New, unique art being installed in downtown ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city is putting up a new sculpture that is sure to catch the eye. That is, if anyone actually goes by it.

It is a unique sculpture in an interesting location. Albuquerque’s newest piece of public art isn’t even up yet and it has already got neighbors downtown wondering.

“I don’t get it,” Lowell Burton said.

“I think it looks nice,” said Ryan Faltys. “I can’t wait till they put it up.”

The massive metal sculpture called, “Auto Hawk” is costing the city $75,000. The creator is Christopher Fennell of Alabama. He lived in Albuquerque 10 years ago.

“I was trying to think of what Albuquerque meant to me and it was hiking on Sandia and it had the birds that would fly up and down,” Fennell said.

The piece has been in the works for years. It is 24-feet tall, made of about 30 car doors to form the shape of a hawk.

“It is very important that they fit the site both in sort of sculpturally, architecturally but also that the theme fits,” Fennell said.

The theme here is cars. It is going up next to a parking structure in a location that makes this public art not so public.

It is on First Street under the Lead Avenue bridge. The closest thing to it is the Greyhound bus depot, where another public art project has had to weather vandals over the years. The city said it chose the spot in anticipation of upcoming development in the area and in hopes of making it a nicer place to walk.

“Having things to look at and having things to experience and to stumble upon if you’re walking the city is a good thing,” said Matt Carter with the Albuquerque Public Art Program.

Neighbors could get their first look at the completed project on Wednesday.

The money for the sculpture comes from the city’s art tax. The tax has paid for more than 800 pieces around Albuquerque. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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