“Springtime is the land awakening,” Lewis Grizzard wrote, “The March winds are the morning yawn.” With renewed efforts to revitalize Downtown, spring isn't the only thing awakening. In the past several months, new businesses have swung open their glass sheeted doors and spaces that were once vacant are providing new opportunities for the community to rally around innovation in the city. Working alongside the resurgence of activity in the area are the multitude of abiding galleries that have long been fixtures in the city. This March, the galleries that cover Albuquerque's Downtown corridor are showcasing a range of thoughtful exhibitions that make visiting the historic Downtown sphere well worth it.
Always intelligent and timely, 516 Arts’ spring series is titled At Home in the World and focuses on the idea of place as a concept and a feeling. This idea is largely relayed through art that examines migration, citizenship and heritage. The first exhibition of the gallery's 10 year anniversary runs until April and showcases artists from as far away as Bogotá and Düsseldorf as well as local heavyweights. In March, art patrons can look forward to lively discussion of how a group of immigrant women created community and thrived in New Mexico with author Carolyn Meyer and documentarian Katrina Parks in The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound. Later in the month, Outpost Performance Space will host a night of music and art in collaboration with 516 Arts at Stories & Songs: Immigrant & Refugee Artists. Engage in insightful conversation by attending any of 516's upcoming events and help to ensure the non-profit arts space is around for many more decades to come.
The stars align perfectly for Phil Hulebak's opening on March 4 at Sumner & Dene Gallery. The show's opening day also happens to coincide with the month's First Friday Artscrawl. “The power of painting brings me closer and strengthens my bond to Mother Nature,” Hulebak writes on his website. His affection for New Mexico's diverse nature is certainly evident in the cohesive new series of impressionistic landscapes that will be on display throughout the month. If you're lucky enough to make it to the gallery on opening night, you can rub elbows with Hulebak and exchange your thoughts on art and nature until 8pm.
Harwood Art Center is not just offering the usual bevy of classes in March, but is also tacking on a worthwhile exhibition, while preparing for even more exciting events. March sees the opening of Encompass: 25 Years. Kicking off on March 5, Encompass features four gallery exhibitions and 40 open studios and is intended to offer the community a comprehensive means to interact with art. The show runs until the end of the month, leaving busy bodies plenty of time to make there way down Fourth Street to Harwood. And as a footnote, March 15 marks the deadline for Harwood's upcoming show, Surface: Emerging Artists of New Mexico, so if you think you've got the chops, submit your work for the opportunity to be featured among New Mexico's finest in this juried show opening this summer.
As the world around you wakes up, wake up your mind and creativity simultaneously with a visit to the fine shows that Albuquerque's Downtown galleries have expertly curated.