Daylight is lasting longer.
The weather – although, at times, windy – is getting warmer.
Living in Albuquerque does have the benefit of the city having a lot of trails – and a lot of public art.
This is the 45th year the city of Albuquerque’s Public Art Program has been around.
In that time, it has amassed more than 1,000 pieces for the public to enjoy throughout the city.
Shelle Sanchez, director of the city’s Arts & Culture division, says there are plenty of beautiful, blue-sky days to beckon residents to our open spaces and trails to walk, hike, run and bike.
She’s an expert, as she’s overseen the department for years and been involved in the arts for decades.
“Along with the small creatures, native plants and gorgeous Albuquerque skies, there are public art gems along the way and across the city if you know where to look,” Sanchez says. “Here’s five to enjoy public art stops to consider as you explore the trails and open spaces of our city.”
1. “Los Osos del Canyon”
The piece is located in the Bear Canyon Open Space, just west of Tramway in the Northeast Heights.
It was installed in 1995 and created by Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera
“This sculpture is both playful and powerful – and a good reminder that bears and other wildlife use these open spaces alongside us,” Sanchez says. “These bronze bears are your best choice for a selfie.”
2. “Five Stones of Elena Gallegos”
The piece is located in the Elena Gallegos Open Space, 7100 Tramway Blvd. NE.
It was installed in 1982 and is created by Billie Walters.
“This graceful installation of carved stones is made of five beautifully placed granite stones with carvings that is meant to represent humans in nature,” Sanchez says. “For me, it is a reminder to be part of nature rather than separate from it.”
3. “Silente Paisano”
The piece is located near the Bachechi Open Space in Alameda Wetlands.
It was installed in 1996 and is created by artist George Manus.
“It’s definitely a bird and probably a crane – although it’s more the size of the crane’s ancient dinosaur ancestors,” Sanchez says. “I am often attracted to animal sculptures constructed from repurposed metal objects – somehow a reminder that nature is always first and everything is ultimately made from elements found in nature.”
4. Montaño Bridge Overlooks
This piece is located on Montaño on the West Side. It was built in 1997 by artist Robert Peters.
“This space is a beautiful intersection of art, architecture and nature,” Sanchez says. “A small, carefully designed space with intentional lines and sight lines that invites and reminds us to appreciate the powerful and essential river that runs through our city.”
5. “Root Stalk Story (El Bosque de Los Sueños)”
The piece is located near Tingley Beach and its trails. It was installed in 2007 and is created by Ed Haddaway.
Sanchez says the sculpture is an easy choice to pick for the spring time because of its colors.
“However, even in fall and winter, this bright yellow flower is a constant reminder that life is defined by cycles and spring is always coming — no matter the season.”