Apprenticeship for Art & Social Justice 

Harwood’s Apprenticeship for Art & Social Justice employs and trains youth between 16 – 24 under the mentorship of professional artists, designers, architects, engineers and fabricators. Apprenticeship teams create community-driven public artworks that provide park lighting and celebrate diversity in the La Mesa neighborhood.

We’ve built partnerships with the Youth Conservation Corps of New Mexico, City of Albuquerque 1% for Public Art, City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation, International District Healthy Communities Coalition (IDHCC), Hayes Middle School, PACE Iron Works, FUSE Makerspace, Chameleon Construction, Positive Energy Solar and Mesa Verde Community Center to strengthen our program and our communities.

2020 marks the 3rd year of the program. This summer’s team will help fabricate and install Cambio, our second public artwork for Mesa Verde Park. They will also design a third public artwork to be finalized next summer. Our team maintains a long term commitment to Mesa Verde Park and the La Mesa Neighborhood and plan at least 2 more years to this site with ongoing community engagement and collaboration.

Unidos – 2019

In the summer of 2019, the Apprenticeship for Art & Social Justice of Harwood Art Center completed UNIDOS, the first public sculpture built in collaboration with community for Mesa Verde Park. This sculpture is Apprenticeship’s inaugural public art project.

The UNIDOS sculpture is an abstracted butterfly form. The structure hovers over park patrons creating a shady, calming space during the day, and offering light at night through solar powered LEDs. The underside of its canopy is adorned with a multitude of handcrafted, colorful butterflies that are attached on kinetic hardware, creating a dynamic moving texture. The top of the sculpture will also serve as a water catchment system, providing water for plants below.

UNIDOS honors the beauty and community that forms through migration, both in the migratory convening of butterflies and within the International District’s diverse community. It provides a comforting space to reflect on the unique culture of the La Mesa neighborhood, while recognizing the personal journeys that occurred in order for this remarkable community to exist. UNIDOS represents convergence and the message that we are not divided, but we are one Albuquerque.

The Apprenticeship for Art & Social Justice at Harwood Art Center was made possible by generous support from New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps, City of Albuquerque 1% for Public Art Program and Sandia Foundation, as well as in-kind support from Contreras Construction and Positive Energy Solar.

Cambio – Summer 2020

Cambio is a public artwork that celebrates diversity and shelter. This sculpture will take the shape of a cocoon, made with steel tubing and mesh. The artwork will support regionally suitable vines such as wisteria, honeysuckle or Virginia creeper; this will create a semi-transparent trellis that will grow and change shape and volume over time. Butterflies will be cut from sheet steel and will be overlapping in the lower segments of the sculpture and dissipating at the higher reaches. Cambio will include a cement bench that is covered in ceramic tile. Tiles will capture six word memoirs from La Mesa neighborhood residents. This coming artwork will mirror the natural topography of the landscape while recognizing the connection between the existing space and existing sculpture “UNIDOS”.

Call for 6 word memoirs! Learn more >

2020 Team>

Learn more about our 2020 team!

Lead Artists:
Helen Atkins
Ryan  Henel


Lead Apprentices:
Mariah Garcia
Lillian Estes

2nd Year Apprentices:
Elliot  Pending
Ilyssa Gutierrez

Joursele Krezchne- Bangas


1st Year Apprentices:
Elijah Chavez
Isabela Ortega
Morgan Coleman

2019 Team>

Learn more about our 2019 team!

Lead Artist: Ryan Henel
Assisting Artist: Helen Atkins

Adriana Fuentes
Elliot Pending
Eric Molina
Gabriella Muniz
Ilyssa Gutierrez
Joursele Kchrezne Bang-as
Kimberly Fuentes-Marmolejo
Lars Larsen
Lilian Estes
Mariah Garcia
Ragnar Seidel

2018 Team>

Learn more about our 2018 team!

Lead Artist: Ryan Henel
Assisting Artist: Joshua Lopez

Eric Molina
Blanca Banuelos
Eric Molina
Elysa Reeves
Ilyssa Gutierrez
Eva Trevizo
Sebastian Vaughan
Lilian Estes
Mariah Garcia