Cibola Arts Council Double Six Gallery Cibola Art and Artifacts Museum Grants, New Mexico is located on the Historic Route 66 – a highway known to many for its rich culture and history. The Double 6 Gallery, appropriately named for its location, brings you back in time with its facade of a 40’s style theater.
The Double 6 and the adjoining Cibola Art & Artifacts Museum are both part of the Cibola Arts Council which is dedicated to providing the citizens it represents, especially youth, with experiences in the arts by providing an educational resource, promoting area artists and celebrating our region’s rich cultural diversity.
In their recent newsletter they say, “The arts promote tourism, are basic to education, are fundamental to a robust economy, and art is cost effective!” As I toured the gallery there were a variety of photographs, paintings, and pottery to enjoy, as well as interesting mining artifacts in the museum. The gallery is spacious, allowing for gatherings from musical performances to poetry readings and educational workshops.
The Cibola Arts Council was founded in 1976 by women whose husbands were in the local uranium mining industry. It began as a performing arts series and later expanded to include the gallery in the early 1990’s and now the art and artifacts museum. Robert Gallegos, the executive director of the Double 6 and–an artist himself–tells me, “The last 3 years the gallery has been very busy. Last year alone the gallery and museum had 13 scheduled events and ended up providing 23 extra exhibits and events resulting in 2,740 visitors.” The gallery really seems to go out of its way to accommodate both its artists and the community it serves.
The Double 6 largely influenced Ava Peets’ professional career as an artist. Ava commented, “Had the Double 6 Gallery not been available for me to begin showing my pictures I would not have known how to enter work into a gallery. I had painted for a couple of years before showing my work and becoming an artist member. By paying a small fee as an artist member I became knowledgeable of the way galleries do business to sell artists work.” The Double Six is a consignment gallery. Any artist who becomes a member and shows work has to sign a contract stating the percentage due to the gallery upon any sale of the individuals’ artwork. “It made me aware of how to conduct business with a gallery. My work was sold and I learned how to contact other galleries to show and sell my work.” When I asked Ava what role she sees cultural entrepreneurship and tourism playing in Grants’ economy and future she said, “We have just tapped the beginning of tourists seeing the lovely Double 6 Gallery and the Art and Artifacts Museum. We need much more advertising for the community in general. Through the help of cultural entrepreneurship an awareness of the importance of arts in our community and the area will become much better known. Nearly every successful community promotes the arts, its museums, boutiques, good restaurants and any business that attract tourists.
Through the help of cultural entrepreneurship our community will have an additional boost in being able to fulfill such goals. We have the Historic Route 66, natural wonders and we are multi-cultured. People want a great diversity when visiting a community and we have it all. There is a huge economic benefit to promoting all that we have here Grants and the surrounding area.