Alibi V.27 No.51 • Dec 20-26, 2018 

Public Arts

Call for Public Art

Westside group seeks artists

The West Central Community Development Group Seeks Artists to Design Streetlight Banners to Hang Along Route 66
The West Central Community Development Group Seeks Artists to Design Streetlight Banners to Hang Along Route 66

Are you an artist, or an aspiring artist, who would like a chance to have your work displayed publicly in Albuquerque? If so, you could be in luck. The West Central Community Development Group has issued a call for artists to submit their work to be considered for display on banners that will hang from street lights along west Central.

The mission of the Celebrate West Central Route 66 Street Banner Project is “to honor the cultural and historic traditions of the Atrisco Southwest area of Albuquerque,” according to the group, which is headed by two-time Republican legislative candidate, Vietnam veteran and committed pro-lifer Louis Tafoya, who sits, or has sat, on many boards in town.

So what, exactly, are the cultural and historical traditions of the area? Depends who you ask. The area in question was established as the Atrisco Land Grant by Spain in 1692, and “settled” by Spanish families. Somebody edited the piece on the Atrisco Land Grand on Wikipedia so that it talks about subsequent Navajo and Apache “attacks” on Spaniards in the area, in the years directly following the brief success of the Pueblo Revolt; a compassionate read between the lines strongly suggests that perhaps native brown people didn’t love it when foreigners actually stole their land and killed and raped their people in the 18th century, any more than xenophobic white folks imagine they would like it now.

But, whatever. It’s all (sort of?) in the past now, and the area, which has been part of the city of Albuquerque for the past 50 years, has sort of been reborn as a popular dumping ground for empty Fireball minis and Sonic wrappers. The group is hoping to continue efforts to revitalize and beautify the corridor, and you, dear local artists, have a chance to help make that happen. Regardless of your take on New Mexico history, there seems to be a lot of history upon which to draw—literally and figuratively, if you enter this thing.

The West Central Community Development Group bills itself as a collection of residents, business owners and “community leaders” who’ve come together under the mission of revitalizing the area. The group’s past projects, according to themselves, have included building the Route 66 arches, a “think big” billboard campaign and successful efforts to lure companies such as Verizon Wireless, Dion’s Pizza and Pro’s Ranch Market to the area. The group’s website says they’ve also collaborated with other groups on projects to improve pedestrian safety in the area.

There will be two informational meetings, open to the public, in which artists can get more details about the project’s requirements.

The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 5:30pm, at the West Central Community Development Group, 5921 Central Ave. SW.

The second meeting will take place January 17, 2019, at 5:30pm, at the Westside Community Center, 1250 Isleta Blvd. SW.

The deadline for submissions is Jan. 28, 2019, at 5pm.

Visit the group’s website or Facebook page for more information: wccdg.org or facebook.com/West-Central-Community-Development-Group-WCCDG-951736151534073/