Two New Mexico mayors compete for controversial art gallery | KOB 4

Two New Mexico mayors compete for controversial art gallery

Kassi Nelson
December 05, 2018 07:04 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Some people in Belen believe Judy Chicago’s artwork is ‘inappropriate’ and do not want her to open a gallery in their town.


But Jerah Cordova, the mayor of Belen, told KOB he’s all for the gallery.

“We want Belen to have it before any other community,” Cordova said.

He has some competition.

Mayor of Mountainair Peter Nieto wasted no time reaching out to Chicago regarding opening a gallery in his town.

“I think Mountainair is a very strong option for her so I really hope she considers us,” Nieto said.

Chicago lives in Belen part-time with her husband and wants to open her gallery in a building she already owns. But she did asked the city to help pay for it.

Chicago is now trying to raise the money on her own and that caught the eye of Mayor Nieto.

“Mountainair has been an artsy place for about over three decades now,” Nieto said. “Once I saw on the news that she had pulled out from Belen I reached out that night by email to her. I said ‘Mountainair is a place where we would love to have you consider it,’” Nieto said.

Mayor Cordova said he isn’t giving up that easily.

“That's not going to happen, not on my watch,” Cordova said.

Both cities would have more to gain than just Chicago’s artwork. By having her gallery in their city, it could mean a big boom in the local economy.

“When we're looking at economic development there are limited opportunities available for small towns this is a huge opportunity available that will have an impact today and impact decades from now,” said Mayor Cordova.

Mayor Nieto shared a similar sentiment.

“It could boom business a lot. I think a lot of people that visit Taos and some of those areas would come down to Mountainair to see her gallery,” Nieto said.


Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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