By Elizabeth deMare
Submitted to the Optic
The world exhales a stark and lonely breath this time of year. Trees as gray and naked as your great grandmother’s bones line the Las Vegas Plaza.
February makes you consider the world through muddy-colored glasses. Everyone’s a world-class curmudgeon with spit to share. Everyone wants spring, wants tulips and dandelions to sprout from aching, frozen brain. Any groundhog will tell you that you ain’t gonna get your wish, not for at least four weeks and most likely six.
Maybe the powers that be stuck the Holiday of Love in the middle of this sleet-blasted month to keep us from sinking deeper into the tundra. Either that or they have a helluva sense of arctic humor.
This Saturday, Las Vegas offers a few hours of hope-for-the-hopeless during the Sweet Artwalk. Sponsored by MainStreet de Las Vegas, the event runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and features a colorful array of artistic treasures, talks, and temptations sure to ignite your inner furnace. Grab your sweetheart and hit the snowy streets of Vegas for an afternoon delight.
Haul your honey to New Moon Fashions at 132 Bridge Street and enjoy the art of local high school student Jalila Arthur. In “Lovers,” Jalila sketches the entwined bodies of a man and woman in black and white charcoal. Bubbles surround them, as if a leviathan tossed them onto the shores of Storrie Lake.
“Love is the reasoning of the heart, which reason has nothing to do with and attraction is a state of mind,” Jalila explains.
Railroad your baby over to Rough Rider Antiques at 501 Railroad to enjoy the creative work of santera Susie Flores. Her retablos are painted on wood with natural pigments and watercolors. Susie’s vibrant red and gray “El Corazon” has been chosen to represent February’s Sweet Artwalk. “Love plays into my art because it is a huge part of my life. Other than my two sons, art probably comes next. I love to create and paint,” Susie says. Get a jump start on the Artwalk and meet the local artist between noon and 2 pm.
Sashay your sweetie over to Tito’s Gallery at 157 Bridge Street between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and create a handmade art pendant or pair of earrings. Tito is providing all materials and instruction as well as offering a special sale on jewelry during the Artwalk. Other events include an eclectic art show featuring artists from the community at the Plaza Hotel, 230 North Plaza, a chocolate and wine tasting at the Plaza Wine and Gifts, and a reception celebrating the photography of Sean Weaver and Paul F. Moloney at the New Mexico Highlands University Ray Drew Gallery. Over twenty offerings round out the Artwalk, from art openings and lectures to spicy servings of chips and salsa.
Pick up a program guide at any participating merchant or call 425-2606 for more information so that you don’t miss a single chance at love and romance or at the very least a generous discount in Valentine’s Day goodies!
Cap off your day-off-of-winter with a 7 p.m. Mariachi Valentine’s Concert at the Historic Ilfeld Auditorium. Listen to local favorite Reynaldo Maestas as well as New Mexico’s first all female mariachi - Mariachi Buenaventura, and study the fancy footwork of ballet folklorico’s Baila Baila. Or experience passionate musical performances by United World College students and faculty at an 8 pm Valentine’s Concert in the school’s dining room.
February may bring out the beast, but let a little beauty inside during the Sweet Artwalk.