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CAV Gallery in downtown Las Cruces: pushing forward with hope, joy, beauty, love


Marcus Xavier Chormicle is both an artist and an entrepreneur.

At 23, the Las Cruces native is a talented, experienced photographer and digital marketing specialist. He’s also converting a downtown property into a gallery space – the Christian Anthony Vallejo Memorial Gallery (CAV) – for his work and that of other local artists.

Chormicle graduated from Las Cruces High School in 2016 and earned a journalism degree from Arizona State University, with minors in digital marketing and studio art. He returned to Las Cruces in March 2020, and opened his studio two months later in an upstairs office space at 128 N. Main St.

Downstairs in the same block, he is clearing out an old furniture-store storage space that will be converted into CAV Gallery.

The gallery will include Chormicle’s photography, as well as curated shows and exhibitions featuring local and regional artists, reflecting a diversity of media, he said. It also will be a retail space for fashion and skateboard supplies.

Since moving back to Las Cruces, Chormicle has done photographic, social media and graphic design work for a wide range of clients, including Josephina’s Old Gate restaurant, Ice Box Brewery and Organ Mountain Outfitters. He also completed a University Art Museum internship.

Chormicle said he likes digital photography and prefers to shoot in color, “making the most of the moment.” He said each photo he takes “feels very real” and allows him to share the moment and the space with both his subject and his audience.

A photographer “can’t help being a participant and a witness” to everything he shoots, Chormicle said. “It’s so powerful. I can make very specific choices of what I want to see in the frame.” he said.

Chormicle said he makes specific choices when deciding which of the many photos he’s taken of a single subject to print, frame and display. At that point, he considers it art.

“It’s the most powerful thing I have the potential to make,” Chormicle said. “I try to involve everybody I’m around, the people I admire and love.”

He said he often takes photos of his parents, his brother, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents.

Chormicle also has captured people and places “worthy of attention” in his travels outside Las Cruces.

“The entire world has many interesting moments happening,” he said. “How many great photos are happening now? No moment is mundane, if you have the skill and the knowhow [to capture] anything you see with the click of a button. I think there’s a lot of magic that happens in photography.”

The gallery name, CAV, commemorates Cristian Anthony Vallejo, a beloved cousin who Chormicle and his family lost last September.

Chormicle said the death of his cousin “was just unbelievable. I felt like there was no other option than to dedicate [the gallery] to him. Nothing can ever make up for the loss,” Chormicle said, adding that his goal is to “push forward with hope, joy, beauty and love.”

“It’s a space for family first,” Chormicle said, which includes his own and the community he lives in and loves.

“It’s very exciting to me,” he said, especially because it will be “a presence in my neighborhood.”

Chormicle doesn’t have a specific date for the gallery opening, but he hopes it will by late spring or early summer.

“I’m looking the opportunity in the eye,” he said. “I want to live up to the potential.”

Visit www.chormicle.com or find him on Facebook and Instagram @cav_gallery.