Client: Earthbound Moon
Location: Rio del Oro, NM, United States
Completion date: 2013
Artwork budget: $10,000
A New Horizon, created by artist Scott Oliver, consists of poured concrete letters from local rock and sand spelling out the word “HORIZON.” The overall dimensions of the word are: 25 feet long, 3 feet wide and 18 inches tall. The work is located in an highly contested undeveloped planned community 45 minutes south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The work responds to both its geographic location and the human impact on the area.
Earthbound Moon commissions artists to create artworks that are location specific to their residing communities. Scott Oliver's work responds to its local in multiple ways. The sculpture is constructed from the rock and sand that surrounds it. The letters sit at bench height overlooks the immense Rio Grande river valley south of Albuquerque. It provides a spot to rest in the desert to take in the vast space and horizon all around. The word "horizon" has also been a word of division for the area for many years. The property that the sculpture sits on was and is part of a land scam started by a now-defunct corporation named Horizon. The public artwork allows members of the community to come, rest and reclaim a space that has been taken from them and, in a sense, reclaim the word "horizon."
Earthbound Moon selected the site for the artwork and the artist, Scott Oliver. The artists we work with are given few parameters, aside from that the work must respond in some way to its location. After visits to the site by both Oliver and Earthbound Moon members, and some research was done about the site, Oliver proposed the concrete structure. Earthbound Moon helped Oliver with logistics and installation, which had to be done all by hand due to its remote location. At the end of the installation, Oliver organized an event inviting local artists, musicians, writers, botanists, geologists and the public to hear presentations focused on the history of the area and the sculpture site.
As an organization, Earthbound Moon has worked with a variety of artists, and this project by my estimation has been the most successful. At the event that Scott Oliver organized, the community was excited to share what they knew of the area and the artwork that the area had inspired. They generously embraced the artwork as an addition to their community in a way I had not seen before.