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.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recap: The Print Blitz & Parade of Flags

The squeaking of squeegees as they ran across a fine mesh screen, over and over again, filled the air with a playful, cartoonish feeling. While the smell of ink lingered in the lower half of the gallery, residency guest artists John Hitchcock and Emily Arthur, with the help of Ryan O'Malley and Marwin Begaye were screen-printing the many images that were to be used during the Air, Land, Seed exhibition. 516 ARTS in partnership with the NPN/Visual Artists Network has started its first ever residency program, beginning with this exhibition. - Ben Tobias