The Belen Art league is committed to the growth of the arts in our community. This includes participating in events that are community oriented.

Currently, we are creating a mural for the soon-to-be-opened Veteran’s Memorial Visitor’s Center. In addition, the BAL has become the overseer of the Bugg Light Rehabilitation Project.

The Bugg Lights were a creation of Norman and Joyce Bugg, Albuquerque residents, who, in 1970, began creating Christmas yard displays. Citizens from all over took their children to see this wonderful spectacle.

Eventually, his display outgrew his yard and the city ordered him to remove it. It first went to Menaul School in Albuquerque, then to the outlet mall between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Four years ago, Belen requested to be the caretakers of this special display.

Initially, it was on show at the Belen Harvey House Museum during the holiday season. Due to the upkeep and storing, the display became broken and disabled.

Belen Councilor Ronnie Torres came up with an idea to rehabilitate this iconic art work and the city agreed to find a permanent home for this Christmas wonderland. Torres asked for the BAL to be the curators for this project.

Currently, our members and other community volunteers are working to restore all the pieces. When finished, this display will be open to the public at no admission fee.

The BAL has a lot to offer to the community this year. We invite all of you to take part in our activities.

In April, we are holding a Recycled Art Show. Entry is open of all community members and there is no entry fee. The show runs between April 6-27 at the Belen Public Library. Free table spaces are available for outside on the opening day and reception, April 6, for recycled art vendors. Contact the gallery for entry forms.

We have a two week kids’ art program than runs June 11-21. Fee is $5 per child. Sign up begins in May.

June 15 will be our third annual Art in the Park held at Anna Becker Park on Reinken Ave. in Belen. It’s open to all vendors at $10 a space. Contact gallery for entry forms.

Our yearly Paint and Sip will be a two-night event on Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13. Our venue this year will be the Jaramillo Wine Tasting Room, 114 Becker Ave. Tickets are $25 for each night. The BAL supplies materials, instructions and food. Wine may be purchased throughout the evening. Ticket sales start June 1. Tickets to be purchased through gallery.

The Fall Art Show will be held Sept. 14-28 at the Belen Public Library.

On Sept. 28, we will be having our Rio Abajo Becker Street Festival Classic Car Art Contest and Show. Entries are open to everyone. The entry fee is $20 and winner gets the collected fees. There is a classic car parade along with street vendors, music and food. Entry forms available through gallery.

We close out our year with our open house right after Belen’s Miracle on Main Street Parade. Stop in and get some hot beverages and cookies.

To contact the gallery, call 861-0217, visit 509 Becker Ave. in Belen or email belenartgallery@yahoo.com

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