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ABQ Artwalk flourishes as pandemic slows

On April 2, dozens of artists, creators and crafters lined the sidewalks of Central Avenue for the Albuquerque Artwalk, an independently-run showcase event designed to help artists to show off and sell their work to the public. 

According to the ABQ Artwalk’s website, the walk “aims to support local artists, micro-businesses and local brick and mortar establishments by organizing cultural enrichment events, art place-making and an online platform for emerging artists.”

The ABQ Artwalk typically takes place every first Friday of the month, but the event was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the ABQ Artwalk Instagram, the event was cancelled in April and May 2020 and had a one-time curbside-only Artwalk in June. July 2020 was the first month that the Artwalk resumed regular in-person activities.

Gilbert White, a local artist who’s previously had booths at the artwalk, said the artwalk has changed, not only since he began participating, but since the start of the pandemic. 

“The first time I came, honestly, it was pretty dead. Definitely, with each month, I notice that it gets bigger and bigger,” White said. “I think now that it’s warming up … and the pandemic is slowing down, I think more people are coming out.”

The artwalk not only included a variety of local artists but also different sponsored events located around Central, including live painting at 505 Central Food Hall and a T-shirt lab that consisted of a retail pop-up and featured artwork from students at the Warehouse 508 Youth Art & Entertainment Center

Still, the main focus of the event is to highlight local artists and creators. 

“It’s a really good opportunity for small businesses just to network, meet customers and make some extra income,” White said. “I’m so grateful for it because I’ve met so many people — vendors and artists —  and they’re all just really good human beings. Everyone helps each other out.”

John Scott is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @JScott050901

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