Albuquerque Buzz: August 2010

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, August 2010

So the Turner to Cézanne exhibit at The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is only here until Aug. 8. We’ve been telling you about it for months, but in case you’ve been idling away in an anti-media vortex (it happens), here’s the short of it: Fifty-three masterpieces by the likes of Monet, Manet, Renoir and van Gogh are gracing the museum’s walls, on loan from National Museum Wales. Some of the pieces in the exhibit have never before been seen in the U.S., and Albuquerque is the last stop on the show’s five-city tour before heading back to the U.K. The museum has hosted a smorgasbord of programs to accompany the exhibit, and there are still a few you can catch before the whole thing’s over. Most notably, don’t miss Vincent, a one-man play based on letters between Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo. Ross Kelly, local actor extraordinaire who has a long list of theater and film credits to his name, fills the roles of both brothers, and FUSION Theatre Company directs. Oh, and get this: The play was written by Leonard Nimoy. Catch it on Thursday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. and on the exhibit’s closing day, Sunday, Aug. 8, at 2 p.m. Ticket prices for the play and museum admission, while reasonable, are complicated, so refer to the museum’s website for details. 2000 Mountain NW, 505.243.7255, www.cabq.gov/museum. 

Bailey’s on the Beach is open for business. The sand-and-sun-inspired café is the second phase of a three-part project at Girard and Monte Vista. The Studios Nob Hill & Loft opened this spring as vacation rentals. And this fall, Cocoa Flora, a chocolate wine bar (yum) will open its doors. Until it does, patrons will have to be sated by Bailey’s, which has a delightful little rooftop patio (something more restaurants should catch onto in this town) and also offers delivery within a two-mile radius (hear that, Nob Hillers?). Find traditional surf fare like fish tacos on a well-stocked menu, along with items like mahi mahi kabobs, “mostly naked” quesadillas and a range of salads, burgers, pastas, sandwiches and more. A medley of sweet, frozen drinks round out the menu. This place has jumped into the new millennium, so you can call, fax or text your order or send it in online. 2929 Monte Vista NE, 505.717.2880, www.baileysonthebeach.com.

This just makes you feel good. On Friday, Aug. 6, while you’re gallery hopping for First Friday Artscrawl, stop for a while at High Desert Art & Frame. The shop is hosting an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. that night for “The Painters of La Vida Llena,” six artists from the La Vida Llena Retirement Community. The group’s exhibit, featuring acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings and pencil drawings, will show throughout the month. The artists have diverse backgrounds. Some, like Ollie Mae Hopper, have long histories in painting. Hopper has shown her work in galleries since she was 16, and some of her work was chosen for the Library of Congress Permanent Record of Student Art Work. She owned a gallery in Santa Fe for four years. Others are new to the discipline, like Gerald Hunsberger, who’s a former high school football coach-cum-watercolorist. Stopping in is bound to make you smile. 12611 Montgomery NE, Suite A-4, 505.265.4066, www.highdesertartandframe.com.

If you didn’t catch the first screening of Albuquerque’s 48 Hour Film Project entries, here’s your second chance. The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual mad dash for small groups of filmmakers to write, shoot, edit and score a short movie in two days. Last year, almost 40,000 people made 3,000 movies in 76 cities around the world. Local winners are selected who then go on to compete on a worldwide stage. The Saturday, Aug. 7 screening at the KiMo Theatre will feature the best of this year’s entries. It costs $10 to get in the door. Screenings last from 7 to 11 p.m. 423 Central NW, 505.768.3544, www.cabq.gov/kimo.

Prolific folklorist Nasario García will have a book signing for his newest release on Saturday, Aug. 7. Fe y Tragedias is a bilingual account of the stories of Hispanic villages in New Mexico. A winner in the Southwest Book Awards and the New Mexico Book Awards, García has written 21 books about the preservation of the Hispanic language and the New Mexican way of life. The signing takes place at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Alamosa Books. 8810 Holly NE, Suite D, 505.797.7101, www.alamosabooks.com.

