"Chaco Rising" By Jaymes Dudding


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Artist's Work Will Adorn City Hall

By Elaine D. Briseño, Journal Staff Writer

The city of Rio Rancho has chosen artist Jaymes Dudding to design an original piece of artwork for the outside of its new City Hall.   The artwork, named "Chaco Rising," will pay homage to the unique Pueblo people of New Mexico.

According to a news release from the city, Dudding's piece will be a modern interpretation of Chaco Canyon's ancient Sun Dagger solar calendar.   Chaco Canyon, located in the northwest part of the state, was a center of culture for the Pueblo people from 900 to 1150 A.D. Dudding's piece will recreate the Sun Dagger petroglyph.

During the summer solstice, the petroglyph created a single band of light that bisected the center of a rock spiral. Additional light fell on a nearby petroglyph that marked the spring and fall equinoxes.

"Ancient solar calendars and markers exist around the world," Dudding said in a news release. "My piece is an attempt to recognize and pay homage to the ingenuity and beauty of the Pueblo people."

Dudding is installing the piece near the east entrance of the City Hall building. It will rise 8 feet from the ground and be about 10 feet in diameter. The piece is scheduled for completion by the end of January. Each of the city's six councilors agreed to give $2,000 from their discretionary funds to pay for a piece of art that would "enhance visitors' experience" when they visit City Hall.

The city put out a request for proposals to select an artist to create the piece. A selection committee, which included District 3 City Councilor Delma Petrullo, evaluated the applicants and chose Dudding as the winner. Petrullo said artists had to send in either a small model or rendering of their proposed piece. Petrullo said the city received seven proposals. Each was evaluated using criteria that included artist experience and background, quality of past projects and quality of proposed artwork. The committee also got the opinion of each councilor before making a final decision.

Petrullo said she feels Dudding's proposed art was appropriate. She said it represents the culture of the area. "The moment I saw his piece," Petrullo said. "I said 'This is the one' without knowing who the artist was."

Artist Jaymes With Styrofoam "blanks"

Trying to be delicate with a chain saw

Carving Close-up

Rough carve finished - piece begins to take shape

Applying hard coat

Forms moved to location

Dagger of light at sunrise - alignment is perfect!

Chaco Rising GalaxieAt Solstice

"Chaco Rising" - Full View
Beginning the rough carves


How to ruin a chain saw

Sanded and ready for hard coat

Marking winter solstice sunrise

Chaco Team - Aaron, Doug, Jaymes, Drake

Finished sculpture

Finished Sculpture Close-Up
Finished Sculpture Close-Up

Dedication Plaque
Jaymes greets city officials at ribbon cutting ceremony,
Wednesday, April 23, 2008