Fortunately, for me I don’t suffer from Big-Shiny-New envy so in the course of my dance presenting life it was never a problem for me that most of my colleagues were inviting artists to prettier or bigger or grander performance venues then we could offer at North Fourth. Nevertheless most visiting artists seemed fairly content here—in fact some professed to be charmed by the color and warmth and intimacy and, for the most part, were probably sincere about that.
Now, as we focus exclusively on our Day and Exploratory Arts programs and community arts users, the center and the neighborhood seem even more appropriately steeped in that North Valley ambience of traditional New Mexicans in their traditional adobes; artists in more eclectic models or re-models of the traditional; too many used car lots, ‘easy’ financing places and nail salons to count; an elegant vineyard; and, just over there, the slow-moving shallow Rio Grande with its banks of cottonwoods and brush and the odd wildflower and a coyote or two.
It is Real Albuquerque around here. Not very pretty but with a funky, art-friendly, old New Mexico, working class sensibility.
The Morning View. Interestingly enough, as I did a quick edit of these photos, I realized how much our Center needs a facelift. Signs shabby, parking lot pockmarked, facade fading. And then I remembered the legislative session is about to begin. Wonder if there is the tiniest hope for some funding. To explore.
There is a difference after all between quirky downscale charm and pending dilapidation.