BELEN — The Belen Art District has a new gallery.
The Grid Gallery, which is run by Megan Morgan-Cordova, just opened in June and is already considering expansion into a larger space because of the demand from artists.
The Grid Gallery is a collective, which displays art from artists of all kinds from across the county in a variety of different mediums.
Initially, the gallery was scheduled to open earlier in March, but the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold while Morgan-Cordova and her husband, Jerah, navigated the early stages of the pandemic.
The couple came back to the project in May, and finalized the last details of the gallery, getting paintings hung and other finishing touches.
When the Grid Gallery opened, it had the work of four artists as its core to build around. Danny Bernal Jr., Cheyenne Chavez, Daniel Montano and Cheryl Colston.
While the gallery was built around photography, plenty of different mediums are available within the store, and Morgan-Cordova believes they have the variety to appeal to everyone.
In addition to the five photographers who are displayed in the gallery, The Grid is also selling handmade masks, posters, as well as stickers, bookmarks and everything in between.
They also have plans to do themes within the gallery and what is available, beginning with a Day of the Dead theme that is scheduled to start next month in an effort to bring new customers in the door, as well as ensure there is enough variety in what is available to keep repeat customers coming back.
Once the gallery opened, Morgan-Cordova said there was an influx of interest from other artists, so much so that they are considering the feasibility of expanding in order to make room for more work from more artists.
Now, she has had artists come into the gallery and bring a copy of their portfolios for her to look over.
In addition, a wait list has been created in the event that space does open up with the gallery.
“How it works is our photographers rent their wall space monthly,” Morgan-Cordova said. “If they decide they don’t want to rent their space anymore, that will create space for another artist. That’s kind of why we’re thinking ‘wow, we need to expand.’ There’s a lot of interest out there; we could use more walls.”
With the goal in mind of being able to expand the space once things return to normal, there is also a vision in place of helping to bring the Belen Arts District back.
“We’re hoping ideally that the arts district comes back, and we’re able to benefit everyone,” Morgan-Cordova said. “So that we can benefit the art league and their customers can come here, and Judy Chicago, so we can all benefit together.”
Located within a few blocks of both the Belen Art League and Judy Chicago’s Through the Flower Art Space, Morgan-Cordova has a vision of turning the art district into a destination for people from all over the state, as well as the country.
She says she hopes it will follow in the footsteps of Marfa, Texas, which became one of the largest art destinations in the world following the relocation of minimalist artist Donald Judd, who moved to Marfa from New York City in the 1970s.
Now, people come from all over the country to see the work produced by the artists who have followed in Judd’s footsteps and moved to the town.
“My ultimate goal is for this to be like Marfa, Texas,” Morgan-Cordova said. “That’s my ultimate goal, but the same idea where you have kind of this art collective that draws people here. We have that ability in Belen. We hope that Belen can be the place that draws people down here, and we want to be a part of that.”
Morgan-Cordova runs the gallery in her spare time; she also works as an English teacher at Belen High School.