Albuquerque Job Corps Center students have been helping artist New Mexico fresco painter Frederico Vigil over the past several years as he has created a fresco of contradictions defining the Hispanic world. The inner walls of a torreon, or watchtower, stands vigil at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The staff and students from the center received a special invitation to a preview of the fresco prior to the official unveiling to the public on Oct. 10, as part of a free community open house celebrating the 10th anniversary of the NHCC. The center, which presents a variety of Hispanic visual, performing and literary arts, opened in the heart of Albuquerque’s historic Barelas neighborhood in October 2000.
Symbolically, the watchtower and the fresco advise Hispanics to be vigilant, but also to look inside of themselves to find out who they are and where they came from, center Director Estevan Rael-Galvez said. Eight years in the making, the 4,000-square-foot fresco offers glimpses of a world history marked by epic, world-changing heroic events, but also by centuries of conflict and contradictions.
The students helped with final touches the days prior, climbing up on scaffolding and scissor lifts to put in special lighting and help with the finishing touches. BCL, Dr. Emily Salazar was there when the students arrived for their tour and captured their favorite images and thoughtfulness as they looked in awe at the creations they helped come to fruition. Pictured are students leaders with the artist, some of their favorite images as well as the students reflecting on the fresco. Years prior other students actually helped with the painting of the images under the tutelage of the center’s art instructor.