FLAC: Supporting Visual Artists In The Times Of COVID

Fuller Lodge Arts Center offers a wide array of items from Northern New Mexico. Courtesy photo

The Fuller Lodge Arts Center is providing a venue for a large number of displaced local and regional artists to display and sell their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo


As one of a small number of arts venues open to the public at this time, the Fuller Lodge Art Center is working with a large number of displaced local and regional artists.   Artists who depend on arts and crafts shows as their primary source of income have been hit particularly hard by restrictions in place because of COVID-19. Vickie Dean is one such artist. In the past, Dean would take part in an average of 20 shows a year, both locally and nationally. Over the past year there have been almost no opportunities for in-person art shows.

“There are hardly any venues for [artist’s] work, except for private work-and that’s not a living,” she said. 

Dean, like many others, has made drastic shifts in her business model- shifting from in person to almost entirely online methods of selling artwork. Even online sales, however, can present challenges in the world of art.

“It’s hard to sell [jewelry] when people can’t try it on or see it beforehand,” Dean said,

The struggle for many artists has gone beyond the already-taxing financial woes. Erica Collins, a long-time artist known for her wood cut prints said, “The hardest part has been the connections- I used to be able to make a connection to [my customers] when I would see them at craft fairs or meet them- and I can’t do that now.” 

Even with the many challenges that artists face, they have still found ways to keep creating. Both Deane and Collins have been able to find motivation in the stillness caused by COVID, and have stayed inspired by the nature and scenery of New Mexico. 

From online craft fairs, to etsy stores, and even remote art sales, art still finds a way to get out into the community. The Fuller Lodge Arts Center has long functioned as a hub for art in Los Alamos, and works tirelessly to support local and regional arts.  As part of these efforts, the Art Center has instituted an Art Sale for the month of January for the first time in its 40+ years.  Artwork in the gallery shop is currently marked down 20% with the Art Center taking that discount out of its commission.   Through the wider Los Alamos Arts Council Organization, the Art Center hopes to continue giving back to the 100+ artists it serves on a daily basis and the general arts community in a real and profitable way, and hopes the community will stand with them and recognize the importance of the arts to Los Alamos and the broader region.  

The Fuller Lodge Art Center is currently open from 10 a.m. 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday with a solo exhibition by painter Rebecca Schneider, and a Colcha embroidery exhibition in the main gallery brought to the Art Center by the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center.  For more information, please visit the Art Center during open hours at 2132 Central Avenue, call (505) 662-1635, or look online at www.fullerlodgeartcenter.com