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Downtown artists, business owners aim to help community – Silvercity Daily Press

(Press staff photo: Marcella Johnson)
Lydia Villegas presents one of her mosaics, a dragonfly, in her shop, LV Studio.

Marcella Johnson
daily press intern
Artist and business owner Lydia Villegas says her store has helped her find new ventures and ways to connect with her community, and along the way has taught her a lot about the women who make Silver City work. increase.
Villegas runs a business called LV Studio on Bullard Street that showcases mosaics, painted jackets, and other found and repurposed items.
When she returned to Silver City in 2007, Villegas said she had to “reinvent” herself, and Mosaic Tile Art called her out.
“I started doing mosaics,” she said. “I’ve always done art, and that’s what drew me in. It’s crazy just to go around a place and see how much waste there is.”
Villegas said he originally started the business to do something with his mother before the pandemic. When creating her work, she said, she focuses on reusing old tiles and not using machines, all cut by hand.
“I try to give everything a second life,” she said. “As you can see, we live in a disposable world.”
Villegas says he looks at the world through his shop window and tries to find ways to solve the problems he sees. From these observations, Villegas decided to found the group Fight Like A Girl.
The goal is to care for the community and create the safest space possible. The group’s motto is ‘see something, do something’ and their symbol is a pink fist.
“We see things happening and everyone passes by as if they don’t notice,” Villegas said. “I understand that we are already paralyzed by some things, but we still have to do something.”
Villegas said the group provides services such as purchasing and distributing blankets for non-residents of Silver City, distributing water bowls for animals, and transporting emergency medicine for overdose. That’s it.
Several businesses downtown display symbols of their organization in their front windows to show that their stores are a safe place to offer help and that they are part of a community that cares about each other. increase.
LV Studio’s inventory includes stickers and signage related to Fight Like a Girl, which Villegas freely distributes to draw attention to her cause. Villegas said she distributed stickers featuring the pink fist symbol at Silver High School and Western New Mexico University.
“If I had been home, I would have been stuck in front of the TV and watching all the chaos. It’s out of my hands,” she said. It will only make you sad and anxious, and it will give you nothing. But for me it is better to do something than do nothing.
Villegas said the pandemic has hit businesses surrounding her hard, such as Amma Guadalupe, and the decline in foot traffic downtown has hit them even harder.
“I took over from my predecessor on March 1, 2020, and I was in business for four days, so the first year, basically my social security was paid for rent,” said Martha Blackrock, owner of Amma Guadalupe. paid the
Women own 70 percent of downtown businesses, and most of those owners have other jobs to keep the stores running, Villegas said. She said that merchants in downtown work hard to support each other.
“Take a walk downtown,” she said. “See what you can find. It’s a treasure — people from other states come here and they love and really love it. We need more communities to support us.”
Villegas’ work is currently on display alongside works by Catherine Acosta Russo in this year’s Arte Chicano exhibition at the Silver City Museum. She said it was her first time attending an exhibition of this kind.
Arte Chicano is an annual exhibition at the Silver City Museum since 2016, and exhibition founder and downtown business owner Diana Ingalls Leyva has handpicked both of the exhibiting artists for 2022. did.