LAS CRUCES – The lobby of Las Cruces City Hall is getting a makeover.
Artist Debbie Dickinson will install a large tile mosaic sculpture on the lobby’s central pillar in the next year.
Dickinson, who lives in Bellingham, Washington, has been creating art installations for more than a decade, according to her résumé. Tile, glass and stone are her comfort zones, she says in her résumé, and her art “celebrates the majestic trees, wildlife and outdoor vistas” her Pacific Northwest hometown region is known for.
The sculpture will feature a tile mosaic design with focal points on both sides of the pillar. The central points depict scenes of southern New Mexico: jagged Organ Mountain peaks, reddish orange hues, flocks of birds and desert hills.
City art program coordinator Lorenzo Zepeda told the council the tile will be partly transparent and partly reflective so it captures light entering the lobby.
The city council voted unanimously last week to approve the installation of the sculpture, which’ll sit about 12 feet up on the pillar.
Dickinson’s sculpture will wrap around the structure. Its two faces will be visible on the side above the information kiosk sign and on the side facing the council chambers.
It’ll also be made of “permanent, durable materials” according to Zepeda.
After a monthlong national call for artist submissions in the spring, a selection subcommittee appointed by the City Art Board, along with public input, sifted through 78 submissions and chose artist Dickinson’s sculpture concept.
Dickinson will have a year to install the sculpture on the pillar. But Zepeda told the council she’s said she can get it up in less time than that.
The cost of fabricating the sculpture, installation and a paycheck if Dickinson chooses will come from a $30,000 award that came with winning the commission, Zepeda said. The city allocated that money to the Las Cruces Public Art Program Fund in 2018, he said.
Dickinson was unable to be reached for comment.
Dickinson recently installed mosaics of the elements and seasons in an Anchorage elementary school. She’s created animal mosaics for a developmental center in Utah. She created a segmented mosaic at a college in Wyoming that memorializes Japanese internment and appears as a different image depending on if you’re viewing it from east or west.
According to her résumé, this will be her tenth publicly commissioned art piece since 2012.
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