New galleries, other businesses will be spotlighted during downtown Art Walk
Event returns to live format for first time since October 2019
- The art walk runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday in downtown Farmington.
- A handful of new businesses will hold celebrations as part of the event.
- The work of more than 40 artists will be featured.
FARMINGTON — The work of more than 40 artists will be showcased at nearly two dozen locations scattered throughout the district as the downtown Farmington Art Walk returns this weekend after an absence of more than a year.
The popular quarterly gallery strolls have been a downtown staple over the past several years but were paused in the spring of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shoppers were able to continue supporting local artists through a series of virtual art walks presented by the Farmington Convention & Visitors Bureau, but this will mark the first time the event has been held in person since October 2019.
"I think we timed it just perfectly," said Flo Trujillo, the president of the Northwest New Mexico Arts Council, the group that helps organize the art walks.
Noting that the state recently emerged from the last of its pandemic social distancing restrictions and the annual Connie Mack World Series returns next week, Trujillo believes there was a convenient window for the event to be held on Friday, July 16. She said in addition to the large contingent of artists and businesses taking part, there will be several additions that will help the event return in style.
Trujillo's organization also presents the weekly Makers Market that is held every Thursday afternoon in Orchard Park in downtown Farmington. Trujillo said the vendors who participate in that event are being asked to return to the plaza the next evening to take part in the art walk, which also will feature one of the instruments from the Painted Pianos project in nearby Aztec.
Another plus will be a 5:30 p.m. grand opening celebration for the new San Juan College Harvest Food Hub & Kitchen at 310 W. Animas St. That event will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music and information tables.
"We're going to have lots of things going on," said Trujillo, who also is organizing a raffle fundraiser for the arts council's local arts projects fund. Trujillo said she has been collecting CMWS memorabilia for several years, including many autographed items such as T-shirts, caps and programs, and she is selling raffle tickets for the collection for $5.
A drawing to determine the winner will be held on Thursday, Aug. 5. Trujillo said the money raised from the raffle would be used to support the San Juan Jazz Society and a planned Apple Festival this fall in downtown Farmington.
But, as always, the main attraction is the artwork.
Some venues in the district will feature the work of several artists, while others will play host to only one or two. Leading the way will be the HEart Gallery at 307 W. Main St., the new venture by Studio 116 owners Karen Ellsbury and Patrick Hazen. The HEart Gallery will feature artists Ann Fourr, Dale Latta, Delia Otero, Tamera Penny, Deion Hayz, Joni Casey and Hazen.
Ellsbury said Penny is a ceramicist who creates whimsical objects such as dragons, turtles and cacti, as well as solar lights. She'll have a total of 10 pieces featured in the show.
Latta creates unique animal sculptures, and Ellsbury said she especially likes a horse sculpture he made for this show featuring wood covered in scraps of leather, beadwork and horse hair.
"It looked so real to me it felt like it was alive," she said.
Ellsbury's Studio 116 at 116 W. Main St. now shares space with another local artist, Danni Andrew. Andrew is a painter who works in oils and acrylics, but most of her gallery space is devoted to tie-dyed T-shirts.
"I'm a little eclectic," she said.
Andrew said the Art Walk will serve as the soft opening for her business, but she plans on holding a grand opening celebration later.
On the other side of the gallery, painted furniture by Ellsbury will be featured, along with jewelry and purses by Sandy Martin and work by Andrea Landon.
Elsewhere in the district, the paintings of Ally Zee will be featured at the Three Rivers Brewery, Chris Cook's work will be featured at the Artifacts Gallery, Casey Mike's work will be shown at Bilasaana and Mo Tiga's work will be showcased at Bisti Bicycles. Boon's Family Thai BBQ will show the work of Dorothy Potter and Brown's Shoe Fit will feature Timithy Gordon, while Calveras, Santos y Mas will house the work of Catherine Thomas.
The latter is a new gallery located at 219 W. Main St. that will hold its grand opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 17. The gallery specializes in imported Latin art, including Dia de los Muertos collectibles.
The work of Tim Essary and Ian Heath will be featured at Connect Space, while Kim Benally, Phyllis Etcitty and Anita Dotson will be showcased at The Dusty Attic. Inspired Moments will welcome the work of Luke Paul, Erin Raykiewicz, Tailer Farrel, Denise Nuñez and Marci Clark.
Bia Nelson will be featured at the Museum of Navajo Art & Culture, while Amanda Segobia will be showcased at New to You and Melissa Salyers is featured at the Olive Tree. Aldean Billy's work will be shown in Orchard Park, and Shirley Pelot will be shown at R1 New Mexico.
Tales of Tomorrow will showcase Andrea, The Chile Pod will feature Eryk Lee, the Harvest Food Hub & Kitchen will show Dana Yazzie and Al Che, and the Three Rivers Art Center will welcome Paloma Baron, Joyce Hughes and Susie Huycke. The Wal Art Gallery will feature Karen Coy, and Whiskey and Lace will welcome Kendra Allen.
Ellsbury said no arm twisting was required to get so many downtown merchants to agree to open their doors to local artists.
"The businesses are just thrilled to do it," she said, noting that most merchants in the district are eager to have any chance to show off the improvements that came to downtown through the Complete Streets renovation.
Trujillo encouraged those who haven't visited the district lately to come take a look, get a bite to eat and enjoy a stroll up and down Main Street.
"Make it a destination on Friday night," she said.
The art walk runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday in downtown Farmington. Call Trujillo at 505-320-0615 or visit nwnmac.org for more information.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.