Local artist Matthew Lutz and his artwork “Gateway to Lupus” has been installed (summer 2012) at the University of New Mexico (UNM) West campus in Rio Rancho’s City Center.
The artwork is comprised of nine Cor-ten steel arches arranged in the shape of the constellation Lupus (the Lobo/Wolf) when seen from above. The arches vary in height and size from four, six and eight feet high, and invite viewers to walk through and interact with them. The openings of the arches face different directions, representing the many gateways through which people have entered, and the many paths they will take when they leave UNM.
The placement of outdoor artwork at the UNM West campus is made possible through an agreement between the city of Rio Rancho and UNM. UNM contributed $15,000 and the city allocated $15,000 from the Higher Education Facilities Gross Receipts Tax fund revenues passed by voters in 2008 related to the construction of the UNM West campus in Rio Rancho.
A call for artists for this project and ten qualified proposals were received. A seven-member local selection committee (LSC) was convened for the art selection process, which included members of UNM West administration, Rio Rancho citizen volunteers, and members of the Rio Rancho Arts Commission.
“After much deliberation and discussion, the committee chose Mr. Lutz's proposal for its ambition, conceptual sophistication and beauty,’ said Jaymes Dudding, Rio Rancho Arts Commission chairman and LSC coordinator.
Lutz has worked as a print-maker, sculptor, painter, and has recently begun working in graphic design. He has been an art teacher at Rio Rancho High School since 1998.