Albuquerque / 5

Alexander Girard mural at the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, 1965

The mural is made of 5,000 tiles of reclaimed wood that were collected by Girard and his son Marshall.

Each of the 22 symbols represents a different faith.
From the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque website: "Unitarian Universalist churches are non-creedal churches. We don't have one set of beliefs that everyone must share in order to join. Therefore, our churches are very diverse, theologically speaking. You will find liberal Christians, atheists, agnostics, pagans, Buddhists, and believers in all varieties of higher powers worshipping together, discussing their beliefs, and learning from each other. We think that diversity enriches us all as we talk about a reality that none of us can possibly know completely."

The key

The mural was originally installed in this space but a new larger sanctuary was built adjacent to this room and the mural was recently moved. The church staff person who was nice enough to take the time to show me the mural expressed how much it means to the church and the membership.  She said it was very important to them to have the mural installed in the new space and they hired a preservationist to make sure it was done correctly. Some background on the move is detailed here.
Harvey Hoshower was the architect of the original sanctuary, which was built in 1964. He commissioned Girard to design the mural.
Hoshower would later design the wing that houses the Girard folk art collection in Santa Fe.

These chairs are in the original sanctuary--fitting considering Girard and Eames were buddies.