“And a bird overhead sang Follow/ And a bird to the right sang Here/ And the arch of the leaves was hollow/ And the meaning of May was clear.” Poet and playwright Algernon Charles Swinburne wrote those words in late 19th century. For most of us, however, birds don't chirp us to seasonal clarity and the meaning of the month of May roughly translates to something like: “really, brutally windy.” Historically, however, poets awaken in the culminating months of spring—Keats famously so, and the months of April and May 1819 are proof positive. May isn't just for the poets, however, and in fact, the month is shaping up to be remarkably inspiring for creatives of all walks in Albuquerque's fine arts scene.
Newcomers to Old Town plaza area, the curators of Ghostwolf Gallery (2043 South Plaza SW) are doing big things and showcasing diverse work from more than 13 talented local artists. The gallery, which opened its doors in March, houses photography, fiber arts, sculpture, jewelry, painting and much more from the likes of David Pinney, Laura Balombini and other award-winning artists. All the contemporary art is curated by owner and artist Amy M. Ditto, whose own work was recently exhibited at the Popejoy Auditorium. Any time is a good time to stop in and congratulate Amy and the staff of Ghostwolf on their opening, but May’s First Friday Artscrawl is an especially ideal moment to poke your head in. The space's doors will stand open until 8pm, and in addition to an abundance of art on display, the gallery will be serving up food, drink and door prizes.
Another relative newcomer in the Downtown area is UNM's CFA Downtown Studio (113 Fourth St. NW). This division of the College of Fine Arts opened in February and has provided a new take on contemporary art. If you missed out on April's two-week exhibition of Abbey Heppner's work (titled Evocative Objects) you really did just plain miss out, but May provides a new opportunity to visit the space for Eros, a display of video and photography by Logan Bellew. The studio provides a “flex space” for gallery events, talks, workshops and creation. With an objective of breathing energy into underused space in Albuquerque, CFA Downtown Studio is a productive part of the city's Downtown revitalization.
Serving up inspiration by the bucketful, these new spaces may provide just the right experience to reinvigorate your creativity if the weather and wind aren’t cutting it. But don't forget about all the other galleries that have provided a haven for artists for decades, located all around the city. Invariably, these well established enclaves will have a host of original work throughout the season. A well curated schedule of events at local galleries is available at artscrawlabq.org.