End of August
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
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.
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.
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.
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