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An arriving passenger takes a picture at the unveiling of the UNM LoboScape Monday morning at the Albuquerque International Sunport. The LoboScape is an art display that shows the history of UNM and aims to inform visitors of Albuquerques college town affluence.
An arriving passenger takes a picture at the unveiling of the UNM LoboScape Monday morning at the Albuquerque International Sunport. The LoboScape is an art display that shows the history of UNM and aims to inform visitors of Albuquerques college town affluence.

Lobo life shines in ABQ Sunport

Last Monday UNM President Bob Frank and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry presented the all-new LoboScape, an eye-catching visual representation of UNM for visitors and natives flying into the city.

Frank, before a crowd of about 40, called the project a marriage between the arts and sciences, a union that the city prides itself on. He said the University had been looking for a way to accentuate Albuquerque’s college-town status when it came up with LoboScape, an innovative way of relaying that message to visitors.

“We looked at other airports around America, and most that you see have just a sign that says, ‘This is home to X College,’” he said. “We wanted something that was much more dynamic.”

LoboScape is a 3D geometric display measuring roughly 10-by-15 feet that projects moving images and video clips of UNM culture, including student life, sports and history. It is located adjacent to the security checkpoint in such a way that it is the first thing arriving travelers notice.

Berry said he acknowledged Frank and the work that UNM does to help support the city, something that he hopes LoboScape puts on display for the 5 million people who fly into Albuquerque every year.

“When (Frank) approached me and started talking about having a presence for the University at the airport, I thought it was a great idea. We recognize that UNM is our flagship University that does great work and also educates our students,” Berry said. “They’re also the heartbeat, and a big part of the fabric, of our community.”

LoboScape is the result of a collaboration between two UNM departments, according to a University press release. The College of Fine Arts’s Art, Research, Technology and Science (ARTS) lab came up with the design, while the School of Architecture and Planning’s fabrications lab was in charge of the building aspect.

Matt Gines, director of the fabrications lab, said it took about a year and half for eight people, mostly students, to bring the project to life.

“Hopefully it does a few things (for UNM): it’s the first thing anyone sees when they come to Albuquerque, that way we’re promoting the University,” he said. “On a national level, it promotes not only the University, but the Sunport itself as a progressive place.”

Tim Castillo, director of the ARTS lab, said the end result of the project reflects the time and dedication that his team spent developing something that is both visually appealing and informative.

He said the projected images on the display will change seasonally to reflect different aspects of student life, such as returning to school, as well as popular seasonal sports like football in the fall and basketball in the spring.

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“It’s the great amount of people that have the inspiration to do something different, and I think that’s always a challenge,” he said. “You always want to get people that push the edge. Things don’t always go smoothly, but those bumps are how you learn, and hopefully you create something that’s different. That’s really the crowning effort in what we did.”

David Lynch is the assistant news editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at assistant-news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.

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