Fine arts

A place where creativity rules

Gallery A.D. isn't quite an art collective, but maybe it is

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Kids, comix, fine art, fashion, film and formalism - you name it and create it, and Gallery A.D. probably has a place for it, or will work to make one.

Its Facebook page is essentially an e-zine promoting up-to-date art, fashion and cultural memes they value.

Opened in the back of the building that housed the former Carhartt clothing store at 101 Camino del la Placita, the new co-op/screening workspace/comic shop and performance-gallery hums with creativity and high anticipation as it moves into a new Taos spring.

"American Dust is an art collective, … or is it?" asks Secretary of Creativity for the co-op Laura Walker in a press release. "Maybe it is a concept, maybe a passion that extends beyond the small group of people who began calling themselves American Dust. We are people who are willing to snatch fragments of beauty from the air. We create from the old and the new. We believe art is essential to human sustenance. We want to provide art on every level, supporting each other in our mission to find beauty in everything. We do this, so the wind won't blow it all away." Thus, the American Dust moniker.

The collective's principals include artists Laura Walker, Stella Fernandes, Marcus Mannabis X, and widely known activist artist-about-town, Jiro Sanchez, the co-op's art director.

Walker paints under the name LadyInFlux, and is a freelance artist assistant and a Taos Arts Council board member. Mannabis X does acrylics and beadwork, sometimes collage and mixed media, and has work in Aneatra Studio in Denver. Fernandes is a counterculture fashion maven and mom, who formerly managed Caffe Tazza before her stint at Wired? Café. Jiro does photography, film and fashion and keeps Gallery A.D.'s cultural pulse vibrant and true.

Pop-up shop fans may recall americandustgear at Caffe Tazza, Wired? and their "dust ups" at local flea markets over the past few seasons where they showed and sold their T-shirts as well as recycled and deconstructed clothing, highlighted with counterculture patches and other symbols from different cultures, including local Taos collectives where apropos.

"We have semi-promo street teams," Walker said, "who take baskets of T-shirts and other articles, doing word-of-mouth promotion." Their "mobile pop ups" feature impromptu art-making and busking. "It's a huge endeavor, a big dream, all wrapped up in a tiny space," Walker said of the group's mission for the new gallery. "It may be seen as taking a giant leap, but for us we see it as just a baby step."

The gallery will alternate monthlong shows with "4Peace," which incorporates the double entendre of four pieces and "for peace" on a first-come first-served, non-juried basis, to hang for a week. The first "4Peace" show opening reception is April 15 from 4-6 p.m.

The next big show is Ron Jennings' watercolors on a range of rock 'n' roll subjects, enticingly titled, "Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself," the opening line of the Rolling Stones hit, "Sympathy for the Devil."

In addition to the main showroom, Gallery A.D.'s makers-space features a popular comix corner and a dedicated screening room toward the back.

"We value the beauty and aesthetic of Taos and honor its traditions," Walker writes. "We value the ideals of East Meets West and therefore see inspiration in many cultures. We foster creativity and positivity by bringing the values of these cultures to light in our designs and art works."

Gallery A.D. gives special thanks to former Taos Town Councilor Judi Cantu for supporting them by providing a space for the gallery. "American Dust has been a pop-up project for a number of years now, and we are very thankful to have a good location to realize our potential," Walker said.

Gallery A.D. is located near Tuesday Morning, next to a Small World Salon, on the northwest corner of Paseo del Pueblo Sur and Camino de la Placita. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. For more information visit facebook.com/pg/AMERIDUST, or text (575) 776-7898.

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