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El Malpais Community Arts Program

Public Lands Interpretive Association and the Bureau of Land Management have partnered with Indigenous communities around the El Malpais National Conservation Area to develop an arts program that gives a platform to works inspired by the conservation, history, and culture of this very beautiful and historically important region of New Mexico.

Artists are invited to submit proposals for new artworks centered on these themes for several cycles throughout the year. Those that are evaluated to be a good fit are given a stipend to complete their work. Once completed, works are displayed at the BLM Ranger Station on NM-117 in the Conservation Area so that visitors to the area can enjoy art while gaining knowledge about the natural and cultural resources so rich in this landscape.

Through this project, an artist has already been selected to erect a large-scale sculpture in the parking lot of the newly remodeled El Malpais Ranger Station. This sculpture will celebrate the land and people’s connection to it. We are also reaching out to local communities, tribes and pueblos and inviting them to submit smaller art pieces to be displayed in the building's interior.

The El Malpais Community Arts Program seeks to strengthen relationships with the land and the surrounding communities.

It is our intention that visitors to the area will enjoy meaningful art while gaining important knowledge about land stewardship, land conservation, history, and culture.

We aim to celebrate the contributing artists at a formal unveiling for each new cycle of artists, which features guest speakers, the chance for artists to present their perspective on their works, and for visitors to enjoy the recreation opportunities in the El Malpais National Conservation Area.

Visit the BLM Ranger Station at El Malpais

Meet Some of the Artists Featured at El Malpais National Conservation Area