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Betty Sabo and Reynaldo "Sonny" Rivera, La Jornada

The Cuarto Centenario project on view in the East Garden

sculpture garden 2020

Betty Sabo
1928 Kansas City, Missouri – 2016 Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera
born 1938 Mesquite, New Mexico; lives Albuquerque, New Mexico
La Jornada/Cuarto Centenario
1998 (installed in 2005)
collection of Albuquerque Public Art (1% for Arts Funds, City of Albuquerque)

La Jornada (The Journey) is part of the Cuarto Centenario project which which commissioned artists Betty Sabo, Sonny Rivera, and Nora Naranjo-Morse to create an artwork to commemorate 400 years since the arrival of the Spanish settlers and their families in what is now New Mexico. Sabo and Rivera worked together to create depictions of a few of the original 400 men (130 of whom brought families), 83 wagons and carts, and over 7,000 stock animals who arrived in New Mexico in 1598.

Rivera sculpted Oñate, an Indigenous guide, soldiers, cattle, horses, oxen, and the carreta (ox-drawn cart) with people struggling to push it up the hill. Sabo sculpted the women, children, sheepherders, Churro sheep, goat, donkey, pig, baby, and priest in the group. The hardship of the journey is evident in many of the faces and bodies of the statues. Some New Mexicans can trace their lineage to the original families that settled in the area. Oñate remains a controversial figure in New Mexico. In 1608, he was removed from power and in 1614, was convicted for his abuse of power and mistreatment of the people of Acoma Pueblo.