NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Public Art Program is celebrating 30 years of bringing creativity to the area. One way they’re celebrating is by bringing more pieces to town.
“It’s a great opportunity to share arts with the community,” said Bernalillo County Public Art Program Coordinator Kent Swanson.
There are more than 500 public works of art in or outside of buildings in Bernalillo County. It’s all thanks to the Bernalillo County Public Art Program, which was founded in 1992. Now, they are adding more pieces to their collection.
One of the new pieces is the mosaic outside the South Valley Pool and Splash Pad on Isleta Blvd. It isn’t finished yet, but it will feature different scenes of New Mexico wildlife. Swanson said it will be completed by December.
“We also added about eight sculptures to our collection at another sculpture gallery at Bernalillo County at Alvarado Square, and we’re adding two-dimensional pieces every six months or so,” mentioned Swanson, “We’ve added about 30 over the last couple of years to our collection.”
Another new piece is a large mural at Alvarado Square on Silver. The mural is made up of hundreds of pieces of small-cut glass. Many in the community came together to create the piece which details Bernalillo County vistas and skies.
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“It’s kind of like bringing the world of art to the public and public spaces versus a museum or a gallery,” said Swanson.
Each piece is funded by the 1% for the arts ordinance which allows the county to dedicate money from GO Bonds for public art. Artists include those from the community or from out of state. However, it’s a competitive process.
Swanson added, “We go through a round of jurying with our arts board and committee members, and then an artist is selected to carry out the project.”
The county hopes to energize and transform public spaces through art while also supporting the economy. Artists are encouraged to check out the county website where they can apply to be one of the upcoming artists.