ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – With galleries closed from the pandemic, local artists are finding it difficult to show off and sell their work. Now they could get help. A new partnership is set to support Albuquerque’s creative community, and while the pandemic has forced them to change gears, their work is not stopping. “We had plans to partner with a physical gallery as soon as the pandemic hit,” said Carlos Contreras, a local artist and owner of Immastar Productions. “It made sense to bring it online now.”
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Immastar Productions and Paper Plane Branding and Marketing jointly launch Art on the Rio. It’s a virtual platform to view and buy works by local artists while many galleries are closed to the public. “We’re also starting to think about how to not be static in an online space, the idea of live events hosted live by Facebook to connect audiences with artists,” said Contreras. “This is our way of saying that we have created a space, we will continue to be committed to the community and look for global reach.”
With an online gallery with works by artists from the region, buyers or fans can view the art virtually. You can then submit your bid in a Facebook Live auction once a month. “We’ll do the legwork and bring you back a prize [to ship] and do the sale if you want and put it on a truck, ”said Contreras. “Or you can say, ‘Hey, I want to pay this price I see here to pick it up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.'”
In addition to the online gallery, Art on the Rio hopes to partner with regional companies that are open to show the pieces, especially at a time when people are queuing up a lot. Companies that have already agreed to show art include The Brew and Juabos. “We’ll be able to display work that you can buy online in places in space,” said Contreras. “So you could go on it and order a cup of coffee.”
The organizers say the project isn’t limited to buyers only. People who want to learn more about the work and the artists behind it can just get in touch. The first Facebook Live auction will take place this Sunday, January 3rd at 6pm. Their official website will be released sometime next week after the auction.