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The Setonian

Amanda Curreri feels like the blue swirl emoji

 Amanda Curreri – artist and Assistant Professor of Painting & Drawing – and her graduate students have been identifying themselves in their creative processes as emojis. She is the blue spiral, Curreri said, and she goes far out. Curreri’s art is part of the University of New Mexicos Art Museum’s current Hindsight Insight 3.0 exhibition. She initially approached curator Mary Statzer because she wanted her 2019 piece RopeWalk — a giant tapestry of ropes created by over 300 people — to have another life. 


Demystifying HSI

  Although the term Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) is federally defined, to University of New Mexico students and staff, it means much more. The US Department of Education defines a HSI as a higher education institution that has at least 25% Hispanic undergraduate full-time equivalent students enrolled at the end of the application year. “For people who work at HSIs, they play around with the idea that it’s not actually a Hispanic serving institution - (employees) argue that these universities don’t actually serve Hispanic students but rather are Hispanic enrolling institutions,” Natalia Toscano said - a Ph.D. candidate in the Chicano & Chicana Studies department.


InteliGente: Cars, Culture y Comunidad

  Formed by two University of New Mexico students, the InteliGente car club aims to bring culture and community to campus. “We are a community car club (created) for and by students with the goal of promoting education in New Mexico through car culture,” Dominique Rodríguez said - club co-founder and second year Ph.D. Chicana and Chicano Studies (CCS) student. The club aims to show other students that they do not have to act a certain way in higher education, Diego Rentería said - co-founder and fourth year undergraduate CCS student. 

Roasting Chiles

Chile season brings concerns about scarcity

  The bright red chile ristras hanging above the tented chile stand are the first things that catch the eye at the Farmers Chile Market. Closer to the tent, is the unmistakable smell of New Mexican chiles. For many in New Mexico, chile season is the highlight of autumn, and stands, including the Farmers Chile Market, are signs that meals are about to get a little more flavorful. Jhett Kendall Browne and his dad, Jhett Anthony Browne, work the stand from August to October, selling around 8,000 sacks of chiles every year. 


The Half-White Album is coming to UNM

 The Half-White Album is a book that was released to the public this past April that weaves together poetry, fiction and nonfiction before it is musically performed.  Cynthia Sylvester (Diné) is the author of The Half-White Album and the performance’s speaker. Sylvester is a native Albuquerquian and her work has appeared in ABQ In Print, Leon Literary Review, Lunch Ticket, As Us Journal and other magazines.  The Half-White album is a compilation of Sylvester’s characters that span over poetry, non-fiction essays and fictional stories all depicting an aspect of the author in one shape or form. 

Hindsight Insight 3.0

Hindsight Insight 3.0: excitement in collaboration

  Over the summer, Mary Statzer and Angel Jiang – curators at the University of New Mexico’s Art Museum – asked three professors to choose works for an exhibit that would connect with their syllabuses. Ray Hernández-Durán, who teaches Chicano & Latinx art, pulled pieces by Chicano and Latinx artists. Kevin Mulhearn, who teaches the history of photography, pulled abstract and portraiture photography from various time periods, Jiang said. The UNM Art Museum unveiled its latest exhibition, “Hindsight Insight 3.0: Portraits, Landscapes, and Abstraction” on Friday, Sept. 6.

Land, body and archive

Land, Body and Archive highlights student work

  There is a deep history of collaboration between students in the Southwest, specifically in the photo medium, Anna Rotty said. The Southwest Photo Collaborative is a group of graduate students from the University of New Mexico, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. Rotty – a third-year graduate student studying photography – worked with a small group of students to create and curate an art show titled, “Land, Body and Archive” in the John Sommers Gallery with an opening reception on Friday, Sept. 10.

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The feminine is devastatingly colorful

  A bright, colorful booth layered with paintings of women and feminine expression, Makayla Baca and Emily Garcia sold both their individual and collaborative artwork pieces at the Art Walk on Friday night. The pair met during a fair at The Cat and the Cobra tattoo shop where they were both selling artwork and discovered the similar themes of femininity across both their work. The representations of deities that Baca creates with her artistic lens are in an effort to design an alternative to the common depiction  of female deities portrayed under the male gaze.


A life of activism, friendship and laughs

  Dorelen ‘‘Dorie’’ Bunting left a legacy of activism solidified in brick and mortar at the Peace and Justice Center on Yale. Co-founder of the center and a friend of the University, Dorie passed away last Sunday at the age of 101. Known for her laugh, Dorie continuously brought joy into her activism, Robin Feydel said. Feydel was a close friend of Dorie’s. They met working on anti-nuclear activism, specifically opposing the Waste Isolation Pilot Plan – a nuclear waste site in Carlsbad.

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A source of local, fresh and organic food

  Access to organic food can be a rare commodity to come across. In 2020, 6% of food sales in the United States were organic, according to statistica. For those who live on campus at the University of New Mexico or in the surrounding area, La Montañita Co-op offers just that. The Co-op has two locations – one in the North Valley on the corner of Matthew and Rio Grande Blvd., and the second on the corner of Carlise and Central in the Nob Hill Shopping Center. Before it closed in March of 2021, there was a smaller version of the Co-op on campus. 

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Christoph Wagner makes the strings sing

  Christoph Wagner always wanted to play the cello. The new assistant professor of cello at the University of New Mexico, Wagner started playing when he was six.  Wagner says he watched his sister play the cello and never doubted that it was the instrument for him. What attracted him was the versatility of the instrument. “You can do so many things with this instrument. You can play very low, you can play very high pitches. So you can mimic a huge spectrum of expressions, sounds, timbres and colors,” Wagner said.

