“In New Mexico, you can do things like this, work on a friend’s farm for a day. You can be creative about how you live life, you don’t need the money you do in other places.”
One day last summer, I happened to be in Albuquerque Old Town, and stopped to listen to a musician.
After he was done, we got to talking and had a friendly chat. We said we should meet up sometime but were both in the middle of other things, and we lost contact with each other.
After reconnecting a couple weeks ago, we made arrangements to meet up at Sawmill Market in Albuquerque. We sat down, exchanged hellos, and my interest was piqued by the next words he spoke:
“I really love New Mexico. After living in different cities in different countries, Albuquerque and New Mexico are my favorite.”
Ecuador to the World
Marceliano is a native of Ecuador, and left home for Europe in 2000. He has a bachelor’s degree in sound engineering and a master’s degree in audio visual engineering.
“I started playing music when I was 15, and then worked as a musician. As I developed as an artist, I discovered I enjoyed working with leather and other materials, and my artisan work is just as important to me now as my music is.”
He has lived and worked in Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, and finally moved to Albuquerque in 2013. He’s been here ever since.
“Out of all those cities,” I asked, more curious, “You like Albuquerque the best?”
“Yes,” he said emphatically. “Europe was great. People supported my art, but it can be an expensive place to live,” he went on, “and cold. Europe gets cold,” he laughed. “New Mexico is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. The people here are kind, the food is amazing…” here he paused, “…and nature. New Mexico is beautiful beyond words. I love it here,” then he laughed again. “Winter is better here, too!”
Burque Artist and Musician
I already heard Marceliano’s music, but I had yet to see his art. “I work in leather and other natural materials,” he said, and then showed me his Instagram, kichwasarts. (For his music, Marceliano has a Facebook page, Kichwas Native Music)
“Another major benefit to New Mexico is how supportive of art it is,” Marceliano told me with a smile. “Living in Albuquerque has me centrally located; I participate in shows in Taos, Red River, Santa Fe, and the Albuquerque Railyard Market.”
If that all wasn’t enough, Maceliano also shows his work at shows in Arizona, Colorado and all around the Southwest and West.
“Albuquerque is a small city, it’s quick to get around… it’s just big enough without being too big. It’s really great.”
“People tell me all the time they love my art, my music, and my jewelry,” Marceliano said. “Lots of people like to visit New Mexico, and those people like to buy art!”
Marceliano said the original plan was to move back to Amsterdam after some time here, but the Land of Enchantment worked its charms, and Marceliano said he is happy he stayed.
“I have a great quality of life. It’s been over eight years, and I’m still here. I have friends, a girlfriend, and a life. New Mexico is home now.”
Outside of work, Marceliano enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and her daughter. They like the outdoors, hot springs, the mountains, and… he also likes to work for organic produce.
“I have a friend that owns a farm, and I like to go help them out and work there two days a week. In return, I get fresh produce from their farm, and it’s all organic. The food they grow is amazing, and it’s a fun way to get the best, freshest, organic produce. I helped grow it!” He looked thoughtful and went on. “In New Mexico, you can do things like this, work on a friend’s farm for a day. You can be creative about how you live life, you don’t need the money you do in other places.”
“New Mexico is home.”