Burque Adventures In Casa Décor

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Burque Adventures in Casa DŽcor
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World-class galleries and museums abound in Albuquerque. You know that. You’ve stepped inside them in Old Town, Downtown and Nob Hill. You’ve probably gazed appreciatively at clay pots on pedestals and leaned in close to study the brushstrokes on 30-foot acrylic landscapes. If you’ve got the means to show it off, that kind of art can be magnificent. Maybe, though, like me, you just live in a normal place—no fancy light fixtures, no dramatic inset shelving. A few beautiful pieces of art would be great, but you’ve got to consider the destructive power of kids or pets. Luckily, art for your home doesn’t have to be kept in a frame or put in a fragile curio—it can be something unique you love to pick up, sit on or put in your yard. An unusual object with a story behind it. Turns out, this town’s great for that kind of art, too. These three Albuquerque gems just might surprise you with the uncommon art they have for sale. (Lisa Barrow)

Koenig’s Metalmorphosis

Zuni Road at San Pedro isn’t exactly an arts district, but it’s where you’ll find Koenig’s Metalmorphosis, a family-run metal shop that’s been in business for almost half a century. They can custom cut or weld any design you want, whether to display as art or serve a function. Their security gates and window coverings do both. Dorothy Koenig is more than willing to show you all manner of gizmos Koenig’s has made or collected over the years, from rusted-out wagon wheels to Terminator movie props. A monster head pokes out of one corner of the garage; Koenig tells me it was part of a costume her late husband, Ted, used to wear. “He had it rigged up to blow fire and everything,” she says. The place is part scrap yard, part art studio, and every pile of metal comes with a story. When you get done looking over rows of steel cages and buckets of bullet casings, they also have two rooms full of eclectic antiques and collectables. “Oh, that’s a train conductor’s ledger from the early 1900s,” Koenig says, as if it’s routine to have history lessons just lying around. The next time you’re driving down Zuni, just look for the giant “Koenig’s” letters mounted on the chain link outside. (Billy McCall)

Affordable Antiques & Metal Art, Llc

It’s hard to say which you’ll see first—the five-foot sunflower, the pistol-shaped barbecue or the frog on a bicycle. But no matter which, when you spot the colorful Fourth Street sidewalk display of Affordable Art & Antiques, LLC, do yourself a favor and stop in. From the outside, you’ll think it’s a charming little shop—but like a Tardis, the exterior only hints at the contents. Owners Bill Eckhardt and his son Eric have constructed a five-room wonderland across three warehouse buildings. After working your way through a drool-worthy maze of vintage furniture—everything from carved Asian side tables to 1920s art deco wardrobes—feast your eyes on the Eckhardts’ steel art extravaganza, much of it designed by Eric. On my latest visit, I spotted a life-size calavera bride and groom, two emus, a tiny t-rex, a pair of giraffes, a rusted Don Quixote, bulls, pigs, roadrunners, birdhouses and even a dung beetle. Bill estimates their property displays around 650 pieces of furniture and 500 pieces of durable yard art at any one time. The warehouse format “has always worked” for his family, he says, for a simple reason: “People like to discover something.” Here, they’re likely to discover a whimsical art piece they never knew they absolutely had to have. (Lisa Barrow)

Manuel’s Food Market

In 1924, a man named Manuel Sanchez opened up a little grocery store in Martineztown. Today, Manuel’s Food Market is still cash only, with old-school hardwood floors and narrow aisles. Sanchez’ daughter, Clara Martinez, now runs the store along with her husband Richard, a carpenter. Richard’s bench and tools are right there in the store, with sawdust and wood-shavings all around. His decorative picture frames, benches, and shelves are all for sale at the back of the store. The rough-hewn work is unpainted, though occasionally stained, and has a raw feel. Richard’s son, Rick Martinez, is also a woodworker and is fairly well-known for his hand-carved religious figures. When I ask how his son can do such realistic work, Richard tells me, “Well, he starts with a block of wood, then takes away anything that doesn’t look like St. Francis.” Richard and Rick have both won ribbons at the State Fair, and have pieces there again this year. Whether you’re looking for an art piece or a piece of furniture, Manuel’s is a great local place worth checking out. (Billy McCall)

Burque Adventures in Casa DŽcor

Affordable Art & Antiques

Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

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