Welcome to the Albuquerque Art Scene
Contributed by Anamarie Rael-Greatbatch - Art Writer and Student - 11/15/2012
Photo credit: H.M. Vanderbreek
Traveling west on the historic Route 66, true to Bugs Bunny’s suggestion, you might just want to take a left turn at Albuquerque. Heading west just off Interstate 40, you can begin your journey to one of the most colorful art scenes the southwest has to offer. Albuquerque is a gem of all gems when it comes to its local art scene. It is saturated with art, which is continually evolving and on continued display. Home to many fine arts and contemporary art galleries, historical architecture, national art museums and international art festivals, the city has so much to offer locals, art enthusiasts, art collectors, artists, and the everyday visitor and passerby.
As you head west on Central Avenue (historical Route 66) into the Nob Hill neighborhood, you are treated to a truly eclectic and enchanting collection of art galleries, in the state.
On the 1st Friday of every month Albuquerque is host to citywide ARTScrawl which gives you the opportunity to explore art galleries along route 66. On every 3rd Friday of the month it’s time for neighborhood ARTScrawl, rotating and highlighting different art neighborhoods in Albuquerque.
Further along on Route 66 is the University of New Mexico, established in 1889, is home to some of the most amazing architecture, sculptures, and fine arts collection the state has to offer. Found at Central and Harvard, the University Arts Museum is home to extensive collections of Albrect Durër and Josef Albers. Pueblo Revival Architecture can be seen throughout campus where you will see the first of its kind.
While downtown Albuquerque, you are treated to the art and history that is our living, historical, architecture. Places like the Kimo Theatre, one of the most interesting celebrity and art deco entertainment hubs of the 1920s. The Kimo Theatre opened up as a picture palace in September of 1927. Here the artistic traditions of the southwest collide with the modern art deco of the 1920s, to display a unique collision of artistic traditions and cultures, becoming a symbol of history and art influence along route 66 and throughout New Mexico.
Your journey on Route 66 should take you into Historic Old Town, a town square that was founded in 1706. Here, you will find the oldest building in Albuquerque, San Felipe de Neri Church, built in 1793. The church is center of 10 blocks of historic adobe buildings that make up the square of the oldest part of Albuquerque. Many of the historic building are home to numerous art galleries and shops. This plaza, like none other in the United States, is a perfect place to see world renowned Spanish colonial artists, Native American artists, contemporary artists, sculptures and jewelers. During peak tourist seasons, you can by handmade jewelry from pueblo people as they set up shop throughout Old Town.
Just off the beaten path from Old town is our own museum row. Home of the Albuquerque Art Museum, here is where you can see some of the biggest names in art, New Mexico-based artists such as Ernest L. Blumenschien, Georgia O’Keefe, RC Gorman and many others.
Many art festivals and celebrations are yearly traditions to the Albuquerque community and are happening throughout the year. During the fall months Albuquerque is home to many art festivals and shows that bring in many international visitors. The International Balloon Fiesta, the most photographed event in the world, attracts photographers and artists alike to depict our landscapes of Albuquerque, as the Rio Grande Arts Festival is underway. Soon after the Weems International Art Fest is a rite of passage to the holiday months as over 250 artists show their art in the largest, diverse gathering of art in the state.
All in all, what Albuquerque’s art scene has to offer is limitless. There are so many diverse, artistic culture and traditions to explore and learn about. The journey has just started and Albuquerque’s art scene will truly enchant you.
- Cloudface - Multi-Talented Pop Artist - Cheryl Abhold - 12/3/2012
- Sticking It to the Man - A report on the emergence of Graffiti Stickers - Alexandra Swanberg - Reporter - 11/15/2012
We are currently looking for more contributors for the Albuquerque Art Scene. If you want to write about any of the following please contact us:
Go to the Get Involved! page to learn about different ways to get involved with the Art-City.org project.
- Art Museums
- Art Galleries
- Local Artists
- Street Art
- Public Art
- Festivals and Fairs
- An Interpretation of Artwork
- Any Underground Art