Josh Jones is sick of hearing people whine about how Albuquerque doesn't have all the creative amenities of bigger cities on either coast. “Look,” he says, “it's not going to happen here if you don't do something about it yourself.”
Amen. Thankfully, Jones is doing more than just talk. He moved here about six years ago with some art school under his belt and a bit of experience doing concert posters and other freelance art. Going around petitioning to get his art represented by local galleries was a drag, though. He heard similar complaints from other artists.
So Jones took matters into his own hands. Last year, he got the idea of renting out a building, for one night only, to host an art event where up-and-coming artists can sell their art to an appreciative crowd. Jones has repeated the event every three months or so, each time in a different building around town. He charges the artists a fee to participate, but only enough to cover rent for the evening.
“I invited friends,” says Jones, “and they invited their friends, and it just kept getting bigger.”
This Saturday, he's doing another Black Market Goods event at the Princess Jeanne Shopping Center in the Heights. There'll be more than 40 artists selling work. Later in the evening, there will also be a fashion show for local designers, a DJ and a bunch of art demos. At the end of the night, Jones will auction off a big wooden plyboard on which every artist at the show will have painted a tiny portion. That'll help cover costs for this show and upcoming events. Jones got a lot of help from friends like photographers Jeanna Smith and Evan Moore, model Mia Allen, graphic artist Alistair McCray and designer Unek.
“I'm not trying to make money off this,” says Jones. “These shows have been good for networking alone. I just want to start a little art mafia, I guess.”