Albuquerque Arts Scene

  • No Comments

Yeah? There is one?

There is if you read Eric Griego’s opinion piece A Cultural Mecca in the Albuquerque Tribune.

I think he oversells it juuust a skosh, but I’ll be fair. I think the arts and entertainment scene in Albuquerque has ramped up muchly in the ten years since I left. (Ten years? TEN YEARS!??!?! That cannot be…and yet…it was Memorial Day 1997 that a scared sh-tless ABQ girl loaded up her Jeep and took off for parts west…)

Since I left, the Journal Pavilion was built. Wow. THAT was a much necessary addition to ABQ to allow big name acts a decent place to play and incentive to stop in ABQ. I’ve not been there myself but have heard great reviews of the place despite the long single road access to the venue.

Sure beats the hell out of, oh, I don’t know…Tingley. I mean….going to a Megadeath concert in the same place they hold rodeos always held a certain bit of irony for me…..but it’s so rasquache it almost hurts. I remember going to a show, sitting in the nosebleed seats, I mean TOP row, leaned back against the wall and feeling the whole building vibrate. I wondered how much longer it would stand. I remember seeing Garth Brooks there as water leaked from the roof onto concert goers….

And for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the place where I saw my first concert…it’s killing me (after much Googling…I believe it was the Civic Auditorium). It was a small music venue, back at that time we all went there and the only good bands that would come to ABQ would play there. And as the band Missing Persons rocked out, bits of ceiling tile fell on my brother and me. I am not making this up. I believe it finally closed due to asbestos issues. That was early 80’s. Oy.

I was heartened to see that many of the casinos have built nice venues for acts. True, it’s just a ploy to get people to come out and pay to play, but still…it’s at least a decent venue and I’m guessing the casinos pay the acts fairly well. I’m planning a trip to ABQ this summer to catch a show at the amphitheater at the Sandia Casino. I’ve not attended a concert there yet but I’ve seen the venue and I think it’s beautiful.

It’s a start.

Griego mentions the National Institute of Flamenco (discussed here a couple posts back) and the Tricklock Theater Company. Yes. These are all good starts….but if your local arts scene is reduced to Taos artist colonies, Flamenco and a stage theater company…then no, you aren’t yet ready for prime time.

I’ve always said I saw more concerts and cultural events in the first two years living in the Bay Area than I did in the nearly three decades I lived in NM. That’s just sad. And one of the main reasons I’ve always thought I probably can’t go back. My own art has grown leaps and bounds because I’m surrounded by creatives. Creativity is sewn into the DNA of the Bay Area. North Beach in San Francisco fairly hums with the vibe. You sit in a historic coffee shop and channel the writers and musicans, poets and photographers that have come through over the years. And your art is appreciated, accepted, encouraged. And given room to breathe, to be shown, to be admired.

So my fair Albuquerque. Yes, you have MUCH culture to be shared. And I love you dearly, but sorry Mr. Griego, “Burque” (god i *HATE* that euphemism) has a long, long way to go before it can play in the bigs.

Not saying it doesn’t have potential…just saying there is a lot of growing up yet to do……

Happy Mom’s Day!

  • 3 Comments

I’m taking a page from the Avelino Maestas handbook and his Live From Silver City blog. Today, my blog will be photos. Like Avelino, I’ve been enjoying time behind the lens more and more. I’m a rank amateur with a good camera, better lenses and a decent eye, so I’m learning.

Today I got to horn in on Mom’s day with my partner. He has cool folks so I enjoy borrowing them both. Today they let me come along to Filoli Gardens. It’s one of those places where you almost can’t take a bad picture.

In his May 11 post Avelino talks about photowalking and the photowalking.org site which I think is pretty cool. Although I guess I didn’t know I was “in the know” because this is how I’ve always made pictures. By walking around and seeing what hits my eyes then trying to make the shot fit what I see. Not always easy, but always fun. Avelino also has a link for the Digital Photography School Forum that lists “assignments” where people post in their work. That has a certain appeal to me too. I find an odd bit of creativity in being given a topic and letting my mind try to fit the bill. I love writing that way, I’ll pull a word out of my big bucket of words I’ve cut from magazines and try to form a story or at least write a poem about the word or cleverly using the word. So I may get in on the photo assignment action…we’ll see.

For now, below are some of my faves from today.
_____________

It tortures me.

