Anyone needing proof that Las Cruces is holding it’s own on the art scene should stop by Downtown Main Street the last weekend in April when artists from all over New Mexico and West Texas come together to create contemporary street paintings right before the eyes of spectators.
Avenue Art, a one-day community street festival, is the creation of well-known local artist, composer, and performer Bob Diven. His first brush with street painting came when he entered Denver’s first ever chalk art festival. “I found that I really enjoyed how the mix of art and performance created this festive, comfortable atmosphere for spectators who might otherwise be intimidated into wary silence were I a serious painter in a gallery looking at them as potential buyers,” he remembers.
Intent on recreating that “artist-friendly atmosphere” back in Las Cruces, he teamed up with The Downtown Las Cruces Partnership to create “New Mexico’s Premiere Street Painting Festival.” At this family friendly event, spectators get to see artists of all ages in action as they bring their visions to life using Main Street, literally, as a canvas.
The event draws in big crowds, and for good reason—these aren’t stick figure drawings. Entrance into the juried competition is free and all supplies are provided, but artists must first complete an application and submit five samples of their work to be considered.
The 2016 event promises to be bigger, better, and more interactive than ever before, Bob says. Special “Guest Artists” will be on hand, showcasing their own interpretations of contemporary street painting, while aspiring artists can also plan on getting their hands a little messy and engaging in some of the public participation opportunities. Don’t miss this chance to see art from a whole new perspective.