Vendors bundle up for last Artwalk of 2023

Story and photos by Soroi Jones / NM News Port

Diego Figueroa, @DaRealSprayz on Instagram, sells spray-painted prints of comic book and video game characters, along with original works.

Despite 40-degree weather, vendors took to the streets of downtown Albuquerque on the evening of Dec. 8 to sell and show their artwork.

Leon Lopez, creator of the graphic T-shirt line Leonlooks, brings CDs, records, and clothing to the table.

Leon Lopez came to Albuquerque from Santa Fe and has been tabling at ABQ Artwalk for about a year and a half.

Lopez says popup events, like Artwalk, bring in some of the best business. 

“My favorite part about Artwalk is just what a great community event it is,” Lopez said. “People come out and support local food and vendors.”

Lopez sells custom-made t-shirts inspired by famous musicians and artists who meant a lot to him growing up. His store also sells iconic collectibles for music fans.

Artstreet Coordinator Elise Gill (middle-right) with fellow tablers selling artwork prints.

Elise Gill, coordinator of the community art gallery ArtStreet, tabled with fellow artists for the organization this December. ArtStreet is a Bernalillo County studio where anyone can submit their art to sell at their own prices. 

“We sell [their art] on their behalf, and they get to keep 100% of the proceeds,” Gill said. “If someone sells for $10, they’re getting the full $10.”

ArtStreet is no stranger to tabling– they’ve appeared at other regular Albuquerque popups before, such as the Downtown Growers Market. But this December was their first Artwalk since the COVID-19 quarantine, and they aim to ramp up their exposure in the coming year.

“We’re gonna start growing exponentially,” said Alina Pozas, who joined Gill at tabling. “We really want to branch out into the greater community.

Artstreet works with and donates to the Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless organization. The studio focuses on providing a no-judgment space for people of all backgrounds and incomes to hone their artistic skills.

Visitors observe Rodney Woodland’s Mind–Body – Sketch exhibition.

In the OT Circus Gallery, an indoor gallery open to visitors, Rodney Woodland debuted an art exhibition titled Mind – Body – Sketch, where he showcased a wide selection of works.

Woodland is a jack of many trades. Not only is he a hardworking creator of original artworks, but he has also practiced life art and served as a model for art students. Pieces gifted to him by his students were on display at the gallery. The gallery also showcased his fashion design sketches.

“When I’m not doing my own creative work, I’m working for art schools,” Woodland said. “At this point, it’s a balance.” 

Inside the Central Food Hall, ‘Omen’ poses with his graffiti-styled prints and stickers.

One vendor, who chooses to go by his tagging alias “Omen,” sold framed prints, stickers and t-shirts at his table, all with a graffiti flair. Omen fuses a mixture of mediums and styles for his work, and 

Omen’s been doing art in Albuquerque for over 20 years. He’s from Albuquerque and says that he tables at every Artwalk.  

“I’ve been doing the Artwalk since before it was called the ‘Artwalk’,” Omen said.

Tania Martinez presents bath bombs, natural oils, and more.

Tania Martinez, owner and operator of Fizzy Bee Beauty Company, brought skincare products with natural ingredients to the table.

Martinez has lived in Albuquerque for 18 years and enjoys making her own hours and getting to choose what events she pops up at to promote her product. She has been coming to Artwalk for seven years.

“I love the community, I love the people that we have here,” Martinez said. “It’s a big melting pot for all different kinds of cultures.”