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Queer anthems take over the dance floor

Queer people of color created house music, Justin Cristofer said – a Queer DJ, promoter and producer in Albuquerque. Cristofer aims to take the idea of a Queer DJ and expand it beyond pop music as well as highlight the history of house. House is a music genre characterized by having four-to-the-floor musical patterns and the tempo of 120 beats per minute, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Bringing house music to Queer Albuquerque spaces, Cristofer said, honors the history of the genre.


AJAAS creates space for queer Chicanx identities

In pursuit of activism and pride, The Association for Jotería Arts, Activism and Scholarship at the University of New Mexico meets twice a month to organize events to create a space for Queer Latine, Chicanx and Indigenous students. AJAAS – a national collective of artists, activists and scholars – has existed since 2005.  Their name and organization reclaims a Spanish slur against Queer folk, focusing on activism and community, AJAAS member Lama Quiroz said. “It's a way to reclaim that word in order to empower ourselves,” Quiroz said. The UNM chapter has been centered around education on the histroy and culture of the chicano power movement, Quiroz said. AJAAS attended the Latinx Visions conference along with hosting book club meetings this past year.

queer tattoo artists

Queer tattoo artists promote a culture of safety

Pandora Torres, a Queer tattoo artist, works with her father at The Divine Eye Tattoo shop in Albuquerque. Torres’ presence as a Queer artist has helped her queer and feminine clients feel more open and comfortable while getting tattooed in her space. Tattooing for the last three years, Torres said that the majority of her clients are Queer. Her top priority, she said, is to ensure her clients feel safe and comfortable. “Spiritually speaking, I feel as though tattooing is a huge exchange of energy and it would be irresponsible of me to go into such an intimate procedure without making sure that everyone is happy, feels safe, comfortable and – above all – comfortable communicating with me,” said Torres.

Carmen Selam

Carmen Selam plays with pinks, printmaking and Polly Pockets

Utilizing a variety of mediums and the color pink, Carmen Selam – a Queer Indigenous artist – uses  pop-culture references and specific colors to amplify themes of Indigeneity and Queerness in her artwork. Currently, she is experimenting with risograph printmaking to create a zine titled “Resbians,” a combination of the words “lesbians” and “reservation.” Selam is Yakama and Comanche, and said she finds herself incorporating those two identities throughout her artwork. She calls herself “Yakamanche” – a combination of the two.

phamily tea house

Fresh flavors at Phamily Tea House

Phamily Tea House opened across central from campus last December, out of California. The restaurant has begun selling entrees at their Albuquerque location, Jerry Pham, restaurant manager, said. The entrees range in price from $8.99 - $15.99. The recipes were crafted by Chef Vu Pham. With over 30 years in the restaurant industry, Pham developed the recipes and spice mixes with his family and said that they continue to change and develop as they cook them in order to combine Vietnamese and Taiwanese cooking.

off brodway feature

Off-Broadway brings old glamor to contemporary fashion

  Moving from their first location on Broadway Blvd., Off-Broadway is located on Central Ave. near campus and sells vintage clothing. While they do sell costumes, the shop is primarily a vintage store with clothing from before the 1980s. However, the two work hand in hand, storeowner Susan Ricker said. Her goal is to find ways to mix vintage with contemporary fashion. “It's transformative to wear a costume,” Ricker said. “If you were all vintage from one period, like all 50s, (you are) in a costume because that's not what I call contemporary dressing. I sell vintage clothing primarily as contemporary fashion. So, you mix eras.”

New Mexico in the Art World Event

Art educators challenge 'art world'

  Marina Perez, a contemporary Indigenous arts PhD student at the University of New Mexico, struggles with the concept of the art world. The art world often creates barriers for communities of color, which makes it harder for them to enter it, Perez said. It produces a binary between fine arts and community arts, contemporary arts and ancient arts. The separation, they said, often makes it hard for people of color to participate in the art world. “The art world is a colonial construct. To even think that we need to construct a completely different world away from our everyday lives … Communities of color don’t have access to be able to enter the art world,” Perez said. “Our knowledge is not embraced or acknowledged.”

off brodway feature

Off-Broadway brings old glamor to contemporary fashion

  Moving from their first location on Broadway Blvd, Off-Broadway is located on Central Avenue near campus and sells vintage clothing. While they do sell costumes, the shop is primarily a vintage store with clothing from before the 1980s. However, the two work hand in hand, storeowner Susan Ricker said. Her goal is to find ways to mix vintage with contemporary fashion. “It's transformative to wear a costume,” Ricker said. “If you were all vintage from one period, like all 50s, (you are) in a costume because that's not what I call contemporary dressing. I sell vintage clothing primarily as contemporary fashion. So, you mix eras.”

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Books on the Bosque introduces local authors to the community

María Dolores Gonzales said that her book, written in Spanish, English and Spanglish, was put on the shelves independent of publishing firms. The literary community in Albuquerque is very rich, Gonzales said, but the community often lacks diverse representation. Gonzales – a retired UNM professor – attended Books on the Bosque’s local author palooza on July 15. She taught within the Spanish and Portuguese department before authoring “Atop the Windmill I Could See Forever” – a bilingual memoir that details her childhood in the southwest. “I’m trying to see – where is the Hispanic community? Where are the Hispanic writers? Where are the Latino writers? I think that is a big void in the literary world,” Gonzales said.

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