The Harwood Art Center in Albuquerque

A former boarding school provides
an artistic haven for many Albuquerque artists

The Harwood Art Center is one of the most alive art places in Albuquerque. Once a boarding school for girls, the Harwood Art Center has been home to a thriving art colony since 1992. The Harwood is a community of artists, a gathering place that brings the public and the art community together; it is a secure space for artists to work and a supportive environment in which artistic experimentation is celebrated.

The building's colorful history is etched in the walls and long corridors. Wandering through the high-ceilinged, wide hallways of the imposing old brick building is both an exciting and eerie experience. One can easily imagine uniformed young girls living, studying and growing through adolescence in these rooms.

Many of the old classrooms and dorm rooms (whether lonely places of exile or snug havens) are now lively studios for about 60 painters, sculptors, photographers, art therapists, poets, performance artists and graphic artists.

The old dining room is regularly transformed by performances, workshops and classes. In the basement is a new dance floor used for all manner of dance and movement classes and performances; the "Open Floor" is available to anyone wanting to try out something new — be it performance, painting or poetry reading — in front of an audience.

What once was the parlour is now a gallery in which exhibits are mounted by the resident artists. This, too, is a place for experimentation and learning.

Judith Rauchfuss

Judith Rauchfuss
Creator of masks, headpieces and costumes

Outside, in the front yard, is living proof of community and artistic collaboration: the Poet's Plaza. Ideas for other art forms, media, and uses of the Harwood Art Center are welcomed by the Center. And so, a building that was in danger of becoming obsolete, leaden and dead is now a hive of creative activity, exalting in the presence of art and those who make it.

The facility is owned by the Methodist Church and leased by Escuela del Sol Montessori School, which has wholeheartedly supported the use of the building as an arts center.

The Harwood Art Center remote is located east of Albuquerque's Old Town at
1114 Seventh St NW at Mountain Road
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505-242-6367
Fax: 505-764-8511
Susan McAllister, Program Director

By Pamela Michaelis, founder of The Collector's Guide and former host of “Gallery News” radio show on KHFM 95.5 remote, classical radio in Albuquerque.

Originally appeared in
The Collector’s Guide to Albuquerque Metro Area - Volume 10

LAST MODIFIED: July 7, 2008

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