Make America, America again


A young educator and poet, after a sight-seeing trip to Pikes Peak Colorado, awestruck with that area of our country, wrote a patriotic poem.

In 1892, Katharine Lee Bates authored, “America the Beautiful.”

It captured the heart and soul of the American people and has been embraced by the people of America since then.

In one stanza of the poem, Bates cries out,

“America, America God shed His grace on thee and crowned thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!”

What has happened to our brotherhood?

What has happened to our unity?

What has happened to our moral and ethical values?

What has happened to, “In God we trust?”

Now has brotherhood diminished?

Now in place of unity is there


Now have moral and ethical values (even by some of the leaders of this great nation) been trampled?

Are we the United States of America or are we the DIVIDED

States of America?

Let’s reach out and touch somebody with brotherly love and compassion.

Let’s stand up for moral and ethical values

Let’s, “give peace a chance.”

Let’s return to, “one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

Let’s make America, America again!

Yvonne Montoya

Rio Communities

Art Space is wonderful


When you walk into the Through the Flower Art Space that has been opened by Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman in the heart of Belen on historic Becker Avenue, the first image you see is a beautiful, life-size sculpture with inviting open arms and a dazzling needlework heart that is called “Find It In Your Heart” and declares this in dozens of languages.

As you explore further, there are collaborative pieces (between Chicago and needlework artists) that declare hope by marrying the fine arts of painting, drawing and fabric arts through creative interpretation of various sayings like, “Turn a New Leaf” and “We are All in this Together.” The needlework is exquisite and elevated to a fine art that is a wonder to see.

Woodman’s photographs depict our beautiful New Mexico skies and Tomé Hill pilgrimage among other engaging subjects utilizing film, hand developing and in-house printing processes that are quite an amazing technical and artistic feat.

All this is to say … even if you have preconceptions about Judy Chicago and have heard that all of her work is controversial and provocative, take the time to go see the Through the Flower Art Space. Just take a deep breath, conquer your fear, open your heart and go and judge for yourself. You will be so enriched and so glad that you did!

Even if you still somehow feel that this is “not real art” and it does not speak to you, then at least you will have some first-hand knowledge of what it is you are speaking of when you discuss your thoughts about Judy Chicago’s art with others.

For my part, I just wanted to say a sincere thank you to all those that made this past grand opening of the new Belen Arts District and the celebration of Judy Chicago’s birthday such a great success. It was wonderful to see Becker Avenue buzzing with activity and excitement.

The galleries and Pop-Up Art Show and all of the food trucks and activities were great to participate in. I saw that the Becker Street Bar and Grill had a “sold” sign on it. (Or was that a wishful illusion?) How exciting!

The pyrotechnic smoke art show was amazing and exciting with tons of “oohs and awes” from everyone.

“I think I can … I really think I can … envision a revitalized Belen” said the Hub City engine that could. I thank Mayor Cordova for his vision and leadership, all those who contributed to making the opening of the beautiful Through the Flower Art Space possible, and continue to thank Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman for calling Belen home and for persevering through all the right-wing hoopla.

I learned of Judy Chicago in art history class in college decades ago. Her vision and art opened my eyes to the myriad of contributions of women in art and in history that were and continue to be too often obscured from view. She allowed me to see my womanhood represented boldly in art and in a rich and reclaimed history.

I would hope that everyone in Belen could welcome creativity, new life, and the richness and truth that diversity brings to our lives and to our town.

Julie Mehrl


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