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School of Architecture + Planning


Artists set their sights on new metro area art park

April 1, 2018 - Morgan Aguilar

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Plans are being made for a new art park in the Albuquerque metro area.

About a year ago, John Davis and his wife co-founded a group called “AP21,” or Art Park 21. They are applying for nonprofit status and would like to create a 21st-century art park.

Essentially, artists can team up with scientists or ecologists and create an installation that not only looks pretty but interacts with the environment in some way.

"It would be art in the outdoors, with an ecocentric theme," said Davis.

12 artists, including Davis, have already submitted proposals. The drawings and renderings of what they hope become reality are on display at the Open Space Visitor Center on Coors Blvd., just south of Paseo Del Norte.

Designed by Catherine Harris

Catherine Harris is a participating artist and assistant professor in landscape architecture and art & ecology at the University of New Mexico. Her design involves leaves strung together in a such a way that they collect and drip water to the seeds she would plant underneath.

"It kind of creates a little bit more forage and a little bit more interaction for other animals," said Harris.

She says the pieces included all have a function but also relate to the aesthetic interests of humans.

The proposals need to be approved by the Open Space advisory board. After that, they hope to create them at the Open Space Visitor Center sometime next year.

As far as a permanent site, Davis says they are casting a broad net on possible sites right now.

"The 21st century needs to be a space where art can engage with climate change, engage with issues around land use, and can really change our perception of what we do with the resources around us and who we share them with,” said Harris.

For now, the public is invited to view the display of the concepts at the Open Space Visitor Center through April 22nd.