On the fourth Sunday of every month, Journal Arts Editor Adrian Gomez tells the stories behind some of the hidden gems you can see around the state in the Gimme Five.
September is fast approaching.
The end of summer is just around the corner, but there’s always time to take in some public art on a road trip.
The collection of public art in the state of New Mexico continues every year – filling every corner of the state.
Meredith Doborski, director of the New Mexico Public Arts Program, says 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 statewide and to administer the 1% public art program for the state of New Mexico.
Dobroski chose five pieces recently installed in Socorro, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Radium Springs and Silver City.
1. “The Poetry of Geology” by Joseph Bellasera.
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-panel artwork consisting of two mural reliefs installed twenty feet off the floor on opposite walls in the light-filled three-story atrium lobby.
Two colorful and dynamic wall reliefs greet visitors as they enter the Mineral Museum on one side of the lobby and the Museum Publications/Gift Shop on the other, she says.
“The goal of this dynamic design is to activate the architectural space by 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 New Mexico Tech provide to the state,” Doborski. say. “Wall reliefs include reference to: cartography, volcanic activity, minerals, geologic history, topography, geohydrology, energy resources, geologic landmarks, fault lines, strata, and rock formations of New Mexico.”
2. “Luminaria” by Gordon Huether.
Installed outside the District Attorney Steve Schiff building in downtown Albuquerque in August 2021.
Doborski says the goal 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: cultural traditions from the local Hispanic community, the surrounding natural landscape, and a recurring theme Gordon found while searching for memorials that refer to gun violence or other violent tragedies—something Gordon refers to as “displaying memorials”. .”
“The affected community gathers and places things 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 New Mexico tradition: brown paper bags with cut-out patterns, weighted with sand and lit by candles from within, consists of three sculptures of varying sizes accompanied by three cylindrical concrete seating components, placed between the sculptures to provide a space for seated contemplation and reflection.”
3. “Simplicity” by Deborah Jojola.
Installed at the Coronado Historic Site (Kuaua Ancestral Land) in Bernalillo in April 2021. Artist Deborah Jojola says the polychrome pigments in the clay plaster have a unique flow of design elements associated with a place of her ancestral beings.
“This place is powerful and carries a lot of symbolism of the past with stories of Endurance, Spirituality and Reconciliation,” says Jojola. “Simplicity” is not what it seems; our struggles are real and still exist today. We ask for prayerful guidance and offerings with the spirit 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 just minutes north of Albuquerque (off I-25, Exit 242) in Bernalillo.
“The Coronado Historic Site offers covered picnic tables by the Ramada 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 the traditional imagery of his native roots, with a design style that fuses deep tradition with the contemporary.
She says his work has a strong balance that is geometric and organic.
“Today, the ghostly adobe ruins are all that remains of Fort Selden offering visitors a glimpse of another time,” says Doborski. “The visitor center offers exhibits on frontier and military life and displays historic 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 heavily patinated bases.
“On top of the vines grow bronze figures, suggesting leaves. The different lengths of the vines can be interpreted as the growth stages of each individual in their ‘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.