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Alone together: ‘Social Distance Photo Exhibit and Curbside Poetry’ focuses on pandemic

The Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe during the time of social distancing. (Courtesy of Jessica Roybal)

Stories around every day.

The pandemic has shifted daily life.

For months, photographers have captured stark images of life.

Yellow tape blocking off seating areas at restaurants or lines forming just to enter grocery stores.

Reality has changed, and IGersABQ has collaborated with Albuquerque Art Walk, Homewise and The Ruppe for the “Social Distance Photo Exhibit and Curbside Poetry” on Friday, June 5.

Jessica Roybal, IGersABQ founder, says that in May photographers were brought together for the installation “Social Distance.” It was curated by both IGERS ABQ and Secret Gallery. It features over 20 artists and made of nearly 40 images.

The installation highlights New Mexico perspectives during the era of COVID-19. It was installed at The Ruppe, 807 Fourth SW, which was known as B. Ruppe Drugs.

B. Ruppe Drugs has been an Albuquerque business since 1883, the year that German immigrant Bernard Ruppe settled by accident in Old Town and began selling medicinals. The shop, the oldest continuously operating pharmacy in the state, moved from Old Town to Second Street before finding its current home south of Downtown on Fourth Street in 1965.

A sign with a message from the New Mexico State Department of Health in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Estevan Robles)

In 2017, Homewise purchased the building with guidance from the Barelas Community Coalition to redevelop the site as a revitalized space where traditional healers could renew Maclovia Zamora’s work.

“We team up with Albuquerque Art Walk to host different photographers,” Roybal says. “The event on Friday is part of the monthly Albuquerque Art Walk.”

Friday’s event will include poetry by former Albuquerque Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez.

In addition, there are plans for art vendors to be in the area selling their work.

Of course, Roybal says coronavirus precautions will be taken at the event.

El Rey Theater in Downtown Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Bobby Guiterrez)

“Plenty of social distancing and wearing of face masks,” she says. “I think being at home has definitely made more artists creative during this time. I’ve been more creative. These artists are being called regenerators.”

Roybal says IGersABQ was started as an Instagram-based community that gives opportunity to photographers – both professional and amateur.

“We try to be inclusive of everybody and all styles,” Roybal says. “There is plenty of opportunity to get both amateur and professional photographers collaborating.”




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