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Local Artists Highlighted at New Sandia Area Operations Center

Local Artists Highlighted at New Sandia Area Operations Center

Local Artists Highlighted at New Sandia Area Operations Center

Sandia Area Federal Credit Union recently opened a new 40,000 sq. ft. operations center in the heart of Journal Center. Among the bright lights and fresh décor, the work of four local artists is highlighted and celebrated.

“We knew we wanted a new space our employees would be naturally drawn to, that centers them and would complement how they want to work. A space that was functional and modern.” Said Kevin Todd, CEO of Sandia Area. “The art in this space is a great point of connection from our employees to our community.”

Noé Barnett

Noé Barnett, an emerging painter and important figure in the mural community, was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. Throughout his life, he has always been an outsider, and this medial life experience has allowed him to see both sides of a very polarized and dualistic society.

He uses his work as a bridge between groups. Unity is a dominant theme in his project as he strives to create opportunities where deeper conversations can be achieved. Each piece is built on a painted representation of the visible light spectrum. Moving from Ultraviolet to Infrared, Barnett provides space to consider how races cultures, ideologies can unite as a community.

His piece for Sandia Area, Give Life, is a series of canvas featuring a hidden message that appears only as light strikes from different angles. Barnett said he wanted to bring the vibrancy of street art and mural indoors.

Give Life Painting

Learn more about Barnett at nbartistry.com.

Jodie Herrera

Jodie Herrera is a proud New Mexican with deep roots in the Land of Enchantment through her Latina and indigenous ancestry (Jicarilla Apache and Comanche). She earned her BFA with Honors in 2013 from the University of New Mexico. Based in Taos, she works as an Oil Painter and curator while traveling nationally and abroad to create murals, which blend local iconography and portraits of influential figures. Herrera emphasizes the importance of representing marginalized cultures and raising awareness of social justice issues through her work.

Herrera has extensive experience in creating murals for public art initiatives around the world and for large institutions like Walt Disney, Virgin Voyages. Her work has been exhibited in The Smithsonian DC, The Art Archives of America, and museums across the Southwest. She has been recognized in The American Art Collector and Beautiful Bizarre magazines and has received the “Best Visual Artist” award for three consecutive years from Albuquerque Magazine.

Herrera's artwork for Sandia Area, titled “Connect and Blossom,” captures transformation and connection with two central butterflies. To the right, the yellow prickly pear cactus flower embodies the resilience of New Mexico's people, blossoming beautifully despite challenges. The colorful arch signifies the diversity of our communities converging, while the black circle, formed by combining all color pigments, symbolizing our unity.

Jodie Herrera Painting

See more of Herrera’s work on her Instagram, @chromaj.

Reyes Padilla

Reyes Padilla is an Albuquerque-based painter and muralist whose creations on canvas and site-specific installations take inspiration from the New Mexico landscape and the multicultural environment in which he was raised. Born in Santa Fe, Padilla first discovered his artistry through music as his experience of sound translated to a visual experience, a neurological phenomenon known as synesthesia. Padilla’s process of painting to music is of the moment, his imagery and brush strokes colliding naturally in an active dance of sight and sound.

Padilla’s works have been widely collected by a variety of private collectors and public entities, including the City of Albuquerque; State of New Mexico; City Of Braddock, Pennsylvania; and Arizona’s Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. His work has also been prominently featured on an episode of the hit TV show Better Call Saul.

His piece for Sandia Area is title Cicada Vision. Reyes said of the piece, “Having synesthesia allows me to see sound. This painting is based on the sounds of a cicadas ringing through the piñon trees during the summer months.”

Reyes Padilla Painting

Learn more about Padilla’s work at reyespadilla.com.

Larry Bob Phillips

Larry Bob Phillips, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, where he studied with calligrapher Carl Kurtz, and he earned a master’s in painting from the University of New Mexico.

Larry Bob has shown widely and created more than a dozen murals across the region. In 2019 he became the residency Director of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence where he is proud to facilitate other talented artists' work while maintaining a vigorous studio practice. His piece for Sandia Area, titled Eternal Now, is a 48” x 96” canvas panel combining comics, psychedelic op art and western landscape art.

Phillips puts together optically charged puzzle-type images that, while challenging, are comments on traditional themes. Eternal Now depicts the individual standing in a river (the flow of life) in a canyon with trees (ancestors) and companions (contemporary society) on the bank, highlighting movement and enlightenment.

Larry Bob Phillips Painting

Learn more about Larry Bob Phillips at larrybobphillips.com.

The Sandia Area operations center is now home to more than 100 credit union employees with enough space to more than double that workforce over the next 20 years.

“It’s been fantastic, growing at the pace we have,” said Todd. “We work to serve our members every day. Our teams, for years, have worked separately at locations across the city. Now, this operations center has brought our employees together under one roof, offering a more efficient, streamlined, and consistent experience for our members.”

Find out more about Sandia Area’s work culture and open positions at Sandia.org/Careers.

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