Albuquerque Little Theatre is offering summer intensive acting workshops for teens and adults (aka 13-and-up), and you can still catch some before the season is over. Learn about Cold Readings on Aug. 7 or Audition and Marketing on Aug. 21 (come prepared with a memorized monologue of one-and-a-half minutes for this one). The last workshop in the series is a Master Class on Aug. 28, and interviews are required before acceptance. Instructors are actor and educator Ben Eaglin and Robin Lane, a two-time Tony Award winning actor, director and writer. Classes are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and cost $60 a pop. 224 San Pasquale SW, 505.242.4750 ext. 2, www.albuquerquelittletheatre.org.

You’ve probably been waiting to hear about the Old Town Salsa Fiesta. After all, more than 10,000 of you went last year to sample all meanings of that word. This year, salsa tasting, salsa music and salsa dancing join together on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 1 to 9:30 p.m. A cavalcade of musicians take the stage, paving the way for headliner 8 y Mas, a newly formed group comprised of industry heavyweights Bobby Allende, Marc Quiñones, Willie Torres, Victor Baro, Samuel Baretto, Arturo Ortiz, Jose Tabares and Manuel Ruiz. You can just sample salsas in the Homemade Salsa Competition, or you can enter your own. The first-place winner will take home $1,000, win runner-ups carting of $500 and $250. Kids are also welcome, and a Children’s Corner at Plaza Don Luis will have stories, music, arts and crafts and more to keep the young ones entertained. There’s no admission, and the city’s encouraging attendees to hop on the Rapid Ride to get there. Call 311 for more info or visit www.cabq.gov/crs/newfun.html

Steve Paternoster is one hell of a restaurateur. He’s the owner of both Scalo Northern Italian Grill and Brasserie La Provence, two of Albuquerque’s favorite places to dine in style. Both of his restaurants have been declared the state winners of the 2010 Restaurant Neighbor Award and are in the running to take home the national honor. The Restaurant Neighbor Award, for those who are unfamiliar, recognizes establishments that excel philanthropically. Paternoster was also given his own individual honor—he was named the winner of the state’s Cornerstone Humanitarian Award for his work with Dismas House, a transitional living facility for men and women exiting prison. For five years straight, Scalo has hosted a private dinner and silent auction that’s raised more than $20,000 for Dismas House, and Brasserie La Provence hosts a Christmas fundraiser for the organization as well. Together, the eateries bring in $150,000 for charity every year. Congratulations, Paternoster! To follow developments on the national contest, visit www.restaurant.org/sustainability

Ice cream, rock climbing and a whole lot of cars. Sound intriguing enough to take a spin out to Rio Rancho? On Sunday, Aug. 22, you can find out what it’s all about at The Mayor’s Picnic and Pentathlon. The picnic part includes clowns, magicians, fun jumps, face painting, music, the aforementioned rock climbing and a spread of affordable, kid-friendly food ($1 hamburgers!). The pentathlon refers to the “Ice Cream Olympics,” with event names like the “Melted Marble Toss” and the “100’ Sundae.” There will also be a salsa tasting contest, a big car show, dogs up for adoption and vendor booths. The best part? All profits go to youth program scholarships for Rio Rancho Parks and Recreation, Boys and Girls Club, Sandoval County Juvenile Justice and Elks Club 2500 Boy Scouts. It’s at Loma Colorado Park from noon to 4:30 p.m., admission is free, and parking is available at Ri Rancho High Shcool for only $2. 505.891.5015, www.ci.rio-rancho.nm.us, www.rioranchokiwanis.com 

Speaking of cars, Maintenance & More Automotive Specialists is offering its next free Car Care Clinic on Saturday, Aug. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you haven’t been to one of these things yet, they’re a great way to learn some of the basics of car maintenance—enough to save you some trips to the mechanic and, when you do have to go, make sure you don’t get ripped off. Learn about the 47 items on the technician’s review checklist, how to jumpstart a battery, check fluids and change a tire. Onsite childcare is available, too. And don’t forget: It’s free! 135 Wyoming NE, 505.256.3333, www.mmauto.net.