A look at five new pieces of public art in Santa Fe

“Culture embodies the shared, complex and diverse heritage of a community.

This is the opening line of the City of Santa Fe’s Art in Public Places Program (AIPP).

This is a motto that drives the program.

Santa Fe is known for its rich artistic culture; one that is constantly evolving.

Since its creation in 1985, the AIPP has developed the public art portfolio around The City Different.

As of 2021, there are over 73 works of art in a variety of media, styles, and themes.

Pauline Kanako Kamiyama, director of the Santa Fe Department of Arts and Culture, says there are exciting projects that engage the community.

She says the department no longer uses the phrase public art portfolio, as a “collection,” recognizing works of art as cultural assets that add ongoing value.

“…And not something colonized to be ‘collected’ or static,” she continues.

Here’s a look at five pieces of public art that were added this year:

1. “A Pueblo sin Piernas pero Que Camina (Ugolino)”, 2022, Hernan Gomez Chavez.

“A Pueblo sin Piernas pero Que Camina (Ugolino)”, 2022, Hernan Gomez Chavez. (Courtesy of Santa Fe Department of Arts and Culture)

The steel structure by Gomez Chavez was installed in 2022 and is dedicated to Santa Fe. It is located at 6599 Jaguar Drive.

Kanako Kamiyama says the sculpture of a legless giant is meant to comment on the disparities in Santa Fe and the perseverance of the community living on the south side of Santa Fe.

Based on the lyrics of a song, “un pueblo sin piernas pero que camina”, the idea of ​​a legless giant is meant to show the intermediate state of rootedness, the uncertainty of immigrant communities and the importance of Southside working families. for the welfare of the whole city.

“This work is also inspired by the giant, Ugolino della Gherardesca and his sons, in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, who was imprisoned and left to starve,” the artistic commission said.

Gomez Chavez is a sculptor from Santa Fe working on new projects exploring the role of artists in neighborhood gentrification and the impact of our current political climate on US-Mexico relations.

2. “El Agua es Vida/Water is Life” by Alas de Agua Art Collective and Friends, Israel Francisco Haros, Jessica Ortiz, John Paul Granillo. Main artists, Leeana Aragon, Nayeli Navarro, Samantha Chavez, David Sloan, Youthworks Youth, 2022

“El Agua Es Vida/Water is Life” by Alas de Agua Art Collective. (Courtesy of Santa Fe Department of Arts and Culture)

Located at the Salvador Perez Pool, 601 Alta Vista Street in Santa Fe, the murals are acrylic paint and were completed earlier this year.

Kanako Kamiyama says that through workshops, surveys, programs, and on-the-job training, Alas De Agua Art Collective created the “El Agua es Vida/Water is Life” mural.

The artists incorporated aquatic elements into the design of the tapestry weave, creating a flowing pattern with images of local cultural icons, historical city figures and local personalities.

Kanako Kamiyama says the mural is a reminder that water is central to our existence and defines our relationship to one another with a clear reminder of the flow of our ancestral ties to our Santa Fe culture.

The themes addressed by the mural are growth, water scarcity, water as hope, recreation, biodiversity, natural resilience and astronomy.

To learn more about the artistic collective, visit alasdeagua.com.

3. “CoyoteSong”, 2022 by Tiger Mashaal-Lively and Lucas Piper

“CoyoteSong”, 2022 by Tiger Mashaal-Lively. (Courtesy of Santa Fe Department of Arts and Culture)

This piece is weathered steel and is located at 205 Caja Del Rio Road in Santa Fe.

Kanako Kamiyama says “CoyoteSong” is inspired by coyotes for their complex relationship with humans, their role as boundary-crossers in a world that humans often try to keep rigidly defined, and their ability to adapt to changing circumstances. as they navigate new methods of survival. . “Yet coyotes are beautiful, intelligent, and deeply needed members of our ecological community,” she says. “They are true natives of this land and it is our responsibility to respect them and make room for them. This work was created with the intention of connecting viewers to the complex community around them and inspiring new strategies for creating stronger and more adaptable relationships within that community and beyond.

Mashaal-Lively lives in Santa Fe and creates art ranging from large-scale installations, sculptures and murals to intimate illustrations, paintings, music and performance.

4. “Moon Shot”, by Robert T. Davis

“Moon Shot”, by Robert T. Davis. (Courtesy of Santa Fe Department of Arts and Culture_

Located at Art@MRC, 205 Caja Del Rio Road, is the sculpture painted in steel, stainless steel and acrylic.

“Moon Shot” is a large rocket sculpture consisting of a curved steel armature covered with a custom shaped steel skin.

The dimensions of the sculpture are 12 feet by 6 feet by 20 feet high.

Kanako Kamiyama says the creation of this large steel sculpture was inspired by a baseball player named Wally Moon who, in the 1950s, learned to hit the ball on a large screen covering the stands of the Dodgers stadium in Los Angeles. .

“He was able to hit those home runs regularly enough that they were known as ‘Moon shots’,” she says. “The artist invites visitors and sports fans to hit a ball out of the park from home plate for their own chance at a ‘moonshot’.”

Davis builds large kinetic metal sculptures, often incorporating old classic trucks he rescues from car parks and junkyards.

5. “Steeling Shadows”, 2022, by Sophia Van Luchene

“Steeling Shadows”, 2022, by Sophia Van Luchene. (Courtesy of Santa Fe Department of Arts and Culture)

Van Luchene is perhaps the youngest of the group of artists on this list.

She is a sophomore at the New Mexico School for the Arts, where she is majoring in visual arts and creative writing.

“Steeling Shadows” is located at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy St. The artwork is made of stainless steel tubing, cables, and paint.

According to Kanako Kamiyama, “Steeling Shadows” started as a small study of light and space for a class project and grew into something on a larger scale for the community.

“Three overlapping stainless steel loops hold colorful cables that steal light to create playful shadows day and night,” she says. “Sculpture and light are one. The cable’s primary colors evoke our New Mexico earth, sky and chamisa plant.

James C. Tibbs