Prominent ABQ artist picked for Sunport Blvd extension project

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Around town, you often see many artists’ works – including the works of Karen Yank who was picked to do the Sunport Boulevard extension project.

Karen’s works around Albuquerque include a design on the pedestrian bridge over I-40 near Coors and a 20-foot sculpture at CNM’s main campus.

“I wanted to create this little desert primrose, it’s a little fragile flower that grows from the crevices of rock and it’s so resilient and I think it represents the resilience of the school [CNM],” Karen said.

From a young age, Karen knew she always wanted to create art. She had her own inspiration at home, too.

“When I grew up in Wisconsin, my dad was a sculptor and he did large-scale sculptures for the public. So I learned that from a young age,” she said.

Karen Yank followed in her dad’s footsteps, creating artworks displayed across the U.S. Most of her works are in New Mexico, where she has lived since the 1980s.

Her newest project in New Mexico was chosen out of 22 proposals considered by a local public art selection committee.

With a budget of $60,000, Karen’s project will be a 20-foot sculpture, featuring the Rio Grande and community input.

“I’m also doing outreach with the neighboring schools and the elementary schools,” she explained. “They are all going to get a circle of different sizes and they’ll put their own symbol in there. It’ll be something that means something to them and their own family for living in the area and then those will go in the Rio Grande [part of the sculpture] and they will be small so they’ll look like rocks.”

You will be able to see the large-scale sculpture along the Sunport extension in June. See Karen Yank’s works by clicking here.