MetroABQ Blog

Immersed in the Fresco, Inside El Torreón, at the NHCC

Immersed in the Fresco, Inside El Torreón, at the NHCC

El Torreón

I've walked around El Torreón at the National Hispanic Cultural Center for over a decade & didn't know you could go inside. For most of the time you couldn't. Recently the Torreón, above, was opened for tours, allowing the public to see the fabulous colorful frescos that adorn the ceiling & walls. What a fantastic place!

Created by native New Mexican artist Federico Vigil & entitled Mundos de Mestizaje, North America's largest concave fresco clearly does represent many Worlds of Mixed Heritage. Spanning over 3000 years, the 4000 squarefeet of frescoed ceiling & walls depict over 200 images snatched out of time along the way.

For El Palacio Magazine, Alix I Hudson wrote an extensive & beautiful article about the artist; reading it is the first thing to do before ordering your $2 ticket...The writer describes the murals best:

"Mundos de Mestizaje is a sea of countless people, a dazzling circular array of color & form bursting forth from the adobe-colored base of the walls. Its message, however, is simple: as Vigil tells it, "It’s who we are as mestizos.”

Vigil’s own lineage traces back to the people of Santa Ana Pueblo, the Sephardic Jews, & Spaniards from Asturias, the northwestern principality of Spain. His people used to homestead near Budaghers, & they spoke Spanish & Tewa. Portraying the many ways in which Nuevo Mexicanos are mixed, the fresco has images from Spain & the American Southwest, but also some from Mesoamerica and Mesopotamia."

Below is the first scene seen as one enters the Torreón.

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