Translator, Head Commander of the Spirit World Army. Revolt 1680/2180: Virgil Ortiz
Revolt 1680-2180: Virgil Ortiz, 2016 Artist-in-Residence
Until Jun 30, 2017
Once a year, the atrium of the Albuquerque Museum transforms into a working laboratory for artists to create installations and interact with the public. This July, famed artist Virgil Ortiz will bring a futuristic world with deep roots in New Mexico’s past. For the last 15 years, Ortiz, of Cochiti Pueblo, has focused on the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. “It’s the first American Revolution —and it’s not told in classrooms,” he says. “I felt it was important to tell that story because no one else is.” But he does it in a way that he feels young people will relate to by envisioning a futuristic revolt set in 2180. His characters are a mix of actual historical figures, such as Po pay, the leader of the 1680 revolt, and new characters, including Tahu, leader of the blind archers, and the Translator, who leads the army of the spirit world.
The public is invited to watch Ortiz at work July 19-31 in the Albuquerque Museum lobby. His installation will be on view through June 2017.
The Los Angeles artist Gronk kicked off the lobby art program in 2011. Since then artists Catalina Delgado Trunk, Larry Bob Phillips, Ernest Doty and Lea Anderson have adorned the space. Connors says this process allows people to see artists at work and engage with them directly. It fosters new understanding and appreciation for the work. “It’s very important the public understand that art-making is hard work,” he says.