ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The college hoops season is in the books and Lobo fans are already looking forward to next season. Not only will The Pit be howling, it will also be lighting up in a whole new way.
WisePies Arena, aka The Pit, is already a legendary place for basketball. It’s loud, it’s energetic and soon, it will be a lot brighter.
“It’s bringing art outside of the walls of the typical gallery,” Ivan Depeña said. “There’s a lot of interactive art out there but I’m not sure this has been done before in the U.S.”
Depeña, an artist based out of North Carolina, beat out 63 others to create “Inside/Out,” a one-of-a-kind light installion.
“Once I got the final call, I was ecstatic about the idea of actually being able to integrate my views and my perspective in to the community here.”
Depeña was tapped last March with the task.
YouTube video shows the test runs from earlier this week with more than 150 lights dancing both inside and outside the home of Lobo basketball.
“The install took about six weeks,” Depeña said.
People seem to dig it.
“Oh, the colors, the lights, that’s awesome!” That’s nice!” Matthew Griego said.
“I think it looks pretty good,” said Jessica Vigil. “You’ll know where The Pit is!”
“I like it. That would be awesome,” Sarah Rieland and Brandon Johnson said.
“That looks nice,” Rich Moody added.
Take notes, fans. The lights actually feed off of the crowd’s energy.
“Everybody is screaming for a point, the building is going to reflect that and it’s going to actually really, really shimmer and will be doing something really, really intense,” Depeña said.
Expect it to turn more than a few heads.
“When people come, maybe they can see it from the interstate and say ‘What’s over there? Let’s go check it out’,” Vigil said.
The lights won’t be turned on until mid-May. Depeña said that’s when the unveiling is scheduled.
The installation will also shine bright even when The Pit is empty. Depeña said the lights will interact with the skies during sunsets.
He wouldn’t say just how much this all cost.
The state commissioned this project as part of its Art in Public Places program which has helped put out more than 3,000 pieces of art across the state.