By Madeleine Ahlborn | email@example.com
VISIT Alamosa has taken the lead on organizing the inclusive event First Fridays, which in many ways builds on another event in town that went dormant during the COVID19 pandemic, Art Hop.
This is an exciting time to collaborate with fresh ideas on the (recent) history of art exhibition opportunities in Alamosa. I had a chance to speak briefly with organizer Elizabeth Sumner to talk a little bit about what you can expect for First Fridays in Alamosa.
“What I like the most about First Fridays is the amount of room for collaboration,” said Sumner.
“One of our features with First Fridays is a Market on Main Street, to create an open air market where we will invite crafters, creators, makers, musicians, artists, you name it, to have space in that market,” she continued. “What we envision for First Fridays is really to encompass everything; Art Hop… absolutely, student-led Art Hop… even better, entertainment, performance, live music. I think it all falls in place and I feel like there’s room for everybody in a program like this.”
“I think First Fridays can encompass an Art Hop but it can also pull a lot of things under that same umbrella; Highlight the downtown businesses, the artists, the musicians, the performers all at once to have a broad experience,” she said.
Q: So how does Art Hop fit into First Fridays?
A: Let’s learn a little history first!
I arrived in Alamosa in 2014 and was in search of the art community. When I enrolled in the Masters Program at ASU I shared a studio space with artist Michael Goe who was a founder, participant and organizer of Art Hop. I wanted to get more involved and I figured it would be a great way to get to know my community.
ABOUT FIRST FRIDAYS
Beginning Friday, March 4, Visit Alamosa is launching a monthly celebration it calls First Fridays that will feature art and entertainment to help highlight the restaurants and shops along Main Street and attract residents and visitors downtown.
The series will take place on the First Friday of each month from 5-8 pm, March through November.
This week’s event will feature 12 downtown businesses: The Shop Tattoos & Comics, Big Valley Hobbytown, Narrow Gauge Book Coop, Square Peg Brewerks, SLV Brewing Co, San Luis Valley Museum, St. Ives & Club 17, Altitude Appliance, Wild Roses, Your Boutique Kloset, Dress Code by Evans, and No Limit Arcade.
First Friday Headquarters is at 627 Main St. in the Market Space. Check in there with Visit Alamosa to get the details and enter to win door prizes starting at 5 pm on March 4.
Organizers are actively seeking makers and creators for upcoming First Fridays. More information on the event and how to participate here.
I recently reached out to Michael and his wife, Lindsay, who is another co-founder, to ask about their initial experience and how Art Hop came to fruition.
“If I remember correctly, it started when I met Don Hannah at a picnic and he found out I was a painter,” said Micahel Goe. “He asked me if I’d like to display some artwork at his church to which I said something like, ‘I’d love to, but how about we put together an exhibition and invite other artists from the community to join as well?’
“Then we had a couple of meetings between me, him, and Lindsay where we also decided to get some live music. Collaborating with Don to create the Art Hop was one of my favorite things about living in the SLV. It sparked the beginning of a lifelong friendship that has been very important to me over the years. My wife, Lindsay, and I even asked Don to marry us in 2018 in Detroit.”
Michael continued: “Art Hop is a testament of what art can do, which is bring people together and impact lives in a positive and meaningful way. It thrills me to know that it is still thriving and impacting the lives of the SLV community and beyond.”
Said Lindsay Goe: “My favorite part of starting the Art Hop was connecting with the local community. Building relationships through art appreciation always seems to cultivate strong bonds! And I loved working with Pastor Don and my husband, Michael!”
Don Hannah, Art Hop co-founder, shared this memory:
“It’s not my quote but I once asked a traveling artist who was giving a lecture at Adams State,
‘What do you think the purpose of art is?’ and he said ‘It’s something to think with.’ I just thought that was pretty brilliant. When Michael and Lindsay came, Lindsay was with Americorp, and Michael came to go to school. We talked about art when I met them, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun … yeah it would be fun, we should do it. Then a few months later with the (Presbeterian) Church we had walls and could hang work. Having the art up and having people come in, it would spark conversation, and sometimes it was people who probably wouldn’t have a conversation otherwise. It was just fun.”
Posters designed and created by founders and artists of Art Hop
THE exhibitions were filled with work from community members and students from Adams State. In the 3 short years I was in the graduate program, Art Hop had a number of events with exhibitions curated in all different kinds of spaces. One of my favorites was the old Lockhart’s Furniture Store on Main Street in 2017.
In the coming months keep an eye and ear out for more information about an Art Hop Come Back under the new umbrella of Visit Alamosa and in coordination with monthly art rotations at the SLV Museum. Currently on display at the Museum is a “sneak peak” of Adams State University BFA and BA student artwork for the month of March before their final show, which opens Saturday, May 14, in the ASU Art Department.
Here are some short statements from a few of the artists featured:
“Isabel Munson is a senior in the art department at Adams State. Her emphasis is in photography and she is diving into self portraits for her BFA senior show. These pieces are a sneak peak into her senior final.”
“Abigail Tuggle is a senior student at Adams State University earning her BFA in Sculpture. Her BFA work consists of figurative fiber pieces exploring her journey with mental illness.”
“Alexis Sanchez-Duran is a BFA graphic design senior at Adams State University. She makes logos around the valley and posters for the university. Her spring BFA exhibition will focus on climate change and its effects on humans psychologically, now being called climate anxiety.”
You Reap What You Sow collection is for sale for $100 (set). My number is (719) 580-2195 if viewers are interested in purchasing.
“Cathy Zverev is a senior at Adams State, earning her BFA in Graphic Design. She works in a variety of traditional and digital media. These traditional works are indicative of her style where emphasis is placed on details and design.”
See you in downtown Alamosa on Friday March 4th, 2022 for the kick off of the First Fridays Event Series! Questions about Art Hop? Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about the First Fridays Events series? Contact Elizabeth Sumner email@example.com
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