The Five Stones of Elena Gallegos

A few days ago, we went up Tramway in Albuquerque in search of some public art.

Artist: 
Walters, Billie, 1927- , sculptor.
Vonne, Peter, assistant.
Title: 
The Five Stones of Elena Gallegos, (sculpture).
Dates: 
1982-1983. Dedicated Aug. 6, 1983.
Medium: 
Granite stones, copper and brass.
Dimensions: 
5 stones. Overall: approx. 89 in. x 23 ft. 4 in. x 85 ft. 3 in.

Description: 
Five large native stones set roughly in line on a desert floor at the foot of the Sandia Mountains, with a dirt path connecting them. Each stone has an abstract design on its face, with metal shapes incorporated into the designs on the two opposite stones in the sculpture. The first stone has cut into its face a smooth circle containing a geometric design composed of 38 copper pins, representing the 38 years of Phillip B. Tollefsrud’s life.

I liked the memorial aspect of it. How often I come upon monuments–from those to the Civil War dead to crypts in a New Orleans graveyard–and don’t know anything about the person yet still get a feeling. Interesting look, but the best part was how green the jagged Sandias were behind us–and a very long view of the city below.

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