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THE HOOD ART SPACE

The Hood: a space to go, ‘Wow’

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Las Cruces artist and entrepreneur Richard Parra amassed an amazing collection of “collectible cars and motorcycles, art, objects, apparel, oddities, jewelry, Memorabilia” from across the Southwest and around the world during the 40 years he owned and operated Spirit Winds.

A little more than a year after he sold that business, Parra is opening The Hood to display and sell his unique treasures, as a resource for local art and as a gathering place for the community he loves and appreciates for more than four decades of support of his art studio and retail business.

The Hood is located “in the alley” at 3206 Harrelson St., at the corner of Harrelson and west Bell Avenue in Mesilla Park. Parra bought the building, which is around the corner from Art Obscura, about seven years ago and has been using it as a place to work on his vintage cars and motorcycles and “release his creative energies,” he said.

After about 10 months of hard work, the site now includes both indoor showrooms for vehicles, art and other collections and an outdoor bar, stage and event yard. Parra purchased a 1951 Peerless trailer in Caballo, near Elephant Butte Lake, and has had it renovated for use as an outdoor food trailer for special events, which he said will include fundraisers for local nonprofits.

The Hood opens its doors to the public Saturday, Dec. 14, and will be open noon-6 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and at other times when Parra is onsite, he said. Appointments for private viewings on other days are also available on request.

Items for sale include artwork by painters, prison inmates, metal artists and watercolorists; rings, bracelets, bolo ties, cufflinks, belt buckles, Native American jewelry and unique bracelets made by Parra’s 8-year-old grandson, Matrix “Chop” Lidner; The Hood T-shirts and caps; of rocks, crystals and geodes; glassware; auto parts and auto-related items, including a coffin-shaped gas tank, license plates, hubcaps, mirrors, knobs and handles, sparkplugs (used as ring stands) and even a 1970s-era Sun electronic diagnostic engine tester; books and postcards; hand-blown pipes; pocket knives; and much more. Even the display cabinets have interesting histories: a chocolates case Parra renovated had to forklifted into the space because it weighs about 500 pounds.

“We created a space,” Parra said. He’s looking forward to visits from people who will appreciate that space and let it “make them smile and go ‘wow.’”

 For more information, visit www.thehoodnewmexico.com.

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