On the fourth Sunday of every month, Journal Arts editor Adrian Gomez tells the stories behind some of the hidden gems you can see across the state in “Gimme Five.”
September is fast approaching.
The end of summer is near, but there’s always time to see some public art on a road trip.
The New Mexico State Public Art Collection continues every year – filling every corner of the state.
Meredith Doborski, director of the New Mexico Arts Public Art Program, explains that New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, which provides financial support for arts services and programs to nonprofit organizations throughout the state and to administer the 1% Public Art Program for the State of New Mexico.
Dobroski chose five recently installed pieces in Socorro, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Radium Springs and Silver City.
1. “The poetry of geology” by Joseph Bellacera.
Installed at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources building in Socorro in April.
Doborski says the installation is a multi-paneled work of art consisting of two wall reliefs installed twenty feet off the ground on facing walls in the light-filled three-story atrium lobby.
The two colorful and vibrant wall reliefs greet visitors as they enter the Minerals Museum on one side of the entrance hall and the museum’s publications/gift shop on the other, she says.
“The intention of this dynamic design is to activate architectural space echoing the active forces at play in the earth and to celebrate the knowledge and research that the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and technology of New Mexico provide to the state,” Doborski said. “Wall reliefs include references to: cartography, volcanic activity, minerals, geological history, topography, geohydrology, energy resources, geological markers, fault lines, strata and rock formations of New Mexico.”
2. “Luminaria” by Gordon Huether.
Installed outside Steve Schiff’s District Attorney Building in downtown Albuquerque in August 2021.
Doborski says the purpose of this commission was to create a non-traditional memorial that would provide a contemplative, healing and uplifting space for victims and families dealing with the trauma of gun violence.
This installation was ultimately inspired by three factors: the cultural traditions of the local Hispanic community, the surrounding natural landscape, and a recurring theme Gordon discovered while researching memorials that reference gun violence or other violent tragedies – something Gordon calls “pop-up memorials”. .”
“The affected community gathers and places objects at the scene of the tragedy such as flowers, candles, teddy bears, flags, balloons, drawings and personal messages,” she says. “Luminaria”, titled to refer to an important tradition in New Mexico: brown paper bags with cut-out designs, weighted down with sand and lit by candles from within, consists of three sculptures of different sizes accompanied of three cylindrical concrete components, placed among the sculptures to provide space for seated contemplation and reflection.
3. “Simplicity” by Deborah Jojola.
Installed at the Coronado Historic Site (Kuuaa Ancestral Land) in Bernalillo in April 2021. Artist Deborah Jojola says the polychrome pigments on the earth plaster have a unique flow of design elements that relate to a place of her ancestral beings.
“This place is powerful and carries many past symbolisms with stories of resilience, spirituality and reconciliation,” says Jojola. “’Simplicity’ is not what it seems; our struggles are real and still exist today. We seek guidance with prayers and offerings with the breath of life, in the hope that our children will continue, practice and understand for a better future.
Coronado Historic Site and Kuaua Pueblo Ruins are located a few minutes north of Albuquerque (on I-25, exit 242) in Bernalillo.
“The Coronado Historic Site offers ramada-covered picnic tables with great views of the Rio Grande and Sandia mountains,” says Doborski. “Enjoy the history and beauty of northern New Mexico on your next visit.”
4. “Desert Rabbit” by Sean Rising Sun Flanagan.
Installed at Fort Selden Historic Site in Radium Springs in December 2021.
Doborski says Rising Sun Flanagan is a Native American artist and traditional drum maker from Taos Pueblo.
Known for his painted drums and stylized sculptures, he draws inspiration from traditional imagery from his native roots, with a style of design that unites deep tradition with contemporary.
She says her work has a strong geometric and organic balance.
“Today, the ghostly adobe ruins are all that remains of Fort Selden, offering visitors a glimpse of another time,” says Doborski. “The Visitor Center has exhibits on frontier and military life and features historical military artifacts and photos.”
5. “Interlocking Horizons” by Jennyfer Stratman.
Installed at Western New Mexico University in Silver City in August 2021.
Doborski says this installation depicts vine-like steel rods growing from two richly weathered bases.
“At the top of the vines grow bronze figures, suggesting foliage. The different lengths of the vines can be interpreted as each individual’s growth stages on their own ‘horizons,’” she says. “The undulation of the figures can also be seen as the outline of distant landscapes. The intersecting “landscapes” suggest a pairing of two worlds. »