Past Sparks Talks

May 2016
Carol Stanley and Jack Lambert Sparks
Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 3:00–4:00 pm, $5 admission fee In the Company of Women: Jack Lambert and the Ladies of the Canyons Presenter: Lesley Poling-Kempes Jack Lambert played a prominent role in the Santa Fe life of sisters Elizabeth and Martha White. He was the manager of the estate they fondly called El Delirio, the home of SAR since 1973. Jack’s adventures with other equally plucky eastern ladies is the topic of this tale by author Lesley Poling-Kempes. Register online here.
April 2016
Big Jo Lumber, near intersection of Sandoval and San Francisco Street. Sparks
Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 3:00–4:00 pm, $5 admission fee Big Jo Lumber Company Site and Santa Fe’s Colorful Historic Past Presenter: Tim Maxwell Archaeological excavations at the site of the former Big Jo Lumber Company, now the home of the Eldorado Hotel, looked at an eighteenth-century building in use until razed in 1984. Register online here.
March 2016
Native American Steel Gangs Sparks
Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 3:00–4:00 pm, $5 admission fee Native American Steel Gangs Presenter: Fred Friedman Historian Fred Friedman traces the origin, development, and present status of Native American railroad laborers, providing the perspective of both track workers and railroad management. Register online here.
October 2015
Nuclear bomb Little Boy Sparks
Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Delivering LIttle Boy:  Captain Nolan, the Manhattan Project, and the Dawn of the Nuclear Age James L. Nolan Jr. Sociologist James L. Nolan Jr. will discuss the unusual journey of his grandfather, Dr. James F. Nolan, a radiologist and obstetric gynecologist who worked on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico, during WW II.
April 2015
Sheldon Parsons Sparks
Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free They Came to Heal; They Stayed to Paint: The Birth of the Santa Fe Art Colony Nancy Owen Lewis Over a century ago, four artists came to New Mexico hoping its climate would heal their tuberculosis. Recovering sufficiently to resume their careers, Carlos Vierra, Kenneth Chapman, Gerald Cassidy, and Sheldon Parsons became the first members of Santa Fe’s fledgling art colony. This presentation examines how their experience in Santa Fe changed the art they produced and the city they now called home.
March 2015
Chamisa Sparks
Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Navajo Cultural Uses of Native Plants in the Four Corners Region Arnold Clifford The traditional use of plants by the Navajo people in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico will be the focus of this presentation by ethnobotanist Arnold Clifford.
February 2015
Pajarito archaeological site damaged by fire Sparks
Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Fire & Archaeology on the Pajarito Plateau: Studies in Fire-Prone Environments Rory Gauthier Archaeologist Rory Gauthier will trace the development of archeological site preservation during extreme fire and post-fire events and discuss the direct and indirect effects on cultural resources and techniques utilized to mitigate the impacts from fire.
January 2015
The New Space Age Sparks
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free The New Space Age: An Archaeological Perspective on Humanity's Exploration and Use of Space Dr. Beth O’Leary Space archaeology and heritage expert Dr. Beth O’Leary will present an overview of the history of the early space age (c. 1957 – 1972) and its context in the Cold War, focusing on the lunar landscape.
December 2014
Olive Rush Sparks
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Olive Rush: Santa Fe's First Lady of the Arts Bettina Raphael Olive Rush, a painter from Quaker roots in Indiana in 1920, played a significant role in Santa Fe’s community as an artist, teacher, activist, and neighbor.
November 2014
Mexican Inquisition Sparks
Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free The Mexican Inquisition in Early Eighteenth-Century New Mexico Linda Tigges & Richard Salazar Early eighteenth-century documents in the Spanish Archives of New Mexico and Mexico City describe the inquisition investigations by the Franciscans into witchcraft, dress, marriage and bigamy, and other aspects of moral behavior of the New Mexico residents.
October 2014
Make Haste to Live movie poster Sparks
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Filmed in New Mexico Jeff Berg Since Thomas Edison’s film crew stopped at Isleta Pueblo in 1897 and filmed a one-minute loop segment, movie-making in New Mexico has been a constant. The state’s film history includes nearly 700 feature films, television episodes, and made for cable/TV movies.
