Public Art, Albuquerque
Nestled behind the hospitals in the South Martineztown area there is a small, neighborhood park at the corner of Edith and Roma, next to Longfellow Elementary School. A unique cultural treasure, the 1983, fiberglass sculpture, “Southwest Pieta,” by the famous New Mexico artist, Luis Jimenez Jr. sits on the west end of the park. Diagonally across the street is Manuel's Food Market, which was built in 1924. Everyone should read the wonderful blog about the area by Adelita, whose grandmother lived in Martineztown in the 1920's. Life was different in those days.
Martineztown is a historical Albuquerque neighborhood near downtown. It started when families in the 1800's drove their herds east to the sand hills for summer grazing and camped. A large irrigation canal called Acequia Madre de Barelas passed through the area. Around 1850, Manuel Martín and his wife Anna María decided to settle permanently, and the area became known as Los Martínes, and later, Martineztown. At the time the area became the "crossroads of New Mexico" because it was where the original east-west trail through Tijeras Canyon met the Camino Real connecting Santa Fe and Mexico City. Today Martineztown is bounded by Mountain Road on the north, Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue on the south, Broadway Boulevard on the west and I-25 on the east.
In the wide open spaces surrounding the Civic Plaza, the city of Albuquerque encouraged artists to display their works in public along the sidewalks. There were a number of impressive displays, but this one outside the Hyatt Regency caught my eye. It was titled 'Sidewalk Society', by Glenna Goodacre and it won a bronze in the 1991 Public Arts Program. I was impressed by how much these displays added to the overall atmosphere of this part of the city.