  • No Comments

Ever read a book that tortures you, draws you to it until you are forced to read it every moment you get, and you are thinking about it every moment you aren’t reading it?

I haven’t had a book haunt me in a long time. But I’ve got one going now.

The Flamenco Academy by Sarah Bird.

Picked it up at the library in the new fiction section. In fact I didn’t even find it, my partner did. He handed it to me saying, “it’s set in Albuquerque”. I read the cover blurb and thought, “ok, I’ll give it a try”.

Little did I know….

It HAUNTS me!

Maybe it’s supposed to? Maybe that is the heart of Flamenco? To haunt those who enjoy the art? Maybe it’s all one big metaphor I’m either not smart enough or not drunk enough to understand?

I’ve learned a lot about Flamenco from these pages. I admit, I knew very little going in. Heck, I didn’t even know there is a Flamenco academy at UNM. Who knew? Lots of people, evidently.

The fact that the story is so painfully wrought, touches a *little* close to home with some of the emotional issues AND is set in Albuquerque? Oy. Torture.

About three chapters in I slammed it down and told my partner, “I can’t read this” and got snotty about it.

Then I picked it back up and kept going. I’ve been going to sleep too late every night with the “just one more chapter” philosophy that *never* works. One more turns into one more that turns into one more.

There is this negative review of the book on Amazon. The reviewer says “If you have any intellect this book will drive you crazy.” Well, I have some intellect and it does drive me crazy…but not in the way the reviewer meant. Just…crazy.

I can’t say I *love* it, I can repeat that I’m tortured by it. I remarked this evening that I can hardly wait until I’m finished with it so the torture can end.

For now, I’m about three quarters done and this book OWNS me.
______________________________

Update: I finished. The ending left me….unfinished.

: scowl :

  • No Comments

I started this blog on March 17th, St. Patty’s day. And during that time, my job was so very utterly slow and monotonous that I was able to whip out my posts every day, usually before noon. A sense of pride filled me every day I hit the “publish” button and had my post done for the day. I felt like my “real” work was done, I’d posted, and then I could jet about and enjoy the day.

In the recent weeks, a lot of things have happened. My boss went to another group. My boss’ boss (the Director) went to another group. The tyranny that reigned in my organization came to an end. We are all like prisoners emerging from solitary confinement. We blink in the sunlight of our new Director, an amazing woman with both compassion and actual “soft” management skills. She’s already done wonderful things for us….including buying not one but TWO cakes.

CAKE!

Celebrations and dancing and cries of “we love the new mommy” abound.

But new Boss Lady comes with a price. She took on our team, but her boss, the Vice President (in what I’m sure is his infinite wisdom) said she didn’t get to shake off her old team. She had to take us on IN ADDITION. So Boss Lady is VERY busy. Which means delegation of work…..

Add to that a new company wide project that directly affects the small team that I manage, and suddenly, we are in the spotlight with A LOT of work to do.

I’m not sure how I feel about this, to be honest.

On the one hand, this is stellar for my group and possibly the advancement of my own career.

On the other hand, when things were quieter, I was actually devoting time to my creative work including this blog.

So now I have amazing work success but it’s not fulfilling.

A conundrum.

Meanwhile, my posts have gotten spotty at best and it TORTURES my over perfectionistic soul.

I can’t let go of my creative work. It fills my heart and soul. But I can’t let go of my day job. It fills my bank account and my refrigerator (and the bowl of the hungry feline that owns me).

Meanwhile….I’ve had to switch the balance of “business” Barbie from “artist” Barbie. We both have big boobs but one of us is *really* tired and discontented.

(Ok, comparing myself to Barbie is laughable…but roll with it….)

Unsure how to solve this. Watch these pages as I’m sure this will be a running theme….

Meanwhile….back to work. Grudgingly.

Belated Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!

  • No Comments

Woot! Would have posted on “the day” but was out of town enjoying an amazing time away with that wonderful man who takes such good care of me. A much needed break from the hectic world.

In our luck, while traveling around Napa, we caught a fun Cinco de Mayo parade. I’ve not really celebrated Cinco since I left New Mexico for a variety of reasons but this parade was reason enough to celebrate…and gave me a deep pang of homesickness…which can be delicious.

Enjoy!

Read the sign on the little girl’s bike…

(All photographs by and the property of Karen Fayeth)