A collaborative exploration of land-based art in New Mexico


Benjamin Forgey, Arboreal Dome installation in the Bosque



  The City of Albuquerque Open Space

The Open Space Visitor Center hosts a collection of land based installations by the following artists in the gallery and in the Bosque adjoining the facility. Guided tours are scheduled in July, August and September. For more information visit the Tours page.



on view June 1 – August 29, 2009

An orientation map listing the locations for each installation is available at the Open Space Visitor Center or for download here.

Robert Wilson


sketches for Cube, Robert Wilson

An installation made from a segment of fallen cottonwood trunk at its core, and reclaimed heavy-gauge wire coiled sparingly into open rectangular building blocks that will surround the trunk. The significance of Cube is in its symbolic representation of the Rio Grande Bosque: a preserved natural corridor coursing through the urbanization of the Albuquerque Metropolitan area. The cottonwood represents this life-giving habitat.

Three Pole Sculptures
Matthew Chase-Daniel

An installation of three pole sculptures composed from natural, locally-gathered materials of the Bosque. "Like a political flag, the sculpture also functions as a signpost. An allegiance to and an alliance with the natural world is expressed, raised high for all to see."

Salt Cedar + Jetty Jacks = Green
Jill Guarino Brown


An installation that provides a use for the existing Jetty Jacks to become water harvesting features within the Bosque. Construction of the piece will make use of found materials, such as the invasive salt cedar. Located on site adjacent to the walking path along the river.

Arboreal Dome
Benjamin Forgey

Constructed of downed, dead cottonwood branches found in the Bosque, the dome is site specific and envisioned as a structure for contemplating the bosque environment, as a place for story telling, tai chi or countless other human uses. It is also a sculpture in and of itself made from the materials found within the forest and in constant "dialog" with the "dome" of branches of the living trees around it. The naturally bleached and barkless branches of the dome would be visible from many aspects along the bosque trail.

Painted Jetty Jacks
Zach Meisner

Located in the south-east side of the River Loop Trail in the Bosque, Meisner used organic milk-based paints that are environmentally safe (VOC free) and designed to bio-degrade to re-color the existing Jetty Jacks, altering the appearance of their presence in the Bosque and the viewer's perception of the Jacks in this environment.

Sunday, June 21, 2:30pm during the Summer Solstice

Sixty Water Weaving Women at La Orilla Canal
Dominique Mazeaud, Elizabeth Wiseman & Bobbe Besold

A ritual performance taking place the afternoon of the Summer Solstice intended to express and encourage gratitude and awareness of the water source that flows through the city; a constant presence of a life force that is rarely noticed. The ritual will be performed by 60 women on the west side of the canal.



Becky Holtzman & Linda Holland
Through June 25, 2009


images: left, Becky Holtzman, River/Bed (detail), 2009, installation; right: Linda Holland, Bridge (detail), 2009, installation

Gatherings captures the concepts of accumulation, collection and dispersal. Linda Holland and Becky Holtzman present recent sculpture and two installations created for this exhibit: Holland’s Bridge visually extends from outdoors to indoors to connect and juxtapose arrival and departure while abstracting life’s ephemeral adjacencies, whether fiber, stone or creature. Holtzman’s River/Bed features a “cultivated” plot of invasive plant species, transformed and rooted into the frame of a family antique.

A Peculiar Hush
Danielle Rae Miller
June 1 August 29, 2009

Danielle Rae Miller, Big Bertha, 2008, ink on paper

An installation of dead wood tree branches from the Bosque and light and shadow-play inside the Open Space Visitor Center. Viewers will encounter a physical "painting" in the space around them as the shadows of the branches move, play and mingle with their own.

Kammer 2.1: New Mexico Central Edition
Stephen Ausherman
June 1 August 31, 2009


Stephen Ausherman, left,Chatter (Bond Volcano); right, Los Duendes (Golden Open Space), 2009, video stills from the Kammer 2.1 series

Recipient of a New Visions Award from the New Mexico Film Office, Kammer 2.1 is an interactive video-art display that provides nontraditional interpretations of Open Space and other public lands. Located in the Visitor Center reception area.

Gathered & Woven
Nan Simpson: Botanical Watercolors & Susan Gutt: Basketweavings of Indigenous New Mexico Flora
with Weaver's Guild
July 3 – August 27, 2009
Reception Saturday, August 1, 1-4pm


Susan Gutt, left, Standing, 2006, willow, salt cedar, cane; right, Wave, 2008, bamboo, willow, cane

In conjunction with LAND/ART, Susan Gutt and Nan Simpson have been brought togeher to participate in Gathered and Woven hosted by the Open Space Vistor Center. These artists were selected due to the incredible sensitivity and skill they use when approaching the indigenous and exotic flora that is found in the rich state of New Mexico. These two artists often find themselves seeking out the function or art of the many plants that grow in the desert southwest.

Susan Gutt's baskets often make use of flora such as salt cedar (exotic), yerba mansa (native) and coyote willow (native). She explores the ways in which these materials may be shaped into functional and non-functional baskets. Susan approaches installation with her less functional baskets while maintaining an attitude on pure craft and beauty.

Nan Simpson's watercolor botanicals describe and educate our eye to the inherent elegance of flora that have been shaped by the desert southwest. She also introduces viewers to the traditional dye, or fiber use the Native Americans developed using this southwest flora. Flax, lupine, yucca, and buffalo gourd are just a few of the plants she skillfully reveals.

Basia Irland: Reading Rivers
Books, Scrolls & Manuscripts
July/August, 2009
Reception Saturday, August 1, 1-4pm

This exhibition includes images from the Gathering of Waters projects, which connect communities along the length of rivers and a selection of carved wooden books coated with an ecological "text"; and scrolls from the Waterborne Disease series, depicting various pathogens. Author Lynn Cline writes, "Irland's sculpted books possess a language of their own, a lyrical and ecological poetry that speaks volumes about the mysteries of nature and the inextricable links between humans and the environment."
Exhibited in the Open Space Visitor Center Boardroom.

Saturday, August 1, 2pm
Artist talk with Basia Irland

The purpose of the Open Space Division is to acquire, protect, maintain, and manage significant natural landscapes and cultural resources for present and future generations. Major Public Open Space enhances the urban environment and provides wildlife habitat while offering opportunities for public enjoyment through outdoor education and low-impact recreation. The Visitor Center Property and Gallery act as an educational hub for the City’s many Open Space properties.

The Visitor Center is situated along the Rio Grande Bosque which includes several miles of dirt road and single track trail extending from the Visitor Center to the Rio Grande and through the wooded canopy of the riparian zone surrounding the river. The Bosque itself offers a variety of alluring exotic material such as Salt Cedar (Tamarisk), Russian Olive Tree, Elm Tree, Buffalo Gourds, Tumble Weed, Jetty Jacks and much more.

For more information about the City of Albuquerque Open Space visit www.cabq.gov/openspace
The Center is located on 6500 Coors Boulevard. t. 505-897-8831



LAND/ART concluded November 2009. This site is in the process of being archived.
Web site produced by 516 ARTS.