November. L.M. Montgomery described it as a month with “uncanny witchery in its changed trees.” Soon, however, the month will change and the holiday season will be upon us once again—December, with its twinkle lights and cold nights. Jump start your holiday spirit and celebrate the new month with a very special First Friday on Dec. 4. This time around the monthly art walk coincides with the Old Town Holiday Stroll, which runs from 5-9pm and features luminaria-lined streets, an opportunity to visit Santa Claus in Plaza Vieja and the annual lighting of New Mexico's largest public tree in Plaza Don Luis. Take the opportunity to foster a merry spirit and visit the multitude of great galleries in Old Town during December's First Friday festivities.
Visit Gallery 400 in their brand new space near the plaza at 328 San Felipe NW and take in the the diverse works of Jeff Warren, Donna Dionne and Jack Boglioli. The collective that makes up Gallery 400 strive to present diverse works to their visitors, and this month they have well achieved that goal. The three artists showcased during the month of December each work in different mediums. Warren is an oil painter, Dionne works in mixed media, while Boglioli is a master silversmith and an expert in working with precious stones. Enjoy light refreshments and help welcome the artists of this unique gallery to their new space in Old Town between 5 and 8pm.
After a stopover to watch the lighting of Old Town's Christmas tree, head to another collective that houses 40 individual artists at Amapola Gallery (205 Romero NW). Opening on Dec. 4 is their show Holiday Brights and Blues with a formal artist reception following on Sunday, Dec. 6. These works highlight seasonal landscapes and subjects that will be sure to warm your soul after a walk-about on a cold, high desert night. Artists at Amapola work in various mediums including oil paint, watercolors, photography and ceramics.
Make a little space during your Friday night Old Town outing to stop at Yucca Art Gallery (206 1/2 San Felipe NW)—the oldest cooperative gallery in Albuquerque. December at this gallery features gourd art specialist Marta Burckley, oil and acrylic painter Dahl Delu and bead jeweler Leah Henriquez-Ready. All of these talented artists will be on-hand from 5 to 8pm during which time Burckley will also do a gourd carving demonstration. The inviting space will offer visitors refreshments and live music throughout the evening as well.
In addition to the three galleries highlighted here, local museums, including the Albuquerque Museum of Art, will extend their hours to welcome holiday strollers.