Letters: Art History

Art History

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Thank you for your article in the August 13-19 issue of the Weekly Alibi regarding some of our city’s murals. In chronological order, “With No Past We Have No Future” at Second Street. and Gold downtown, I painted in 1994 with Working classroom students. At the time the Old Albuquerque High school buildings at Central. and Broadway were boarded up and there were pros and cons as to whether these old buildings should be razed or restored. As we went about our research for the mural at the Albuquerque Museum, the Head Archivist informed us that Albuquerque, like many cities in the West, had “trashed its architectural heritage” and went on to show us pictures of the demonstrations to save the old Alvarado Hotel. In one of those pictures there was a demonstrator holding a sign with the phrase which then became our mural title. I was told by someone who witnessed the event that the railroad bulldozed the hotel early one Sunday morning, and in a few hours it lay in a heap of rubble. That gave us the cheek to concoct the headlines of a fictitious newspaper regarding “moronic officials destroying historic landmarks”. The old high school was saved, and a faux Alvarado later arose phoenixlike from the rubble. Life imitating art?

In the summer of 1998, Kathleen Sweeney, Mike Ipiotis and I, painted a trio of murals at the corner of 10th and Coal in response to neighborhood concerns about gang violence. Again students were involved. My section on the Country Club market had images of Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez along with images of endangered species including school children in the crosshairs of a rifle.The owner of the store at that time was from Palestine and requested the Dome of the Rock which was included.

If you should venture down to the South Valley on Isleta. south of Rio Bravo just past the library and opposite the skate park, you will see our latest 2014-2015 effort, “La Corriente del Valle” the flow of the valley. An interactive mural some 342’6” long by 8’ high, and 15’6” on the highest section.The mural timeline stretches from the Pueblo “emergence” story up to present day and into an alternate energy future.

Embedded QR codes reveal a soundtrack as one traverses the length, another brings up an animation of the roadrunner running along the top of the mural, and others describe some of the scenes depicted. For further information please log on to

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