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End of August 2004
Albuquerque, New Mexico

The art world in Albuquerque is in an uproar. Magnífico, best known for its beautiful downtown arts space, has just closed its doors and laid off all staff. Jon McConville, arts administrator extraordinaire known and loved for his Fort Studios project, left town because of a family emergency, and will not return. OffCenter Community Arts Center has to move out of their space because their rent was raised. The Walls Gallery closed because the director is moving out of town. Even our neighbor Santa Fe is rumored to be having troubles, with their Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) needing to find another venue and Theater Grottesco losing their space.  


Fortunately, the Harwood Art Center is still standing. Exhibit 208, the Jonson Gallery and AC2 are still open. Fort Studios continue under new leadership. Three former University of New Mexico art students are opening up their own space in the Barelas neighborhood. Commercial galleries such as Richard Levy Gallery, Coleman Contemporary Art and Dartmouth Street Gallery continue. The University of New Mexico has a great batch of graduate students. Performance organizations such as Tricklock Theatre Company, Keshet Dance Company, and Outpost Productions continue to present energetic programs. The National Poetry Slam is coming to town next year. Albuquerque is still full of exciting art and artists seeking venues for their work. The Albuquerque Contemporary exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum is still up through September 5, and has gotten great reviews from the local press and the arts community.


The Albuquerque Contemporary exhibition is truly representative of what's happening in the contemporary visual arts in Albuquerque. Contemporary art is what is being made now. It is new and exciting; it is filled with works by artists finding different ways of telling their stories. It is art that inspires conversation and argument. It is refrigerators filled with dirt and crocheted videotape and children's toys swimming through a dinner plate. Albuquerque has a wonderful community of contemporary artists who need exposure.


Erika Osborne, Passing Through, refrigerator, dirt
-- in Albuquerque Contemporary 2004 exhibit
presented by Magnifico at the Albuquerque Museum --

This Web site is an attempt to keep the energy going. The idea is to present a venue - if only a virtual one - for contemporary Albuquerque artists and the arts community to experience and discuss contemporary art. A Cyber artspace, if you will. Rent is cheap. There is no Board of Directors, no utility bill, no art insurance, and no fundraising (at this point). It is created by an out-of-work arts administrator who needs a creative project to keep sane. Now that the initial setup has been completed, the project will evolve based on input from the community.


Artists will be invited to submit digital images for virtual exhibitions. Although the focus is initially on visual arts, the performing and literary arts will also be included. Opportunities exist for editorials, features, partnerships, children's projects, links, and a calendar of events. An email discussion group has been set up to keep the ideas flowing and examine current issues. Email us with suggestions, images (not too large), and comments. Criteria is that it is or is about art that is contemporary, new, exciting, original, unique, and different. The focus is art that is made here, art that is seen here, and art that is relevant here.

Welcome aboard!

Melody Mock


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