Much Ado about everything

January’s Art Hop is barely in the rear-view mirror but it’s not too early to look ahead to next month. February in Truth or Consequences will be quite active with local art and culture events. There’s something happening every weekend all month long. 




Saturday February 3

The first weekend of February kicks off with the Sierra County Arts Council (SCAC) Membership party. The annual event is open to all existing members or anyone wanting to join. This year’s party takes place at Grapes Gallery at 407-409 Main St. in Truth or Consequences. 

Like last year’s annual SCAC membership party this one will again be punctuated with catered food,  live music (this year by RGEE Duo) and dancing.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with live music, great food and drink, and mingling with old friends or making new ones. It’s an ideal time to renew your membership or join the SCAC if you’re not already a member. No reservation required — just show up and renew or join.


Sunday February 4

The third lecture in this series of five Art Talks will feature local quilt artist Annie Dimit-Buckley. The talks are produced by the Sierra County Arts Council and are open to the public. Rio Bravo Fine Arts Gallery at 110N. Broadway in Truth or Consequences hosts the talks. Lectures are $7 per person ($5 for SCAC members) and begin at 1 p.m.


Sunday February 4

Typically the first Sunday each month brings a gathering of poets at Ingo’s Art Cafe. The Black Cat Poets group welcomes both presenters and listeners. For presenters the guidelines are simple: 5 minutes or three pieces of original work. Themes change monthly but any work is welcome.

Things get underway at 1 p.m. but come early to get settled in with a beverage from Ingo to enjoy during the presentations. It’s a casual and welcoming group. Ingo’s Art Cafe is located at 422 N. Broadway in downtown TorC. Admission is free.




Saturday February 10

The Second Saturday of every month is Art Hop in downtown Truth or Consequences where galleries and businesses stay open later than usual — from 6 to 9 p.m. Many galleries welcome visitors with music, munchies, and — frequently — the galleries’ artists themselves who enjoy talking with visitors about their work. 

Art Hop always brings people together in the Hot Springs Historic District to enjoy the art in our bounty of lively gallerys.

Around town expect extended hours by other businesses, shops and restaurants as well, plus live music and plenty of people browsing, buying and socializing. Many galleries use each Art Hop to showcase new work. You can hang out after Art Hop at the TorC Brewery or enjoy the after-hours music at Club 420 — both on the 400 block of N. Broadway.


Sunday February 11

Gathering monthly on the second Sunday at the El Cortez Theater, Story Lab is a presentation of six different speakers. Frequently there’s a theme to the topics with each presenter delivering a brief story meant to stimulate, educate or merely entertain attendees. 

If that timing overlaps with your usual lunch time – not a problem. Haute Dogs operated by Robert Hainline serves enough lunch fare to keep your grumbling stomach from drowning out the speakers. And it’s located right there in the El Cortez.

Story Lab strives to continue the artful craft of storytelling. The event is free and open to the public. Each session is about an hour long starting at 1 p.m. The El Cortez Theater is located at the corner of Main and Foch streets in downtown Truth or Consequences.




Saturday February 17

The Third weekend of the month will be highlighted by Damsite Day. This year’s event looks to be bigger and better with even more art and craft vendors located throughout the complex in the lakeside casitas as well as in the large lodge building. 

There will also be more live music, more food, and more entertainment including line dancers and belly dancers. It starts at 11 a.m. Saturday morning February 17. 

At noon you can head down to the Marina to watch the Polar Bear Plunge. At the center point of activities — the Welcome Center — there will be displays from various organizations including Geronimo Springs Museum, the Sierra County Rock and Gem Society (SCRAGS), and local animal rescue groups. Last year’s event drew about 1,200 visitors. It’s free and open to the public.

From the line-up on this poster for Damsite Day it’s clear the event will be even bigger and better than last year’s huge success.

Historic Damsite is located 5 miles east of Truth or Consequences. Take Highway 51 (Third Street) east, across the Rio Grande to Highway 177 and follow the signs to the Welcome Center.




Friday, Saturday & Sunday February 23 – 25

Continuing a tradition that expands the scope of local art, METEORIC 2024 will be larger than ever. Through the combined efforts of Heironymus Bogs (owner of Artist Abbey) and Kyle Cunningham (owner of Truth or Consequences Contemporary) the final weekend of February will mark the 3-day Meteoric 2024 festival. 

Plans call for bringing together artists, musicians, writers, dancers and film makers from all across the country — and beyond. Participants from numerous art communities in New Mexico plus a half dozen states (and one from India) will be in town to share their creativity in those disciplines. 

Activities will take place within or outside galleries and spaces throughout the downtown / Hot Springs area. Programs, exhibits and performances are planned for Artist Abbey, Rio Bravo, ZIA Gallery, Grapes Gallery, The Center Gallery, Snakestone Gallery, Fuzzy Logic, Truth or Consequences Contemporary, Lunaticus Galerie, Glamp Camp and more. 

Truth or Consequences Contemporary will use this opportunity to officially christen their new gallery space. They also plan a “secret event” that you’ll just have to attend to find out what it’s about.

Things will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday at Artist Abbey and Lunaticus Galerie with performances at each venue. Times will be staggered so you can attend both. 

The main festivities happen on Saturday with performances, exhibits, presentations and displays at numerous locations throughout the day. Development of the program is continuing so other venues could be added. Complete schedules will be circulated before and during the event.

This is a major cultural festival for Truth or Consequences that you won’t want to miss.


Friday and Saturday February 23 & 24

Coinciding with the METEORIC 2024 festival will be the annual “A Gathering of Quilts” event. Once again the Ralph Edwards Auditorium will be the venue presenting over 100 quilts. There is no admission charge and visitors are invited to vote on the entrants to determine ribbon-winners. Vendors will also be there to offer related wares. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The Ralph Edwards Auditorium is located at the Civic Center at 400 West 4th Street in Truth or Consequences.

That may sound like a lot to keep track of so mark your calendar. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to put a note for February 14th — Valentine’s Day — to remember your sweetie. This all goes to underscore what they say about TorC : “Hot Springs – Cool Town.”

Lead artwork for this story provided by Barbara Mitchell.

The majority of the content for this story was developed from material derived from information provided by each event sponsor.


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John Johanek
John Johanek

John Johanek spent 40 years in publishing including four years as art director for Popular Mechanics in New York. He then founded his own design consulting firm with clients worldwide. His firm earned the highest awards in magazine design excellence. He’s written numerous articles on the fine points of magazine design in leading industry magazines and presented hundreds of design seminars and workshops for major trade conferences, publishing organizations and private publishers stateside and internationally. He and his wife Durrae have authored two books on Montana (his home state): Montana Behind the Scenes and Montana Folks. For the past several years John has pursued his passion for art and now he and Durrae operate Zia Gallery in Truth or Consequences to showcase their work. He is a member of the board of directors of the Sierra County Public-Interest Journalism Project.

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