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Exhibit features artists’ interpretations of ABQ Rail Yards

The history of the Rail Yards in Albuquerque goes back to the 1880s.

There have been many uses for the 27 acres.

The space in Downtown Albuquerque is soon to undergo some changes.

That’s why the city’s planning and cultural services departments teamed up for the exhibit, “Artists Days at the Rail Yards.”

The exhibit runs through Jan. 26 at the South Broadway Cultural Center and features the work of 59 artists.

“The public art department made a call for artists who were interested in visiting the rail yard for the project,” curator Augustine Romero says.

Romero says that when the artists were chosen, they were given a specific day and time to visit with a city employee escort in tow.

Artists were allowed to photograph, sketch, draw, paint, capture artistic video, or other media within certain interior and exterior spaces in and around the Rail Yards complex during four time slots last September.

“Everything was organized with risk management,” Romero says. “Each selected artist had to take a safety course about what to look out for in the rail yards. They went in for a few hours at a time.”

Romero says it’s interesting to see the broad spectrum of mediums in the show.

“There’s a lot of photography and some paintings,” he says. “There’s a fused-glass piece, as well as a fabric piece. It’s a good range of work and some interesting views.”

The city is moving forward with remediation and the next phases of development of the locomotive machine shops and other components of the historic site.

The area has been used by the TV and film industry over the past 10 years as a filming site. Projects of note include “Breaking Bad” and “The Avengers.”

Romero says giving artists the opportunity to capture the Rail Yards in today’s condition was important because they will be changed soon with modifications.

He’d like to see a sculpture garden in the area.

“The plans are all still being worked on for the area,” he says. “I know it’s going to take a lot of money and planning to execute the final plan. It’s a historic site that means a lot to the community. The artists were able to capture a moment in time in the Rail Yards’ history.”

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