On the Map is a citywide arts initiative focused on putting Albuquerque literally "on the map" as a widely recognized arts and creative destination. While Albuquerque has the reputation as a center for history and culture, many do not realize the breadth of this city's influence on the arts world. Spanning traditional and contemporary art, architecture and public art, this collaborative project showcases Albuquerque as a true destination for both art and design.

From January to June 2015, local galleries, museums, and cultural centers are hosting exhibitions and events of past and present art in Albuquerque.

Various On The Map Artwork

I will admit, when I first heard about On the Map, it was hard to wrap my head around the expansive concept. But the more I learn about the project, the more I am captivated by the vibrant artistic history in Albuquerque and forward-thinking innovations happening in our city. Artists here form a tight-knit community and are unique in the sense that they are deeply committed to mentorship and support of young artists. There is an abundance of art that surrounds us in Albuquerque, from public art on street corners to world-renowned exhibits. You just gotta pay attention!

 Various On The Map Artwork

You may be thinking, so how do you define art in Albuquerque? The word "art" in our community takes many forms. It includes photography and structural design, pueblo and modern architecture, sculptures and murals, Native American pottery and jewelry; the list goes on. Many brilliantly creative people have made their homes in New Mexico, both from a traditional arts point of view (take Georgia O'Keeffe) and from a technology standpoint (Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories). What makes our art so fantastic is that these seemingly opposite creative perspectives combine, and the outcome is something uniquely New Mexican. This juxtaposition is evidenced in the Visible Sound exhibit, which explores the intersection of art, science, and technology.

Over the coming 6 months, locals and visitors alike will have the opportunity to get to know art in Albuquerque. On the Map event organizers expect the project to draw outside interest and to significantly increase awareness of Albuquerque as a national arts destination.

Various On The Map Artwork

The event slogan is "Unfolding Albuquerque Art + Design", so simply choose one of the 27 participating venues "on the map" and go from there. Many of these venues offer free admission, which makes it easy to just go and explore the exhibits. January 31st marked the official start of the On the Map exhibitions. Opening receptions at Richard Levy Gallery516 ARTS, and the Albuquerque Museum were very successful and drew large crowds.

You can learn more about this initiative, the participating venues, and view the full calendar of events at www.visitalbuquerque.org/onthemap/.