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Hoopla New Mexico! Eclectica Magazine celebrates 20th anniversary with exhibition, reading, and reception

August 28, 2017 Amy Ditto

Albuquerque, New Mexico – August 15th, 2017 – On Saturday, September 9th, Old Town’s newest and most progressive art venue, the Ghostwolf Gallery (2043 S. Plaza St. NW) is teaming up with one of the longest surviving literary “e-zines” in existence to celebrate that publication’s now 21 years online. 

Ghostwolf specializes in contemporary fine arts and crafts—their website promises “edgy and inspired, delightfully unexpected, wildly creative, and definitely different”—while Eclectica Magazine has carved out a similar niche in the Internet publishing world. Their submission guidelines set the tone: “Because we like eclecticism, we tend to favor the varied perspectives that often characterize the work of international authors, people of color, women, alternative lifestylists, and straight white men—but others who don't fit into these categories often surprise us.” 

 The work Eclectica has published over the last two decades and counting has truly lived up to its moniker, and to celebrate the breadth and depth of that work, founding editor Tom Dooley, who has called Albuquerque home since 2004, conceived the idea of a “Hoopla.” 

 Hoopla means “excitement surrounding an event or situation, especially when considered to be unnecessary fuss.” That’s pretty much what we’re doing with this 20th or 21st anniversary thing,” Dooley says. “I also like to use it as an interjection, as in, twenty years? Hoopla! We may be making an unnecessary fuss, but we’re going to have a good time doing it.”

 Two hooplas occurred earlier this summer—one at an open mic night at Chicago’s legendary venue The Hideout and one at San Francisco’s venerable independent bookstore The Bird and Beckett—and Dooley hopes to attend future events in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. “The Ghostwolf Gallery in Old Town is a perfect venue for a hoopla,” Dooley says, “and it fits right in with places like The Hideout and the Bird and Beckett in terms of just being really cool.” 

 Because Albuquerque’s hoopla will be taking place at an art gallery, there will be an emphasis on artists: Susan Klebanoff is an internationally renowned tapestry artist who was featured in Albuquerque Arts and whose work hangs in the Smithsonian and adorns lobbies, boardrooms and offices of corporations and embassies all over the world. You can find mosaic artist Laura Robbins’ vibrant pieces everywhere in Albuquerque, most notably at the Botanic Gardens Dragonfly Sanctuary and the Range Cafes. Other artists include Stuart Gelzer, a photographer who teaches film at New Mexico Highlands University; Pamela Gemin, who makes “vintage inspired jewelry” in Flagstaff; and Victoria Mlady, an Albuquerque photographer and painter whose “high quality archival pigment ink digital prints” translate to bold, bright, and beautiful images. 

 In addition to the artwork, a number of authors will read poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The reading portion of the event will last about an hour, with the lineup still being decided. There will be a merchandise table, possibly some live music, and... well, it’s a hoopla, so anything could happen. 

 A 2015 Atlantic article (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/09/how-many-websites-are-there/408151/)  said there were over one billion active websites at the time. The article mentioned three particularly old sites: CNN’s 1996 Year in Review, Bob Dole’s presidential campaign website, and the search engine IFindIt.com. The average lifespan in the late 1990s for a website was about 44 days. That average has now expanded to around 100 days. Eclectica Magazine first appeared online in October of 1996, making it a contemporary of Bob Dole’s campaign, and its 21-year run has spanned most of the Internet age.