For the past 35 years, gallery owners in Durango have been featuring their newest pieces in their twice-a-year celebration, the Gallery Walk.
Artist and owner of Karyn Gabaldon Arts, Karyn Gabaldon, who is also president of the Durango Gallery Association, has participated in the event since it was in the planning stages, along with Toh-Atin Gallery and Durango Arts Center.
“There was a gallery here – it was the only gallery here – called the Hanging Tree Gallery that was down in Rio Grande Land, above where Nini’s is,” she said. “A bunch of us just got together. In the old days, we used to get together and have wine and our own little openings, and when a few more galleries opened, it was like, ‘let’s do something where we’re celebrating the galleries.’”
Not long after the Gallery Walks began, first with the Colorfests in the fall and then in the spring, the Durango Gallery Association formed. It’s the association that keeps the walks going, Gabaldon said.
To keep the event fresh from year to year – the galleries have never missed a year – Gabaldon said the 10 participating gallery owners pull out all the stops. This time, you’ll find all kinds of cool offerings at Azul; Diane West Jewelry and Art; Durango Arts Center; Earthen Vessel Gallery; Karyn Gabaldon Arts; Scenic Aperture; Sorrel Sky Gallery; Studio & Gallery; Toh-Atin Gallery; and Wildshots Gallery.
“Everybody tries to have special things they’re featuring, whether it’s a trunk show or featuring a special artist or having special music,” she said, adding that the Gallery Walks are a Durango tradition that are important to keep alive because not only do they celebrate the arts, they are a way to get people downtown and to stop into stores they might not ordinarily frequent.
“People love it. We get close to a thousand people each time,” Gabaldon said. “It’s a great social thing where people can get out. I’ve had people come since the very beginning. They bring their kids, and I’ve seen their kids grow up. It’s a cool thing; I hope it always stays.”