For more than 50 years, the Belen Art League, a non-profit organization, has been a staple in the community.
The Art League is continuing to promote and support the Arts in the Hub City. After holding meetings in private homes and at the public library for the better part of a half century, the city donated a building on Becker Street for an art gallery and studio. Member dues and fund raisers such as the annual Yard Sale and Ice Cream Social raise funds for the upkeep and maintenance of the former senior center building. In 2010 the Belen Art League Gallery & Gifts annexed the neighboring building, expanding their displays into what used to be the RSVP office.
The Belen Art League strives to educate and support future artists in the community. This is done by offering a range of classes, such as Oil Painting, Watercolor and Silk Painting, to the public. The classes are held in the art gallery classroom. In addition, a scholarship is given to a deserving Valencia County High School student who will be majoring in a visual art discipline. Profits from their annual Valentine Tea fund this effort.
The art league puts on annual Spring and Fall Art shows at the historic Harvey House Museum that fill the former dining room and kitchen. The public is invited to cast their vote for People's Choice.
The art league also presents annual miniature and photography shows at their art gallery. In addition they started a photography contest that's open to the public. It will be held at the art gallery this year and the winners receive cash prizes.
The Belen Art League has worked tirelessly to support local artists and have provided venues to showcase everything from pottery to paintings, fiber arts to jewelry, wood art to metal art. The work of local artists are displayed and sold year round at the Belen Art League Gallery & Gifts, located at 509 Becker Street. The displays are changed frequently, so there's always new things to discover at their art gallery.
The Belen Art League is a member of the Rio Abajo Cultural Alliance (RACA) and works with other art galleries in the area to promote cultural tourism in the Rio Abajo area. Visit their new website at www.belenartleaguegalleryandgifts.com.