September 2014
New Mexico Weather Extremes Sparks
Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Climate Variability & Extreme Events in New Mexico Deirdre Kann This presentation will cover topics that link weather, climate, and extreme events. Examples of natural climate variability will be described and related to our local weather, including drought, floods, wind, and dust storms.
April 2014
Don Quixote Sparks
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Chasing History: Quixotic Quests for Artifacts, Art, and Heritage Thomas E. Chávez Using the literary model of Don Quixote, historian Thomas E. Chávez will reflect on his career and work for two of New Mexico’s premier cultural institutions—the Palace of the Governors and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
March 2014
Chimayó Sparks
Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Chasing Dichos Through Chimayó Don Usner The Hispanic village folk sayings called dichos, which peppered almost all conversation, are rarely heard anymore, but Usner and his mother have gathered a collection of nearly three hundred from Chimayó.
February 2014
Eva Fenyes, Leonora S.M. Curtin and Leonora Curtin Paloheimo with artists, 1919 Sparks
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin, Leonora Curtin Paloheimo and the Cultural Crafting of Santa Fe Carmella Padilla Early twentieth-century Santa Fe was a hotbed of cultural inspiration and innovation. While men such as archaeologists Edgar Lee Hewett, Adolph Bandelier, and Sylvanus Morley, and photographer Charles Fletcher Lummis are commonly hailed as cultural giants of the period, three generations of extraordinary women had a major hand in the cultural crafting of Santa Fe.
January 2014
Mabel Dodge Luhan Sparks
Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Sex, Syphilis, and Pyschoanalysis in the Making of Modern American Culture: The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan Lois Rudnick Lois Rudnick will use the stories that Luhan and her son and heir felt could not be told until long after her death to illustrate the complex ways in which venereal disease impacted the formation of women's sexual identities, the first women's movement of the twentieth century, modern art and literature, and the formation of psychoanalysis.
December 2013
DeVargas Street, Barrio de Analco, 1894 Sparks
Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Barrio de Analco: Its Roots in New Spain and Role in Colonial Santa Fe William H. Wroth This talk will place Santa Fe’s Barrio de Analco in a larger cultural and historical context. It will deal with the origins of the first settlers of the barrio and its later transformation into a genízaro community.
November 2013
Butterfly Dancers Sparks
Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Franciscan Influence among the Pueblo Peoples of the Southwest Antonio Trujillo In his talk, Antonio Trujillo will explore Franciscan spirituality and how it parallels the traditions of the Pueblo peoples.
October 2013
Archaeologist Sam Duwe at Tsi‑p'in‑owinge' Sparks
Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Becoming the Pueblo World Samuel Duwe Each Pueblo's homeland is defined by its physical landscape through prominent topographic features, modern villages, ancient ruins, and complex systems of shrines. The earliest Southwestern anthropologists made detailed notes of these sacred geographies and how they are used to bound cultural landscapes, represent Pueblo cosmology, and record history.
September 2013
Students Against Uranium Mining members demonstrate on the steps of the Tenth Circuit Court in Denver, Colorado Sparks
Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Uranium Mining Threatens Mount Taylor Nadine Padilla and Eric Jantz Applications for the renewal of uranium mining operations on Mount Taylor are currently under consideration by the US Forest Service and New Mexico regulatory agencies. Mount Taylor is a culturally significant geographic and spiritual feature on New Mexico’s landscape.
May 2013
Sapawe Whistles Sparks
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Instruments of Power: Musical Performance in Rituals of the Ancestral Puebloans of the American Southwest Emily Brown Using a multidisciplinary approach that includes musicology, archaeology, iconography, history, and ethnography to examine musical instruments from the Southwest, much has been learned about music, musicians, and the social and physical contexts of music prior to European contact.
April 2013
Plaza Rats Sparks
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free The Plazas of New Mexico Chris Wilson & Miguel Gandert Cultural historian Chris Wilson and renowned photographer Miguel Gandert will present their newest book Center Place: The Plazas of New Mexico.
March 2013
Phillips Chapel Sparks
Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Farther Along, Recalling Memories: A History of Phillips Chapel and the Las Cruces African American Community Clarence Fielder Erected in 1911, the Phillips Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church has played an important role in the history of the African American population in Las Cruces, NM.
