A newly formed district on historic Mountain Road between Seventh and 14th Street will create an experience where people can taste New Mexico’s culture by visiting local art studios, shops and galleries. 

A New Arts And Retail Collaboration

The goal of the new Arts and Culture District is to grow into a destination so that all events and openings are in sync with each other. Next year the plan is to do a Third Thursday Arts Crawl. The new district will be right in the center of Downtown and Old Town. Michael Lakoff, the owner of Ricochet Gallery, says, “This is going to be a primary corridor for art and great restaurants. Although it is tough right now during pandemic times, it gives us something to look forward to in the near future.” Noreen Kramme, who is the creative coordinator for landscape architecture firm Morrow Reardon Wilkinson Miller, Ltd (MRWM), says, “When Ricochet Gallery moved in, MRWM found a great opportunity to collaborate and do fun social events as we are coming out of the pandemic and now safely able to see people.” Kramme’s excitement about collaborating is a vibe that is felt throughout the newly proposed arts district.

Also located at 1315 Mountain Rd. NW is The Next Best Thing to Being There. Owner Sidney Mallard, who houses a collection of art and pieces collected from all over the world, says, “It’s great that Michael, who is the lead on this project, wants to bring attention to Mountain Road.” Mallard is hopeful for the new districting concept and would like to see more pedestrian-friendly traffic flow in the area. Mallard says other cities have had success with similar projects, and that’s encouraging for shops on Mountain Rd.

The Gallery at the Center of It All

Lakoff, whose Ricochet Gallery is located at 1102 Mountain Rd. NW, says that the gallery opened in the middle of the pandemic. He saw a prime opportunity for creating an art district with retail spaces, restaurants and artists. Primary gallery openings occur once a month with an Arts Crawl event “not to be confused with the Albuquerque Artwalk,” Lakoff jokingly says. Right now there are multiple artists being displayed at the Ricochet Gallery. Every month the Ricochet Gallery displays all-new art. Prior to mask mandates, the space that is now Lakoff’s workspace used to be where classes were held. Lakoff’s hope is that classes that include figurative line drawing, woodcuts and folk art will restart in January. The artists displayed in the gallery are either local or with local connections, with their home studios ranging from up north in Arroyo Seco to right up the street from Ricochet Gallery.

Ricochet Gallery Upcoming Exhibitions: November 5 through 28, Lindsay Nehls. December 3 through 30, “The BIG Queer Show” Collective featuring 16 terrific artists celebrating queer culture.