If you’ve gone to a concert at Isleta Amphitheatre or simply live or work in Mesa del Sol, then you may have noticed two 275’ long rattlesnakes along University Boulevard. The snakes bask along the median of the four-lane road with their cobblestone bodies slithering through the native grass.
Q: Tell me about the conception of the idea and who was involved?
A: The County originally hired us and then the City became involved in helping fund the project. At the time, there was no water available out there, but they wanted to conduct a reseeding and vegetation of the medians. Mesa del Sol is an environmentally-conscious community, and wildlife became a large part of the concept. We agreed that having serpents welcome visitors was a winning idea.
Q: Why did you choose the snakes?
A: We wanted to blend the aesthetic concepts from the environment with the sun and wind of the Tijeras arroyo with the wildlife.
Q: When were the snakes built?
A: We began designing the concept of the project in 2005 and the snakes were built in 2007. Originally there was supposed to be three, but because the four-lane road wasn’t completed, the finished product comprised two snakes.
Q: How long did they take to be built?
A: It took 3-4 months for both snakes.
Q: What are the snakes made of?
A: There is a shell of concrete around a wire frame. Stones were placed alongside the outside of it to create a solid structure.
Q: How big are the snakes?
A: The snakes sit at 6’ tall and 275’ long.
Q: What has transpired since the conception of the snakes?
A.: The snakes have been part of Albuquerque’s definition of quirky, eclectic, catchy, interesting and a sense of place.
Q: How does the snakes connect to Mesa del Sol?
A: It speaks directly to the desert and how it fits into the landscape around it. The snakes fit the theme of Mesa del Sol with the interconnected open spaces combined with the landscape and wildlife that surround us in the central Rio Grande Valley. It made a lot of sense to us to encompass the linearity of the snakes as the entrance to the community.
A lot of people enjoy snapping photos of the snakes.
Here are some examples:
The next time you take a drive down University Boulevard, snap a selfie with our cobblestone friend and hashtag, #PureMesa to be featured in our social media channels. Or simply wave to the serpents as you pass by…