Shadows & Light (Sombras y Luz) - CODAworx

Shadows & Light (Sombras y Luz)

Submitted by Bill and Mary Buchen

Client: City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Dept.

Location: El Paso, TX, United States

Completion date: 2011

Artwork budget: $750,000

Project Team


Bill Buchen

Sonic Architecture


Mary Buchen

Sonic Architecture


El Paso is the most Mexican of American cities, and special attention was devoted to the arts, crafts, and architecture of Mexican culture. In addition, shade structures were needed to provide shelter from the ever present sun. The artists devised the unifying concept of Shadows and Light (Sombras y Luz).


Within a 1000 meter radius there was a refurbished convention center, new hotels and parking garages under construction. The challenge was to re-invigorate the drab, uninviting, underutilized public space and make it a dynamic gathering place for public events, a locus for the mixed use community, and a magnet for business and economic development.


The Cultural Affairs Department was excellent in their guidance throughout this complex project. Especially helpful was their management of the budget and dealing with permits and city agencies.

Additional Information

Central to the project was a thorough 2 year study of local culture, history, folklore, musical traditions and botanical resources.