Blue Portal History 

Maria Carmen Lopez y Trujillo Martin, fortunately she has shortened her name to Carmen L. Martin and works as a programmer at the Albuquerque Council for International Visitors. She was pleased to share the Blue Portal history. She said the house her family lived in, now called Blue Portal, was built in 1942 and eventually sold in the early 1970’s. We know that the shop has been in existence since 1978.

Carmen is the 9th child of 12 children who grew up in the house. Her memories are of kind, loving parents. They fed their children first even though there were times when food was scarce. Carmen remembers having fun at Old Town Fiestas. The children would climb the roof and watch weddings and dances at the San Felipe de Neri church across the street.

Carmen’s older brother got married and his new bride came home and shared his bedroom. There were many happy memories living in the home prior to the building that we know as the shop, Blue Portal.

Elizabeth Jercinovic was President of the Assistance League in the late 70’s. Her husband and son built the back room addition. When her husband, Jerry passed away, in lieu of flowers the family wanted to make the final mortgage payment on Blue Portal.

The first choice for the name of the shop was The Cat’s Meow. However, that name had already been taken. The next choice was The Blue Door, whoops, that name was taken. We are not entirely sure when the name Blue Portal was decided on, but it sure is a beautiful name for this fine artisan shop.

One of the first crafters crocheted wreaths. Her wreaths sold like hot cakes. All the tagging and volunteer work was done by hand. Blue Portal has evolved to support hundreds of senior artists.

Blue Portal Artist of the week, June 26, Dan McDonell

Dan creates unique and detailed wooden toys that have wheels. He makes wooden trucks, tractors, play furniture for dolls, American Doll furniture, and even play kitchens. 

Dan grew up while his family worked in a Santa Fe lumber business.  Dan previously worked as a cabinet maker. This experience makes sense that Dan transitioned into making children’s toys for Blue Portal. 

Dan has been selling his safe children’s toys for four years now at Blue Portal.  He thinks that the Assistance League of Albuquerque volunteers are very helpful and nice to work with. 

Blue Portal Artist of the Week Bunn Hearn, June 19

Bunn Hearn is an artist who makes a variety of beautifully designed wooden boxes (some boxes have hidden shelves), wine bottle holders, rocking horses and benches.

Bunn has been selling for approximately ten years. He has been doing wood working for 35 years and he is self taught. He says if you have an interest, you can just keep building your skills over time.

He says Blue Portal is a great outlet for the public to purchase handmade gifts and useful household items.

Blue Portal Serving the Community

The Blue Portal, managed by the Assistance League of Albuquerque volunteers, serves New Mexican artisans who are 55 years or older an Old Town shop for displaying their beautiful work. Luckily, all artisans who sell in the shop receive 100% commission. The shop is managed by Assistance League volunteers who support this shop.

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