The national public art project, Compass Roses: Maps by Artists, will be exhibited at the University Libraries Centennial Science and Engineering Library (CSEL) from Oct. 15 to Dec. 22.

The exhibit will be hosted in DEN 1 of CSEL for the entire UNM community to view for free. The exhibit features 29 local artists commissioned by the City of Albuquerque Public Art Program. The Compass Roses exhibit began in Pittsburgh 2020 and Albuquerque became the 2nd location for this art project. It was brought to Albuquerque by the City’s Public Art Program and was on display at the South Broadway Cultural Center this past April and May. Each artist was asked to consider and interpret their city in any way they wished. The artwork varies from literal to abstract ideas of maps. The exhibit features QR codes that encourage patron interactions with the artwork and provide virtual background information.

The Map & Geographic Information Center (MAGIC) located in CSEL, was able to provide maps for some of the artists’ projects and was part of a panel discussion titled, “X marks the spot: The Extraordinary World of Maps in Albuquerque,” which included Librarians from the Albuquerque Public Library, University Libraries Research Data Services, and MAGIC as well as the UNM Dept. of Community & Regional Planning and 516 Arts.

MAGIC holds the largest collection of maps and other cartographic information such as atlases, gazetteers, and place name guides, in the state of New Mexico. Access to MAGIC is currently by appointment only.

The exhibit was originally co-curated by Nadine Wasserman and Renee Piechocki and launched in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the 2020 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.