Friday, May 1, 2015

The Art of Buying by Valerie Roybal

Recently I was asked what I thought makes people want to buy art (or not).

For me, the purchasing of art is an exciting and joyful experience— like hearing or seeing good music or the tasting and eating of delicious food. Plus, you get to live with the piece of art in your home , experiencing it again and again. The purchasing of art creates a connection within the transaction, and for me, it creates an experience of understanding, and feeling part of something beyond my own experience of the world.

I have a new friend who calls himself a coveter, meaning he wants things that he has a response to, he wants to acquire what he sees and loves. I enjoy seeing this excitement and awakened sense in him. I like to see him have a visceral connection to what he sees. This coveting is not about acquiring, but more about appreciating, and feeling a connection to the piece, like: "wow! I love that, I want it!" When presented with the experience of art, it is wonderful when we are able tap into that deep sense of appreciation, or felt sense of art. 

Valerie Roybal, Transmutation 7, 2014, collage & ink on clayboard; 9x12 inches
It's interesting to think about this, right now, as I don't know why people do not tap into this amazing experience. Perhaps it's pure economics (people think it's out of their range or not affordable) or it's a lack of interest in art and aesthetics (people don't think art is for them or its not their cup of gin), who knows? From the economic standpoint, studio sales (and other non-traditional ways of purchasing art), are great, as they present people with an opportunity to acquire art at affordable prices. It's less risky. And this particular sale poses a wide variety of styles, choices, sizes, and price points, so that hopefully, there is something for everyone to covet, fall in love with, and even take home. I hope that people see this event as a treasure hunt of sorts, and find joy in the discovery.

Valerie Roybal, Zig Zag 20 (detail), collage and ink on clay-board; 10 x 8 inches
Another great thing about this particular event, is that the sales benefit both the artists and a non-profit organization which supports art and artists—full circle.
As an artist participating in this studio sale, I am excited about the process of "clearing the decks", so to speak. As a person who is always in the process of making work, it's great to get stuff out of my home studio and storage and out into the world. Its especially exciting if my art makes its way into the hands of others. Clearing the decks also creates space an openness to create more.

When talking with the other participating artists over the past several weeks about the event it seems that we are pretty excited just to be part of this and contribute to the fundraising efforts of 516. We also are excited by the idea of being in this together, setting up spaces within the space, and experiencing each others work. We will be presenting a version of our working space, transported to 516, so that visitors can see some of the process. The day immediately following the opening, we will all be there working, so that the making of art can be a shared experience. I like to take a peek into people's studios, and see behind the curtain, so I am happy at the prospect of not only providing this experience, but partaking in it, from several viewpoints and ways of doing, all in one place. Hooray!

About the artist: Valerie Roybal holds a BA from the University of New Mexico, where she studied communication, journalism and graphic art as an undergraduate, and printmaking and book arts for several years beyond that. As an artist, she has shown her work in many group and solo exhibitions, including the 2nd National Book and Paper Arts Biennial at Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago; Unraveling Tradition, and New Mexico Showcase at 516 ARTS; and Biennial Southwest ’08 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Her work can be seen in the book Cutting Edges: Contemporary Collage (Gestalten) and CUT and PASTE, 21st Century Collage (Laurence King Publishers). She is a recent recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation artist grant.

Read more about the 516 ARTS Studio Sale at  Pyragraph.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

In Progress: Larry Bob Phillips Mural @ 516 ARTS

The alley walls behind 516 ARTS south of Central between 5th and 6th streets are currently being painted by Albuquerque-based artist Larry Bob Phillips. Over the course of several weeks, Phillips has been working to transform the gallery's exterior wall with an ambitious new mural that will eventually cover the walls in their entirety. Phillips is known for his black and white illustrative-based work that is a mashup of cartoons, comics, psychedelia and art history. Having already completed several iconic murals throughout Downtown, this most recent effort could prove to be one of his largest to date. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Workshop: Intro to Sign Painting

Local sign painter Curtis Mott presented a workshop on some of the basics of sign painting and hand lettering at OFFCenter Community Arts Project this past weekend. Check out a few images of the process after the jump! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thoughts on the Forum: Growing the Creative Core

The late Pete Seeger said, “The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.”

I think learning about the creative projects that a handful of people are organizing in Downtown Albuquerque sets a positive tone for the direction we’re moving in. The forum at 516 ARTS was a terrific gathering of people and ideas. The turnout for Heart of the City events speaks well to the community’s interest and concern for our urban center. We are creating a buzz and momentum, which I hope we can continue to grow beyond the Heart of the City project.

That said, during Megan Kamerick’s interview with some of the panelists on KNME- TV’s In Focus, she asked me under her breath if there would be any decision makers at the forum so we’re not just “preaching to the choir.” Her comment stuck in my mind, as I did have the feeling at the forum that we were a group of arts supporters sharing our work and ideas with one another, In order to take this momentum to the next level, we need to organize around how we work with our elected officials and people who are making decisions about Albuquerque planning.

I think we need to learn to speak the language of the decision makers and engage in constructive dialogue with them about the future. Otherwise, the arts will remain marginalized and not taken seriously by government and business as a true building block of economic development. Some of the money we need to help fulfill the dreams and potential for the arts in Albuquerque’s growth and Downtown’s redevelopment could ultimately be generated by arts advocates persistently engaging in dialogue with the decision makers, who were not at the forum.

Who in our community can serve as intermediaries between the arts and government/business interests?

How can we educate government and business leaders about the true value of the arts for our community’s cultural and economic well-being?

How can we educate ourselves about their concerns so we can engage in intelligent dialogue with them about the future?

And how can we “find the optimistic stories and let them be known”?
–Suzanne Sbarge

Executive Director, 516 ARTS

See footage from Growing the Creative Core here thanks to Benito Aragon from New Mexico 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Visit to the Rail Yard

The rail yard is one of the last remaining structures of its kind in the country and sits on an enormous 20+ acre plot that comprises numerous buildings, all of which served specific purposes. It is so large that it had its own septic and water control and fire department. It's made recent cameos in Terminator: Salvation and The Avengers. We were fortunate enough to get a tour of one of Albuquerque's most iconic buildings.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Quantum Bridge Epic Comes to an End

Aaron Noble is working round the clock to put the finishing touches on his Quantum Bridge mural ahead of the Public Art dedication ceremony. Stopping only to engage in snow warfare, and consume the requisite green chile stew, Aaron has enlisted the help of several additional Albuquerque artists; among the like include fellow muralist, Larry Bob Phillips (below). Be sure and come by Warehouse 508, Sunday (Dec 8th) from 2-5pm for the dedication ceremony in which Aaron and his mural apprentices will discuss their experiences working on the project.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Process: Aaron Noble's "Quantum Bridge" Mural in Albuquerque

Aaron Noble arrived in Albuquerque the end of October and has been hard at work ever since. Work on his epic mural "Quantum Bridge" is currently underway and will continue through the end of November. Without a doubt his largest undertaking to date, the mural covers the entirety of the 180 foot plus length of Warehouse 508. Created in conjunction with 516 ARTS for the forthcoming exhibition, Heart of the City, Noble is one of several lead artists working with youth and students on a variety of projects that aim to explore and re-imagine Downtown Albuquerque.