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NHCC seeks art proposal for Plaza Mayor

The campus of the National Hispanic Cultural Center is a gem in the community.

And the NHCC Local Selection Committee is looking to add some more magic to the campus — specifically the Plaza Mayor.

The LSC is seeking artist or artist team to create an exterior, site-specific commissioned artwork to commemorate the substantial contributions of Virginia and Edward Lujan to the creation and continued significance of the NHCC.

The deadline to submit proposals is April 2.

Edward Lujan served as chair of the NHCC and NHCC Foundation boards for many years and was a major player in the establishment of the cultural center, a state government agency in the Department of Cultural Affairs.

He also served as chairman of the state Republican Party and of the New Mexico Economic Development Commission.

The sign for the National Hispanic Cultural Center NHCC. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

A businessman, Lujan was the longtime owner and operator of the Manuel Lujan Agencies. In his spare time, he’s a tinworker and a woodworker.

“There are many possibilities for this piece of art,” said Kinsey Cooper, NHCC marketing and public relations officer. “It can go up the steps on the plaza. It can be a sculpture. We want to see what fits within the campus.”

Cooper said the Request For Qualification is open to all artist or teams whose work reflects Latino and Hispanic artistic traditions or contemporary manifestations.

A total of $80,000 is available for the project, which will include finalist presentation fees and the dedication event.

After the April 2 deadline, notification will be sent out to finalists around April 10.

The artwork and project will be completed and installed by Dec. 31.

According to the RFQ, the LSC is made up of eight voting members, appointed by the NHCC Executive Director, in consultation with the NHCC Visual Arts Program Director and NHCC Board of Directors President.

It includes one member of the NHCC Board of Directors, one member of the NHCC Foundation, one member of the NHCC Collections Committee, the Director of NHCC Visual Arts program, an artist or local arts professional, and a non-voting representative of the NHCC who is familiar with the building and/or grounds.

Cooper said the committee is looking for work that reflects the optimism and spirit of service in the Lujans’ vision and connection to the NHCC and its mission while also ensuring continued maximum use of the Plaza Mayor for large crowds and events.

The selection criteria will include: professional qualifications of the artist as evidenced by the supporting materials; proven ability to undertake projects of the described scope; artistic merit and superior caliber craftsmanship as evidenced by the images; suitability of the submission to project intent and site; and degrees to which the work reflects Latino and Hispanic heritage or contemporary manifestations.

Interested artists should submit a letter of interest; a current résumé or curriculum vitae (a biography or an autobiography will not fulfill this requirement); and 10 images or videos (or a combination) of previously completed work no later than 5 p.m. April 2 to the NHCC.

Cooper said the selected art project will become part of the NHCC’s permanent collection.

The full list of requirements and additional information, including where to send the proposal, a map of the campus and sample contract can be found in the RFQ at