Revivir (Orphan Sign)
This stretch of former Route 66 has skeletal signs that date from the 1950s and 1960s, and many are interestingly shaped and worthy of preservation. Friends of Signs (FOS) approached the City of Albuquerque Public Art Program in 2011 with a proposal to place artwork in the sign at 5025 Central Ave NE. Students at nearby Highland High school would generate the artwork. The FOS team engaged the teens in walking explorations of the sign sit, surrounding neighborhoods, slide lectures and group discussions about neighborhood identity, public art, and place making. The students examined the current visual culture of the roadside, discussed the history of the route and its possibilities for the future, researched innovative graphic design in signage, and learned the basics of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator so that they could begin to stage and alter their own photographic imagery. The students decided they wanted to pursue a figurative representation of nature looming over the Sandia Mountains, to remind us to pay attention to natural resources necessary for sustaining life here in the high desert, specifically water and sunshine. Due to liability issues the sign designs were professionally produced and installed by a local sign company. Digital prints with protective UV coating on pan-flex vinyl, back lit by low draw LED lights, were fabricated and installed by Sign Art Company of New Mexico in March 2012. A new purple neon border was included as part of the design. The work is titled-“Revivir,” a Spanish word meaning, “to revive," and surely gives new life to this stretch of Route 66 and the Albuquerque Public Art Collection.