OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, the magazine has formed a very gratifying partnership with Warren Malkerson, owner of the Tularosa Basin Gallery of photography in Carrizozo. As they were last year, our photo contest winners will be shown in his gallery—the largest in the state—for eight months this year, starting with the special opening weekend at the end of January. Winning photographers and contest judges (including yours truly) and pretty much anyone who’s interested will have a chance to meet and share the feel-good communal vibes that come with celebrating the photogenic glory of New Mexico in a small-town setting.
Warren hatched this idea last year, and it was a great success. Amateur status (defined as earning less than 50 percent of one’s income from photography) is a condition of entering the contest, so most of the participants had never been shown in a gallery before. “They were excited,” Warren reports. He had the images printed, sold them at affordable prices ($60 for a print, $250 framed), and split the proceeds with the photographers. The magazine doesn’t share in any of this, and we’re not talking about a lot of money anyway, but the benefits to all parties are fantastic. Foremost among them is the traffic that the show brings to Carrizozo. “It’s manna from heaven!” says Warren.
That was the idea of opening the gallery in the first place: to give travelers one more reason to pull off the highway and visit the rather isolated crossroads town. We reported on the renaissance under way there a couple of years ago (nmmag.us/ZozoRevival), and that’s how this partnership started. Since then, the Carrizozo Commercial Historic District has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places, and Warren was thrilled to see his own building pictured in National Geographic Traveler magazine. The word on Carrizozo is definitely getting out.