February 2013
Santa Fe River Sparks
Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Acequias, Trails, Land Grants, and Early Twentieth-Century Urban Expansion: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on Southeast Santa Fe Stephen Post Stephen Post has spent more than twenty years researching the archaeological history of the Northern Rio Grande valley with emphasis on the Santa Fe area.
December 2012
Cow Skull on Ghost House Sparks
Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Working the Land: New Mexico Ranch and Farm Women Tell their Stories Sandra Schackel From driving tractors to laying irrigation pipe to running a guest ranch, agricultural women in New Mexico are active, resourceful, and determined ranchers and farmers. Despite the continuing decline of family farms into the twenty-first century, life working the land remains of paramount importance to these women.
November 2012
The Cienega de Santa Fe, 1873 Sparks
Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free The Cienega and the Hospital: How a Marsh Shaped Downtown Santa Fe Cordelia Snow Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, the Santa Fe River meandered across a wide flood plain as the river flowed west and south before it joined the Rio Grande above modern Cochiti Pueblo. At some point, one of several oxbows in the river’s channel was pinched off and formed a cienega, or marsh, at the base of the foothills on the north side of the river.
October 2012
Daguerreotype of SAR Sparks
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Tasting New Mexico Cheryl & Bill Jamison Few aspects of life in New Mexico say as much about our cultural heritage as our food. We can directly trace our local cuisine to the corn and other crops first planted by the ancestors of the Pueblos, the frontier resourcefulness of Spanish colonists who brought livestock along with many fruits and vegetables, and the nineteenth-century introduction of new ingredients and ideas from the eastern US.
September 2012
Daguerreotype of SAR Sparks
Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Los Ciboleros: Spanish Buffalo Hunters Manuel Lopez Historical interpreter Manuel Lopez will discuss the history, hunting methods, and tales of the ciboleros, Spanish buffalo hunters of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in New Mexico.
April 2012
Monks in Prayer Sparks
Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free New Mexico Monks Brewing Beer: A Historical Tradition Berkeley Merchant and Brother Christian Leisy In the United States, the monastic brewing tradition is carried on only at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, north of Abiquiu, New Mexico.
March 2012
Walpi Sparks
Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free In Search of Francisco Atanasio Dominguez & Silvestre Velez de Escalante Gregory MacGregor and Siegfried Halus The 1776 expedition of Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante circumnavigated 1800 miles of unchartered territory never before seen by Europeans.
February 2012
San Augustin Church Sparks
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free San Augustin Church Illuminated Tom Windes Sitting on the north side of the Isleta Pueblo plaza, the massive, white structure of the San Augustin Church dominates the pueblo’s skyline.
January 2012
Sand River in Bloom Sparks
Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Sand River in Bloom Beverley Spears Beverley Spears has walked a one-mile stretch of the Arroyo de los Chamisos for the past twenty years. She has noted and documented with charts and photographs the multitude of wildflowers there as well as considered the hydrology and conservation of this landscape.
December 2011
President William H. Taft signing the New Mexico Enabling Act, 1910 Sparks
Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm New Mexico’s Stumble to Statehood Jon Hunner From corrupt politicians to bitter partisan battles, from an inopportune handshake to presidential prerogatives, New Mexico lurched to statehood through prejudice, racism, and national power struggles.
November 2011
New Mexico youth hanging National Youth Administration shop sign, ca. 1940 Sparks
Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free The New Deal in New Mexico Kathryn Flynn The Great Depression (1933–1943) left the United States in a state of crisis and New Mexico needed help just like the rest of the nation.
October 2011
Recognizing Authentic Handmade Native American Art Sparks
Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Recognizing Authentic Handmade Native American Art Tony Eriacho, Jr. What is the difference between handmade and handcrafted Native art?
September 2011
Modern view of the power plant at Service Basin Sparks
Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm Water Flows Uphill Toward Money: How the Santa Fe River Became Privatized Alan “Mac” Watson The Santa Fe River was a community-owned resource during the Spanish Colonial and Mexican periods, but became a privately owned commodity in 1880.
June 2011
Diné (Navajo) Bracelet Sparks
Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Collectible Southwestern Native American Jewelry Joe & Cindy Tanner How do you purchase collectible Southwestern Native American jewelry and insure that you are making a good investment?
