This section of mosaic depicts a uniquely new Mexican landscape – shafts of sunlight mixing with clouds as a rainstorm passes over the desert. The wind forms ripples in the sand. The sun and rain bless us and give life.
The design of the sun honors the Aztec Calendar Stone, but its imagery reflects the cultures, history, flora, and fauna of New Mexico. At the core of the sun is a spiral, which signifies the sacredness of the center. It is surrounded by a ring of feathers reminiscent of San Ildefonso pottery designs. Surrounding the feathers is a ring of twenty “day signs;” these animals, plants, and other images from New Mexico convey the concepts of the original Aztec day signs. One of the rings is carved with an Islamic tile design. This is a way of honoring the contribution that Moorish people and other Muslims have made to the history of New Mexico since the 1500’s. The outermost ring depicts the four elements in a naturalistic, European style. The red and orange swirls that extend from the sun evoke the Zia sun sign.
This Project Was Funded By
New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps
City of Albuquerque Public Art Program
Heart Gallery of New Mexico Foundation