I have been a resident of Rio Rancho for 17 years and there are many things I love about being a Rio Rancho resident.

Having lived in Santa Fe for 15 years previously, what I feel is greatly lacking is art.

There is no art in Rio Rancho.

I drive along 2nd street on my way to work, and between Osuna and Montano, there are these wonderful sculptures that are the high point of my drive. I enjoy them each day, and I have wondered what type of sculptures would work in Rio Rancho?

And then I realized, how wonderful it would be, to honor the birds that migrate through the Bosque each year: the hummingbirds, geese, crane, and the crows, to start. I just found out that when we pay property taxes a certain percentage is supposed to go to art: where is it? Do we have an account where the money is stockpiling, or is it being spent on something else?

I think we should hold a contest to see what local artists come up with. We can also honor the coyote, the roadrunner, the great horned owl, the hawk. ART can be very powerful and healing. These are just suggestions. I would love to see what others come up with.

Check out the sculptures on 2nd street to see what’s possible. After COVID, it might be nice to concentrate on something fun, maybe even whimsical.

I think art can help define Rio Rancho, beyond sprawl.

What are our priorities, our values?

I was so heartened to see hundreds turn out when the oil industry tried to expand fracking in Sandoval County. It showed me, folks here value the beauty, our precious water, our clean air, our soil. Art can come from this. Let’s start here.

Thank you for listening,

Caren Waters
Rio Rancho