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You are here: Community Arts Renowned artist Armando Alvarez walks on

Renowned artist Armando Alvarez walks on

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Armando Alvarez Compean, who lived in Gallup for more than 20 years, died June 1 in Descanso, Calif. He was 79.

Born in Mexico, he came to the United States at an early age and worked as a businessman for many years in Brownsville, TX before starting a career as a painter.

He came to Gallup to visit his brother, Alex Alvarez, who was a golf pro here, and decided to stay. While here he married his third wife, Gaye Brown, who worked as a writer and copy editor for the Gallup Independent.

A year after coming here, he secured a contract with the City of Gallup to build a sculpture to reflect the nature of the city and its people. The $100,000 contract resulted in the creation of the “We the People” sculpture that is now a park on Maloney Avenue.

He was also the creator of the sculpture that now rests in front of the Gallup Independent.

Over his life, he produced hundreds of paintings and more than a dozen major sculptures that now reside in museums and buildings all over the world.

According to his website, here are a few of the biggest:

“Wall of Honor,” a $37,000 steel sculpture at the New Mexico State Police Academy.

“La Puerto del Sol,” a $100,000 steel sculpture done in 1997 for the city of Tome, NM.

“The Miners,” a $55,000 steel sculpture that was done in 1999 and now resides in Raton, N.M.

“Watering Place,” a $73,000 steel sculpture done on 2000 for the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces.

“Los Aros de Longmont” a $100,000 steel and Byzantine sculpture in Longmont, CA.

A steel and Byzantine glass mosaic for $30.000 that now resides in the entrance arch for the Los Angeles Zoo.

The family plans to hold a private memorial service sometime in the future.