During a visit to Albuquerque this summer, I was
lucky enough to see this amazing work while it was still in
This 4,000 sq. ft. fresco is painted inside the
Torreon of the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC)
by New Mexico artist
Frederico Vigil. He spent close to a decade on the
project, which shares the story of Hispanic culture
through the ancient art of fresco. The mural depicts
Hispanic history through historical periods plus significant and
iconic people and places.
The fresco will be unveiled October 10, when
10th birthday .
This should be just one stop during a visit to
Albuquerque, which I found to be a great city for a family
Following in the footsteps of fresco masters
such as Giotto, Michelangelo,
Masaccio and Goya, and, more recently, muralists
Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco,
Vigil continues this time-honored tradition inside the Torreon of
The intricate process of fresco requires many
steps for each component of a mural. When the exhibit is completely
finished, the NHCC
will offer interpretive materials, classes and
workshops showing the process so even non-artists can comprehend
the magnitude of the masterpiece they are
As it is painted in the round, there are
several points of entry into the fresco, allowing visitors to begin
their journey wherever they choose. Over 3,000 years of Hispanic
history are depicted in the broadest sense. In short, the fresco
depicts and conveys the complexities, diversity and richness of the
Hispanic experience. Themes such as science, literature, religion,
acculturation, and technological evolution are followed across
geographical expanses and time.
Born and raised in Santa Fe, Artist Frederico
Vigil grew up infused with the rich history that has become the
trademark of his art. Vigil first became involved with fresco
during an internship in the 1970s with Lucienne Bloch
and Stephen Pope Dimitroff, who were notably,
apprentices to Diego Rivera. This initial experience piqued
his interest and he has since dedicated his life to creating
frescos. Since completing his first fresco in 1984, he has created
12 major frescos; the one at the NHCC is his largest to
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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