Monday, May 29, 2023

Fighter Turned Artist Promotes Community and Healing With New Exhibition


Albuquerque martial arts fighter-turned artist, Gerald Lovato will be presenting Burque Unite, a free and public art show dedicated to community healing, at The Orpheum Community Hub. The Orpheum, located in the Barelas neighborhood and was built in 1898 and has served as one of New Mexico’s first movie theaters, the Denver Hotel, the Viaduct Garage an auto repair shop, and more recently, as a performance and studio space with affordable housing catering to the area’s thriving arts community.

A public exhibition jam-packed with events will be held on Oct. 29. On top of the multi-media art that will be presented, attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy a live performance by Lovato at 11:30 am, an artist talk at 12:30 pm and a free meal made provided by Executive Chef Fernando Ruiz, of Escondido Restaurant. 

“This is a non-traditional way of doing an art show. I’m using my art to bring the community together and there’s going to be this open community forum… One thing I’ve realized about sharing my story is it inspires people to share their stories,” Lovato said. 

Lovato, who holds a bachelor in fine arts from the University of New Mexico, has been making art for the last two years at the University of New Mexico. Lovato is a retired Jiu-Jitsu fighter and has been using his art to cope with losses that he has experienced over the last two years. Lovato has been involved in multiple group shows, but this will be his first personal show. 

Lovato has put an emphasis on community for Burque Unite. “My art is what has been helping me heal and there are a lot of people in the community who are going through the same stuff as me and they need healing. One of the things I think we are losing as a community and as a culture is being able to sit down together, eat together, break bread together, share ideas and talk to each other,” Lovato said.

The show is being sponsored by Bernalillo County Commission, Nusenda Credit Union, Escondido Restaurant, Invigorate Roofing and Homewise. “I want it to be like a fiesta. If you were going to a wedding, matanza or traditional New Mexican fiesta, you’re not going to have to worry about having to pay you’re just going to show up and eat, just like family. That’s the environment I’m trying to curate,” Lovato said. 


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