aficionado of the large-format view camera, he is now using smaller cameras and making much smaller pictures. His new prints (none of them larger than 6 by 17 centimeters) are on view with works by Kirk Gittings and Philip Augustin at Santa Fe University of Art & Design’s Marion Center for Photographic Arts.

Ati Maier’s 10-minute, single-channel video The Placeless Place (2016) supports the intention behind the museum’s three current exhibitions, the openings of which were timed to coincide with its centennial in November. Maier’s video seems complementary to the exhibitions’ themes of bridging past, present, and future, and is among the last works you’ll encounter in the show Contact: From Local to Global, tucked at the far end of the museum’s New Wing Gallery.

Clift is a master photographer of the old (film) school who also loves capturing portraits with his phone. Consider inspiring landscapes taken at La Bajada, for example, as well as an iPhone series of his granddaughter.

Before anyone could really call Santa Fe’s Second Street an “arts district,” Phil Space was quietly doing its thing in the area. Unabashedly funky and unique, it’s a t…

The show features work by SFCC faculty and students made from decommissioned gun parts, as well as juried work by local and international artists that focuses on gun violence.

In his essay that shares the book’s title, editor Stephen Perkinson writes that during the early 16th century, a Dutch engraver known simply as Master S created an image of a cadaver rising from the grave below. He bears a banner with a Dutch phrase that exhorts viewers, “Mirror yourselves, people, on the mud of the earth: I am so as you will become.” Could a truer portrait of humankind be rendered?

    The power, clarity, and style of the prints of Santamaría owe much to the technical mastery of the artists of the Taller de Gráfica Popular. The TGP, an influential print workshop formed in 1937, was most active from the 1930s to the early 1960s and was formed, in part, to address injustices and rights issues among the Mexican people.

    The new SITE opens to the public with The Reveal, a 21-and-over party on the evening of Friday, Oct. 6; and community days Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8, with fortune tellers, a photo booth, a time capsule project (bring your objects to be photographed), SITE tours and talks — and cupcakes. 

    It isn’t necessary to see allusions to Native history and culture in Seneca artist Marie Watt’s mixed-media piece Canopy: Ledger to appreciate it as a sculptural form, but it adds considerable dimension. The sculpture makes reference to an object with which Native peoples from many tribes have a long, culturally rich history: the blanket.

    Historically, quilts were of no particular value or interest to collectors, or to urban Chinese, because the Communist government favored progress and assimilation over the traditional handiwork of its ethnic minority populations. But the government’s current emphasis on preserving the intangible cultural heritage of these groups in the face of industrialization has given life to a tourist economy in which these quilts have become quite marketable.

    The New Mexico History Museum exhibit features amazing photographs of ancient buildings, many of which have been destroyed by ISIS in the past few years. Drawing from the collections of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, the show highlights images of Syrian people and grand historic buildings with carved stonework that were photographed more than a century ago.

    On Sunday, June 4, the Museum of International Folk Art opens a Syrian folk art display, with a representative sampling of various historic and contemporary art forms including textiles, basketry, blown glass, and metal work. The exhibit of works from the collection of the late Lloyd Cotsen (1929-2017) is shown in collaboration with the New Mexico History Museum’s show Syria: Cultural Patrimony Under Threat.

    Picasso made hundreds of drawings while working on Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, one of which is on view in the exhibition Lines of Thought: Drawing From Michelangelo to Now at the New Mexico Museum of Art. The traveling show of works on paper, opening Friday, May 26,  takes a long look at the techniques and process of drawing.