Secret no more: A once-nomadic gallery finds a home in a Barelas icon

ALSO: Vehicle break-ins spiked in January; police helicopter usage continues at a new lower pace
A visitor to Secret Gallery takes in a recent photography exhibit. (Photo by Estevan Robles)
The group started in 2018 and for the next couple of years existed mainly through a series of pop-up events at the likes of One Central and the space that is now the 505 Central Food Hall.

That under-the-radar orientation is "kind of where the name 'Secret Gallery' came from," said Gabriel Gallegos, the organization's program manager. Still, "the goal has always been to be in a permanent space."

It is a goal the group has recently achieved, having moved into the main "community room" at the former B. Ruppe Drugs at 4th and Hazeldine, where the late Maclovia Zamora, an acclaimed curandera, once presided (DAN, 10/15/19).

The large room is divided roughly into two sections, with one dedicated to a retail operation selling clothing, pottery, jewelry, prints, and everything in between. The other half is dedicated to a show from a featured artist who is more-or-less given free rein over how to display their work, Gallegos said.

(Other tenants in the now-full building, which is owned by the non-profit mortgage lender Homewise, include a podcast production operation and an arts collective specializing in t-shirts.)

Plans for the gallery include regular events in conjunction with ABQ Artwalk and weekly music streams, in addition to regular hours between 4 and 7 p.m., Wednesday through Friday.

For Secret Gallery, the move is not without risk. The prospect of having to make regular rent payments is a challenge far greater than the occasional negotiations with the owners of empty properties for pop-up events. And while 4th Street in Barelas is looking more alive than in recent years, it is not generally thought of as an art destination.

But for Gallegos at least, that's part of the point.

"It's important that we bring something more to the neighborhood that's not expected," he said. "If anyone can do it, we can do it."
Vehicle break-ins spike in January
Several neighborhoods across greater Downtown registered sharp increases in vehicle break-in activity in January, according to APD data from Our Downtown core measurement area had eight, while the area covering Sawmill, Old Town, and parts of the Downtown Neighborhoods saw ten - roughly two or three times the pace set during the last half of 2020. Wells Park also saw 10 incidents, the same number as the last six months of 2020 combined. (More details in the neighborhood trackers below.)

The spike also registered in greater Downtown numbers. Within a one-mile radius of Lomas and 8th, January saw 60 break-ins, compared to an average of 40 per month between September and December of 2020.

Spikes of this sort do happen from time to time, police say. Thieves sometimes concentrate on particular areas, Valley Area Commander Josh Brown told DAN last year, adding that particular people getting out of jail can also lead to temporary spikes.

Here's the rest of our monthly crime roundup:
Total incidents started off the year on the quiet side at 223, which is low even by the standards of the pandemic though slightly higher than November and December.
Disturbing the peace incidents were up slightly in January compared to the end of 2020, but are still significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels.
APD helicopter flights over greater Downtown continued on their new lower level in January (DAN, 2/1/21), with overall flights in other parts of town dropping as well.
Downtown Albuquerque News covers greater Downtown, which we generally define as the area created by I-40, the Rio Grande, and the railroad tracks. We publish weekdays except for federal holidays. If someone forwarded DAN to you, please consider subscribing. To subscribe, contact us, submit a letter to the editor, or learn more about what we do, click here. If you ever run into technical trouble receiving DAN, click here.
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