Isleta Pueblo NM 47 Streetscape

Location: Isleta Pueblo, NM

Completed: Master Plan: 2013; Phase I: In progress

The Isleta Gateways Project will transform the ordinary highway and commercial landscapes that currently greet travelers entering Isleta on state highways into gateways filled with iconic sculptures that celebrate the heritage and aspirations of the community's native people. These pieces of public art will relate to stories important to the tribe and give visitors an understanding of the importance water, earth, and agriculture have had for sustaining Isleta's society. MRWM worked with the Pueblo to create a master plan for the project, creating a set of culturally distinctive and visually engaging gateways where state highways cross into the Pueblo of Isleta. The project’s first phase, the northern entrance of State Highway 47, incorporates the talents of two of the Pueblo’s premier artists, Ron Olguin and Robin Teller. Olguin, working from paper models and inspired by the studies of light and shadow by European artists (such as Matisse, Van Gogh, and Picasso), will transcribe traditional ornamental designs found on Isleta's pottery into cutouts on large steel sheets.