May 2011
Kit Carson Sparks
Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Compadres: Kit Carson and Lucien Maxwell Steve Zimmer Mountain men Lucien Maxwell and Kit Carson became fast friends when the two served under Capt. John C. Fremont in his 1842 expedition to the Rocky Mountains.
April 2011
Mimbres Bowl Sparks
Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free A History of the Ancient Southwest Steve Lekson The history of the ancient Southwest played out on a continent rife with states and empires, commerce and conquest. Southwestern societies were neither ignorant nor immune to their world.
March 2011
Brujerias: Stories of Witchcraft and the Supernatural in the American Southwest and Beyond Sparks
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free The World of Magic and the Supernatural Among Hispanics Nasario García Dr. García is the author of numerous books that deal with the culture and folklore of New Mexico, among them Brujerías: Stories of Witchcraft and the Supernatural in the American Southwest and Beyond.
February 2011
La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs Sparks
Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free A Very Special Place: The Geography and Archaeology of Santa Fe Jason Shapiro Santa Fe is one of those unique places in which a constellation of physical factors have enabled people to live and prosper for literally thousands of years.
December 2010
Spiderweb Trail Sparks
Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Albert Fountain and the Spiderweb Trail Karl Laumbach On February 1, 1896, Albert Jennings Fountain, prominent attorney and politician, and his 8-year-old son were run off the road between White Sands and Las Cruces, presumably murdered.
November 2010
Hindi Sparks
Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Los Arabes de Nuevo México Monika Ghattas Beginning in the late 1880s, Syrian-Lebanese immigrants began arriving in the New Mexico territory, looking for economic opportunities.
October 2010
Native America Calling Sparks
Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Native America Calling Harlan McKosato Native America Calling is the nation's first and only electronic talking circle. Mr. McKosato's talk will allow participants to engage in a conversation about Native issues.
September 2010
Fiesta Theater 1926 Sparks
Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free Pageants and Parades: The Battle for Fiesta Nancy Owen Lewis In 1919, the Santa Fe Fiesta began a major transformation under the leadership of Edgar Lee Hewett, director of SAR and the Museum of New Mexico.
April 2010
Pagosa Hot Springs, Colorado Sparks
Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm The Disappearing Colorado: Water Crisis in the West V. B. Price What are the potential consequences for urban life in the American West if drought becomes chronic and the reservoirs of the Colorado and Rio Grande Rivers run dry?
March 2010
Cylinder jars found in Pueblo Bonito Sparks
Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm Cylinder Jars and Chocolate in Chaco Canyon Patricia Crown Archaeologist Patricia Crown will discuss what the discovery of chocolate at Chaco Canyon means for our understanding of interactions between the Southwest and Mesoamerica.
February 2010
Window Portal in the IARC Building Sparks
Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm Preserving Santa Fe’s Historic Homes Elaine Bergman Elaine Bergman, Executive Director of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, will take us on a virtual tour of Santa Fe’s historic homes.
January 2010
Wild Horses, 1949 Sparks
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 3:00–4:00 pm Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses Dan Flores Historian Dan Flores illuminates a fascinating event that occurred after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, when horses from the Southwest escaped into the Southern Plains.
December 2009
Hindi Sparks
Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 3:00–4:00 pm Los Arabes de Nuevo México [Cancelled] Monika Ghattas Beginning in the late 1880s, Syrian-Lebanese immigrants began arriving in the New Mexico territory, looking for economic opportunities.
November 2009
Cow Skull on Ghost House Sparks
Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 3:00–4:00 pm Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby Craig Varjabedian In New Mexico, the Spanish phrase “La Querencia” is an endearing term for place of the heart. “La Querencia” is personified in the visual imagery of Ghost Ranch....
October 2009
James F. Hinkle 1923-25 Sparks
Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 3:00–4:00 pm Buried Treasures: Famous and Unusual Gravesites in New Mexico History Richard Melzer New Mexico history is filled with noteworthy men, women, and children. Sadly, few of these famous New Mexicans are honored with monuments....
September 2009
Thomas B. Catron, Circa. 1917 Sparks
Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 3:00–4:00 pm The Santa Fe Ring: Gilded Age Politics in Old New Mexico David L. Caffey If you think New Mexico politics is rough-and-tumble today, consider the latter half of the 19th century, when the “Santa Fe Ring” held sway....
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