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Santa Fe Dedicates New Arts Display At Southside Library

Kevin Meerschaert
Artist Hernan Gomez Chavez (center) discusses the inspiration for his work with (l-r) Arts Commissioner Jorge Bernal, Mayor Alan Webber, third district Councilors Chris Rivera and Lee Garcia.

A new art sculpture now sits in front of Santa Fe’s  Southside Library.
It’s part of the city’s ongoing project to install art exhibits in public places around town.

According to artist Hernan Gomez Chavez, the metal sculpture titled “Un Peublo sin Piemas Pero Que Camina” represents the strife of the immigrant community and their support for their children’s futures. 

The  metal wires in the shape of a legless beast reaching forward took about 400 hours for Gomez Chavez to complete. 

As the son of Mexican immigrants who came to the U-S for a better life, he says his work is deeply personal.

Gomez Chavez says he was initially inspired by transmission lines in the desert coming to life but turned his focus on Santa Fe’s immigrant families.      

“The best way I could think of imagining that and creating a piece that would speak to that was thinking about the richness, power and energy that community brings to Santa Fe,” he said. “But also the fact that it’s a very tenuous relationship with the city because of the fact that sometimes the immigrant community is not as respected or esteemed. So it’s this idea of ‘What does it really mean to belong while still being ‘The Other” in this town?” 

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"We, as residents of this community, understand the importance of our public art portfolio and the significance of ensuring our artworks are accessible to the entire community," said Arts Commissioner Jorge Bernal. "It is our pleasure, as members of the Arts Commission and the staff of the Arts and Culture Department, to identify, plan, and implement these public art projects and bring them to you."

The funding for the $27,500 project comes from the Santa Fe Art in Public Places Fund. It sets aside two-percent of Capital Improvement Project budgets to contribute to the city’s cultural vibrancy.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.