Reyes Padilla strives to make the most of each opportunity he’s given.
This is one way he lives his life.
The next opportunity on tap for the native New Mexican is a trip to Germany, where he will learn how to create glass.
“It’s an opportunity that I’ve never had before,” he says. “I’ve never been there before and I can’t wait to learn.”
During his upcoming trip, Padilla will study with international designers at Franz Mayer of Munich. He will spend 10 days in Germany.
Founded in 1847, Franz Mayer of Munich is a glass art company that transforms artwork into some of the most brilliant glass designs in the world. The company specializes in the development and production of international projects, spanning traditional to avant-garde artworks and techniques.
Padilla was selected in 2022 for the city of Albuquerque arts project, which will install the work inside the International District Library, 7601 Central Ave. NE.
“The concept for this project was to really emphasize the amount of communities that make up the International District,” Padilla says. “There’s so much diversity there.”
According to the city of Albuquerque, the public will get an opportunity to meet Padilla, learn about his public art project, and share their stories about the sounds and colors that make the district come alive.
The event will happen from 2-5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, and Saturday, Jan. 14, at the International District Library. The workshop is free to attend.
City officials also have an online survey residents can complete to inform the artist’s creative process. The survey will be open through Monday, Jan. 9 and can be found at coacommunityevents.wufoo.com/forms/international-district-library-survey.
In his proposal, Padilla says he wanted to put in references of where people are coming from before living in the district.
“I’ll be going through the design options with (Franz) Mayer of Munich and see what their materials are like and their capabilities are,” he says. “Together, we will develop and make the idea grow. I’ll be able to see how certain materials interact with the sunlight. I’ll have a lot of opportunities to play with the strong New Mexico sun.”
Padilla says when the project is installed, visitors will be able to see it from outside the library.
“You’ll have to enter the library to experience it to its fullest,” he says. “With the different equipment and materials, this project will be unlike anything we’ve seen here in New Mexico. It will be a great representation of community.”
In April 2022, he answered the city’s call for artists for the project at the International District Library.
He then was named one of the five finalists and gave a presentation to the selection committee.
The project will be a departure from his usual art process, Synesthesia, which sees colors within music. His work has also appeared on TV shows such as “Better Call Saul.”
Padilla is aware of the magnitude of not only the project, but the experience he will gain in Germany.
“I’m looking for a way to amplify the voice of the International District,” he says. “The library is already providing so many resources to the community. The task is to figure out a way to give people a connection because they are making Albuquerque their home.”