Major art project planned for Albuquerque Convention Center

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s Convention Center could become a destination for art lovers.

The city is very close to ponying up big money for a very big art project.

Over the past few years the Albuquerque Convention Center has taken on a new look. It’s something General Manager Jose Garcia has witnessed firsthand.

“Transformative…and that this is going to be a destination,” Garcia said.

He’s specifically talking about an almost hidden staircase where visitors wouldn’t normally stop to take a second look or even admire. However, that could soon change.

“For a world renowned artist to say, ‘You have this space in the convention center that is so perfect for this piece of work,’ is just exciting,” Garcia said.

The city’s public arts program selected New Mexico Artist Frederico Vigil, who is also known for creating the 4,000 square-foot Fresco in the Torreon at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Now, a small scale model, he created, will soon be replicated onto the walls of the convention center.

“It will be the largest interior art project that we’ve ever pursued,” said Sherri Brueggemann with the city’s public art program.

The city estimates the three-and-a-half year project will cost $293,000. That money comes from city bonds reserved for art projects.

Before Vigil can get to work, there is still a lot of prep-work to be done.

“There’s going to be some extensive scaffolding to get the lime up and to slate it, and then to create a work space for him and his team, just all these things that go into prepping the space,” Garcia said.

The mural will depict New Mexico’s agricultural roots from Las Cruces all the way to Alcalde.

“I am super excited about this project. It’s been a longtime coming and Frederico is one of our masters that should be celebrated in this community,” Brueggemann said.

The Fresco will measure 2,500 square-feet. City council still needs to sign off on the project and that should happen in a month.

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