Last year, Belen MainStreet Partnership carried out a visionary and prophetic event called Belen Blooms.
Local artists submitted paintings of flowers and 20 were selected by the judging committee to be made into banners and hung all along Becker Avenue. The vision was to turn the area into an Arts and Cultural District. In less than a year, this seems to be coming to fruition.
Spring begins on March 19, and that’s when things really start blooming. A new gallery on Becker Avenue will be holding its grand opening on Saturday, March 21. The Grid Gallery will offer photography and gifts. There will be music and more beginning at 3 p.m. and going until 5 p.m.
On Sunday, March 22, Judy Chicago’s Art Space is holding an event titled “On Fire” with fireworks by Judy and photographs by her husband, Donald Woodman.
Sunday, March 29, is the date for the Belen Art League’s scholarship fundraiser Mad Hatter Tea. This includes a hat contest with prizes and an art raffle. Tickets are $10, and seats must be reserved at 509 Becker Ave. or by calling 861-0217.
On Saturday, April 11, Jaramillo Tasting Room will be holding a Paint ‘n Sip night. Tickets are $25. Call 463-3688 to reserve a seat.
As we move into May, the Belen Art League is putting on what we hope will become an annual event — The Hub City Tumbleweed Festival on Saturday, May 9. Vendor space is only $10, and registration forms may be obtained at the gallery or by emailing [email protected].
This day-long festival will feature arts and crafts vendors, a painted denim jacket auction, music, a wine and beer garden and much more. May 9 corresponds with the art league’s spring art show and an art walk is being planned to go between 4-8 p.m.
The art league will be offering a youth art program throughout the summer. These will be on the first and third Saturdays of May, June and July.
The first Saturday is for kids between the ages of 7-11. The third Saturdays are for kids 12-18. Call the gallery at 861-0217 for further info or to sign up your young blooming artists.
Art walks are being planned for June, July and August, and you may be seeing pop up exhibits here and there.
A little bird told me there will be a new shop opening in the old Domino’s Pizza building across from Lowe’s grocery store. I’m not giving any more away but it sounds tres cool.
All of this activity is bringing visitors to our city. In February, we had a bus load of seniors make a trip down from Albuquerque to spend an entire afternoon on Becker Avenue.
They traversed from the Belen Harvey House Museum to the Bugg Light Museum and everything in between.
In April, a group of Albuquerque museum docents will be coming down for a similar tour. You can bet those docents will be telling others about our art district.
So indeed, Belen continues to bloom and those banners will be going back up this spring as testimony to the determination of its citizens to “Make Belen Great.”
(Jo’l Moore is the president of the Belen Art League Gallery and Gifts. Contact her at [email protected] or call 861-0217.)