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Visiting Artists and Installations

Artists Ronald Rael and Marietta Patricia Leis both currently have artwork on view at Albuquerque Museum.

Ronald Rael 

Ron Rael, born 1971 Conejos, Colorado; lives Berkeley, California, Glass Scaffold, 2022, glass rods, 3-D printed couplings, lent by the artist, Special thanks to Elliot Surber, Studio Assistant

Ronald Rael

Glass Scaffold is constructed of nearly 500 glass rods salvaged from Solyndra, a start-up company that failed in 2011 because they were not able to compete with conventional solar technology. Solyndra designed, manufactured, and sold solar photovoltaic systems made of racks of cylindrical tubes which the designers claimed absorbed energy from any direction.

Ronald Rael salvaged and repurposed nearly 500 of these glass tubes for this installation. The tubes are held together with 3D-printed components. While the installation references the Solyndra debacle—an example of how even the most supported organizations can collapse, the structure also references social and economic inequality.

According to Rael, “Glass ceilings are those invisible barriers that minorities, people of color, and women experience when discrimination prevents them from rising in the hierarchies of their organization. The scaffolding in place that elevates and supports these groups is often equally as invisible and extremely fragile and precarious, often collapsing from under them.”

Ronald Rael currently serves as Affiliate Professor and Chair of Art Practice and Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a designer, architectural researcher, author, entrepreneur, and thought leader in the fields of additive manufacturing and earthen architecture. He is the author of Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary. Rael San Fratello, the studio he co-founded with architect Virginia San Fratello, was named a 2014 Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York—one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. Most recently, Rael San Fratello has installed Teetertotter Wall, three pink see-saws on the US-Mexico border, named 2020 Design of the Year.



Marietta Patricia Leis, born 1938 Newark New Jersey; lives Santa Fe, New Mexico, The Silent Road, 2019, acrylic with ground graphite on Tyvek, wood rod, plastic tubes, gift of the artist, photography by Stefan Batista

Marietta Patricia Leis

The Silent Road is a dialogue between painting and sculpture. It represents a road  that leads in two directions, reaching upward toward the ceiling and winding down  to the floor. The Silent Road was inspired by Marietta Leis’s time in Iceland during  the dark months of the long winter. According to the artist, “The treeless, volcanic  landscape revealed the earth’s curved horizon, confronting me with a stark image of  all that is infinite—both visually and metaphorically. My acute sense of this fascinating  and haunting place provided fertile ground for germination of The Silent Road.”

According to Leis, “In today’s noisy world it is easy to become distracted, numb  to our deepest natures. The road to authenticity is by its very nature traveled in  solitude. It is an internal road that, with patience, can lead deep into the core of our being. As we each embark on the journey to this rich and fertile place, we can  discover a common thread of the shared humanity that binds us.” 

Marietta Patricia Leis is an internationally exhibiting multidisciplinary artist and poet.  She has lived and worked in New York City as well as Los Angeles, and is currently  based in Santa Fe after living in Albuquerque for many years. Leis’s reductive,  expressive works are shaped out of experiments in material process and she takes  inspiration from forms found in nature, a sense of place, and the internal landscape.  The Silent Road was originally created for an exhibition at the Palazzo Mora as part of the 2019 Venice Biennale.

About the 
Albuquerque Museum 
Visiting Artist Program

Since 2011, the Visiting Artist program at Albuquerque Museum has featured contemporary artists with a connection to New Mexico. The annual program provides an invited artist the opportunity to reimagine and activate the museum’s lobby, which is the first space visitors encounter upon entering the museum. The program includes the display of the artist’s work for one year, public engagement, and artist talks. The program aims to provide a bridge between the artistic practice of the visiting artist and the experience of contemporary art by the public.

The Visiting Artist program considers artists with compelling conceptual creativity. The large-scale space of the museum lobby has inspired several artists to create site-specific installations. Artists, however, are given the freedom to determine how they want to interact with the space.


Supported by the Frederick Hammersley Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation



Artist in Residence: Gronk

Artist in Residence: Larry Bob Phillips

Artist in Residence: Ernest Doty

Artist in Residence: Lea Anderson

Artist-in-Residence: Virgil Ortiz

Artist-in-Residence: Paul Sarkisian

Karl Hofmann: Shapeshifters

Nicola Lopez: Haunted

Cannupa Hanska Luger