About ASI

ALMA Summer Institute

The ALMA Summer Institute (formerly known as the Mayor’s Art Institute) is a paid summer internship in the arts for youth ages 16 to 24. Each summer, the Institute creates a permanent handmade tile mosaic mural on a major public building in Albuquerque. During the summer of 2018, we will be continuing another phase on the east complex of the Albuquerque Convention Center. We seek to hire students who are exceptionally motivated, talented, and good at working with others.

The ALMA Summer Institute recruits applicants from every high school in Albuquerque, UNM and CNM, and other community organizations.  Students are hired on the basis of their art experience and their desire for a positive and intensive work experience in the arts.  The 2018 summer program will be nine weeks long, from, June 4th through August 3rd.  Apprentices will work 30 hours a week. During the program, they will help to finalize the mosaic design, cut tiles from wet clay, glaze the tiles, fire tiles in a kiln, and install and grout the mosaic mural.

The program was created in 1999 to provide paid training and mentorship for artistically talented youth and adults. Not only do apprentices enrich their artistic skill but they simultaneously receive valuable life skills that are transferable to any career path they may choose.

Over 250 young people and adults from Albuquerque have participated in the Institute. The Albuquerque Convention Center mural has even won a Creative Bravo award. 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, Staci Drangmeister, 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 four different mayoral administrations including the current Mayor of Albuquerque, Tim Keller.