This weekend, the All Kinds Festival is taking over downtown Albuquerque with a kaleidoscope of local artistic talents.
Josh Stuyvesant, UNM alum and co-organizer of the event, said the team behind it has designed this festival to be innovative from the start.
“We don’t mean to just set up a horseshoe of booths, that people walk the circuit and call that a festival,” Stuyvesant said. “This is meant to be interactive and this is meant to encompass all the genres of art that we are really proud of as Albuquerqueans.”
There will be more than 150 artists, almost all local, spanning visual art, poetry, musical acts, and much more. The acts include the Albuquerque Slam Team, GRAFT collective, The Lymbs, a Tarantino vs Kubrick Art Show, Homegirls Records, Rusty Rutherford, Prison Bitch, and Marty Crandall, to name a few.
Aside from shutting down car traffic on Fourth Street, the All Kinds Festival will span several locations throughout the weekend, including Sister Bar, 516 Arts, the Kimo Theatre, and Duel Brewing, among others.
Jessica Chao, right, and Beth Hansen work together to create a large installation for the All Kinds Festival at their gallery in Barrels onWednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Chao and Hansen are part of a gallery/collective of artists called GRAFT that will feature their piece Saturday at the festival.
For those under the age of 21, Stuyvesant said there is still plenty to see and do, as the Reptilian Lounge, Installation Garden, and Art Venues will be open to all ages.
Stuyvesant said he and his co-organizer, Kyle Ruggles, hope the presentation from the festival adds to the momentum of last year, when their company, Humbird NM, organized the 24 Hours of Art festival.
“You can only hope, as an organizer, that you still have enough momentum from last year in order to get it going the next,” he said.
This year, Stuyvesant said they have only gotten better, while learning along the way.
“We work with artists that Albuquerque can truly be proud of, and would be foolish not to be,” he said. “These are some of the most talented groups of people or individuals.”
In addition, Stuyvesant said they have commissioned five large-scale art installations this year, whereas in previous years they sourced pre-constructed projects.
“We wanted to provide that opportunity for artists to be working at that scale, rather than go out and find existing things,” he said. “Ultimately, this is about bringing a bunch of artists together to show work and to be creative, as a unit.”
Rusty Rutherford, UNM alum, comedian, and co-host of the Reptilian Lounge said the venue will consist of a “big variety cabaret show,” which he is excited to host as well as perform at.
Rutherford said this artistic community is a breeding ground for creativity, much of which flows from the University community.
“I think UNM students are really passionate and driven, and bring a whole lot of energy to any of these events or artistic shows,” he said.
Rutherford said this festival will bring an interactive component not normally found at creative events.
“You’re going to actually get to hang out with the artists, grab a beer with the artists after the show, talk to them and meet people,” Rutherford said. “I think it’s a really cool opportunity for that cross-collaboration and involvement with each other.”
Before he graduated from UNM in 2012, Stuyvesant said he wasn’t as aware of the art scene in Albuquerque.
“I started to realize what sort of an amazing set of artists that we actually have here,” he said. “I learned how to navigate and I learned how to associate with what Albuquerque did have to offer.”
Soon after this revelation, Stuyvesant and Ruggles started Humbird NM and found their niche in the creative realm.
“We had this ability to meander through the groups of artists and we still have this ability to do things that, I don’t want to say artists can’t do, but artists don’t do,” he said. “We can navigate the business realms and we can navigate the bureaucratic realms.”
Although he enjoys the work, Stuyvesant said it’s not without its headaches.
“It’s a huge undertaking, it f**ks with your relationships and you drown in it for a few months out of the year. At the same time, you’re good at it and you kind of gain this level of focus,” he said. “We are foolish for doing it and yet we kind of thrive on it.”
Over the years of trial and error, one thing is certain: Stuyvesant and Ruggles know the importance of keeping art in the public eye and ever present.
“The main reason we do this festival is to create a dialogue between those who consider themselves to be the everyman and those who consider themselves to be artists,” he said. “And I actually truly hope that everyone considers themselves to be both.”