Located in the Alpaca Gallery, nestled in the Barales district of southwestern Albuquerque, is a small art exhibition entitled “Lost + Found”, which shows the stories and experiences of ordinary citizens during the last two years of the pandemic. Elsa Menendez, deputy director of the city’s arts and culture department, said the project began after an idea was presented to archive the experiences of Albuquerque residents during the pandemic.
“It started as a curiosity and a desire to really work with people in the community to understand their pandemic experience and offer them a place to rework part of that experience.
From there, Menendez said the project has grown into what the exhibition now shows. There are stories on the walls that people in the community have sent, describing stories ranging from personal experiences and loss stories, to children writing about what school was like as they move from the classroom to scaling and then back to the classrooms. . There are also crazy libraries lined up throughout the exhibition, each of which shares the story of an individual.
Community Communication and Arts Coordinator at the Arts and Culture Department Diana Delgado helped lead this exhibition and the fundraising efforts of the project, and said visitors to this exhibition can expect to see a wide range of experiences.
“What visitors can expect when they come here is a lot of stories, we actually had a few different ways and a few different evolutions of this project when it started. The project started with a call for visual artists to present papel picado-inspired images that could be turned into flags. You will see these original nine images from the first nine artists, as well as about 750 other stories that we can show in this room. And they’re not just recorded stories, they’re printed stories, manuscripts, crazy libraries, and a great collection of visual art. ”
Assisting Delgado in arranging the works of art is a team of young artists from all over the city, each of whom aims to pursue art as a professional. Talis Fruge is one of these young artists and said that the process of assembling this gallery is memorable.
“It was really amazing to just figure out how to format and show this huge collection that the arts and culture department got in the last year, it was really great to just read all this material and see all the different points of view that are shared. ”
Another young artist, Sofia Varoz, repeated the same sediment.
“We sort the stories to put them and find out where to put them. You will laugh with people at a funny story that someone would tell in a crazy library, and then the next minute you will be sitting there trying to pick up an impactful story about the loss of a family member or the loss of various emotions and feelings. It was a long way back in terms of the emotional train at the amusement park. ”
For Dante Manochio, the memories of 2020 are distant for him, but they are present in the drawings he collected for the bindings in the exhibition.
“I think for me I was one of the people who collected these drawings, made mostly by children, but also by adults, which we have in folders. And some of the drawings that the kids made of the virus or stuck in their room are really impactful and really, really terrifying. Going through this and reliving how horrible and traumatic 2020 was worldwide, or at least for the city, was really something.
Camryn Wharf said a particular question in their crazy books glued to her.
“Our crazy libraries have a question: ‘It’s been 550 days of idle time and there were so many stories I came across that said’ since I drank ‘and I just felt like it was a really powerful emotion that I did. I remember going through that, but the blow was definitely intense. ”
Anaya Gonzalez said she was really proud of the city’s residents and their contribution to the project.
“I feel very proud of the citizens of Albuquerque that they can stay here and share their stories with us, it was a good feeling for me.”
People will still be able to see the exhibition this week via email [email protected] for personal viewing, the final reception will be held this Friday from 18:00 to 21:00, the gallery is located at 1415 Fourth Street SW. Delgado hopes that those who come to see the exhibition have a sense of reflection.
“It’s a place where people can come to think and people come and stop and hopefully read history and see things they can connect with and resonate with. But it’s also not about sadness, for me to be in this room and especially to prepare this room was very captivating at times and emotional, but I also feel I have to say something about the celebration of all these stories that I had to let’s add up the fact that Elsa pointed out earlier, this is really born of the need to document the experiences of ordinary people. It’s just that it’s documented and it’s really important. “