We The People Park
Sculptures celebrating Gallup's culture and history.
We the People Park is as much a public art installation as it is a park. The sculptures and artifacts on display celebrate Gallup’s culture and history, with tributes to the mining industry and the railroad.
There is a historical marker dedicated to Emma Estrada and all the other midwifes that played a critical role in the lives of settlers. Emma delivered more than 700 babies over her 30-year career, becoming the first licensed midwife in New Mexico. There is also a small foot bridge leading to the Croatian Hope Memorial, honoring the Croatians that settled in Gallup in the late 1800s to work in the mines.
The crown jewel of We the People Park is a 110-foot long, 8-foot tall, steel wall of silhouettes. The conglomeration of cut-outs creates a semi-circle depicting people from all walks of life, engaged in a variety of activities. Within the semi-circle, there are 16 empty chairs and a collection of figures at lecterns with single word inscriptions. The sculpture was created by Armando Alvarez to represent "free speech, pluralism, democracy, and our coexistence with the environment." The empty chairs represent Democracy, the scale and fetus represent decision making, and the 113 figures in the wall represent pluralism.
Born in Mexico, Mr. Alvarez came to the United States as a child. He worked as a businessman in Brownsville, Texas for several years before starting a career as a painter. He fell in love with Gallup while visiting his brother, a local golf pro. Mr. Alvarez secured a contract with the City of Gallup to build a sculpture reflecting the nature of the city and its people one year after relocating. He used locals as models for the figures in the wall. The installation was finished in 1994. Though he passed way in 2018, his work, and his message, live on. His sculpture is listed in the Smithsonian Art Database.
Directions: The park is on the north side of I-40. To access the park, take the I-40 exit to Ford Dr./Myamora/Bataan Memorial Dr. Take the first left, on Joseph M. Montoya Blvd. The sculpture will be on your left. There is ample parking. The Playground of Dreams is across the street. Great stop if you have kids that need to burn off some energy. There is a short walking trail through the park.
Random Drone Tip: Most of downtown Gallup and Route 66 is in a no-fly zone; however, We The People Park doesn't appear to have any flight restrictions.
123 W Coal Avenue Gallup, New Mexico 87301 (505) 488-2136
ART123 Gallery123 W Coal Avenue
Gallup, New Mexico 87301
Jude Candelaria Art
725 E. Coal Avenue Gallup, New Mexico 87301 (505) 870-7235
Jude Candelaria Art725 E. Coal Avenue
Gallup, New Mexico 87301