The Mayor’s Art Institute
The Mayor’s Art Institute was created in 1999 to provide paid training and mentorship for artistically talented youth and adults. Apprentices work with the Lead Artists to create handmade tile mosaics, helping with every aspect of making a public artwork. They assist with design, carve tiles from wet clay, glaze tiles, fire a kiln, cement tiles to the wall, and grout the finished artwork. The designs are conceptualized, researched, and drawn collaboratively to create rich, multi-layered representations of our place, our culture, and our history.
Over 150 young people and adults from Albuquerque have participated in the Institute. Apprentices have gone on to universities, colleges, and art schools around the country, and some have become professional artists. Lead Artists have included Vanessa Alvarado, Rey Gaitan, Daisy Kates, PAZ, Margarita Paz-Pedro, Cassandra Reid, Lia Rosen, and Mark Woody. The Institute has created mosaics at the Albuquerque Convention Center, the Albuquerque Museum, and Juan Tabo Public Library.
The Institute has received funding from the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps, the City of Albuquerque Public Art Program, the Heart Gallery of New Mexico Foundation, the Mayor’s Office, Albuquerque City Council, Family and Community Services Department, Cultural Services Department, Bank of the West, French Mortuary, American Home Furnishings, Don Chalmers Ford, LEF Foundation, the McCune Foundation, and the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund. This program was administered by the City of Albuquerque from 1999-2005, was partnered with the Harwood Art Center from 2006-2015, and is now administered by ALMA under the fiscal sponsorship of the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund (dba the Loan Fund). The Institute has enjoyed the support of three different mayoral administrations including the current Mayor of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry.