SANTA FE, N.M. — When a group of volunteers was assembled to fight in the Spanish-American War, hundreds of the recruits came from New Mexico. The story of the New Mexican captain of this victorious calvary, most famously known as the Rough Riders, is coming out of the shadows with a new book by local historian Richard Melzer. Melzer will give a lecture centered around his biography of Capt. Maximiliano Luna at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the New Mexico Museum of Art’s St. Francis Auditorium, 107 W. Palace Ave.
Before becoming a Rough Rider, Luna served as the territory’s House speaker and had been a Valencia County sheriff. According to a New Mexico PBS documentary about the Rough Riders, when some volunteers were going to be left behind rather than taken to Cuba to fight, Luna pleaded with his commanders — including future President Theodore Roosevelt — to take his company. He wanted to prove the New Mexico territory’s loyalty to the U.S. and that it was worthy of statehood.
The talk by Melzer, a professor of history at UNM’s Valencia County campus, kicks off the museum’s annual winter lecture series in partnership with El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Admission is $10; it is free for volunteers and members of both museums.
painting plants: Mary Jo Hatch paints the “spiritual and emotional lives” of plants. It’s something she acknowledges sounds strange, but the subject has been a part of the retired business professor’s creative practice for 30 years. While writing her first book, all of her houseplants were dying at the same time as her writing was thriving. Still, she created “very colorful, very uplifting” paintings of what the plants looked like when they were healthy. Decades later, her subject matter has remained the same. Some 15-20 of her paintings will be on display in a solo show at 7Arts Gallery downtown starting Friday, Feb. 1. “Art Within” will stay up until Feb. 28. There will be an opening reception at 7Arts, 125 Lincoln Ave., from 5-7 p.m.
play festival: An all-women playwright festival will bring to life new works by 11 local artists. Each participant in the second “Fearless Female Voices” event, taking place this afternoon — Sunday, Jan. 27 — will present a 15-minute drama or an excerpt from a longer work, with staged readings of each piece by local actors. The festival is organized by Talia Pura, a local actor, playwright and operator of Santa Fe’s Blue Raven Theater. “Fearless Female Voices” starts at 1 p.m. at Warehouse 21, 1614 Paseo de Peralta. For audience members over the age of 21, there is a $10 suggested donation. Participating playwrights are Pura, Leslie Dillen, Dale Dunn, Lisa Foster, Alix Hudson, Madeleine Jean, Kita Mahaffy, Rose Provan, Elizabeth Reed, Lizana Schweiger and Rosemary Zibart.
ready for a ‘rumble’: In 1958, rock guitarist Link Wray released his hit “Rumble.” The instrumental track featuring some of the first power chords ever was banned from U.S. airwaves for being a potential inspiration for juvenile delinquency, but that didn’t stop it from having a profound musical impact. “Rumble” is the namesake of a documentary shining a light on Native American influence on the development of rock ‘n’ roll. A free screening of “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” will be hosted tonight at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Along with Wray, of Shawnee descent, artists like Jesse Ed Davis, jazz singer Mildred Bailey and singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie are featured. The movie, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, will be from 6-8 p.m. in IAIA’s auditorium at the Library and Technology Center, 83 Avan Nu Po Road.