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Local artists have been recognized for their creations on many of the windows in downtown Las Cruces. In promoting the spirit of the holidays, the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership (DLCP) and the Las Cruces Arts and Cultural District Coordinating Council (ACDCC) recently spearheaded the 2nd Annual “Ventanas Vivas” when local business owners decorate their windows in the Downtown and Arts and Cultural District (DLCP).
Susan Greenwald, Ventanas Vivas event coordinator, said this year’s winner is local artist Lorenzo Zapada who painted Christmas scenes at two businesses — the Visit Las Cruces office building, 336 S. Main Street, and LUX salon, 136 S. Water Street. Both of the colorful ventanas were selected for first place. Zapada will receive a $50 downtown gift card.
Other winning windows are: 2nd Place - Artist Noel Sandino, Rio Grande Theater at 211 Main Street; and 3rd Place – Artist Coy Lowther at Beck’s Roasting House and Creamery at 130 N. Mesquite Street. Both artists will each receive a $25 downtown gift card.
Susan Greenwald, Ventanas Vivas event coordinator, said approximately 23 businesses and 13 local artists participated this year by creating colorful windows “to create the warmth and holiday feel we all need this year.” ACDCC members then judged the murals that included painted scenes of caroling, snowmen and a jolly Santa Claus.
Jennifer Kozlowski, DLCP executive director, said the day after the windows were finished was also the kick-off to the “Small Business Saturday,” a community campaign to encourage shoppers to “shop local.” She said shoppers “have been enjoying the art as they visit their favorite downtown shops and restaurants.”
To make shopping local easier and more convenient this holiday season, the City’s Economic Development Department partnered with many local organizations to create a new website to serve as the ultimate buy local destination for this holiday season and for the future- www.shopsouthernnm.com, said City Economic Development Director Griselda Martinez. “The website is organized in categories to make it easy for customers to find their favorite Las Cruces business. Local businesses and users will ultimately create local online market for local shoppers or those wishing to find a piece of southern New Mexico,” Martinez said.
The resiliency of Las Cruces’ businesses to persevere through this unpredictable and unprecedented [pandemic] hardship is admirable and greatly appreciated,” said City Manager Ifo Pili. “We have an opportunity to directly show our appreciation and gratitude by buying local goods and services.”
Although New Mexico’s Public Health Orders may prevent residents from physically entering some of Las Cruces’ small businesses, “we can still help them, and ourselves, by ordering, buying, picking up, or having their food, goods, or services delivered to us,” Pili added.
Martinez encourages business owners to submit their businesses for the website, an easy process through ShopSouthernNM.com.
For more information on businesses throughout the city and county, or with the website, contact Martinez at 575-541-2428.