109 Gold Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM
Cafe Hours: 7-2 weekdays
Apprentices for Leaders in Mosaic Arts (ALMA) supports and nurtures artists of all ages in creating artworks of exceptional quality while building entrepreneurial skills. Our paid mosaic arts apprenticeship model develops leaders through a diverse and inclusive program.
Over the years, ALMA has hired and mentored youth from around New Mexico, but primarily from Albuquerque. ALMA artists work alongside apprentices in a master-apprentice approach to create large-scale public art mosaic murals. We take apprentices through every step of the process, from creating a design through outreach and research, drawing the design on a large scale, and hand making every tile from raw clay, including glazing and firing, to installing and grouting the entire mosaic mural.
ALMA values diversity in every level of our organization, with a specific emphasis on females of color and prioritizing historically underserved communities. This core value is reflective in every facet of our organization, from the apprentices and lead artists to the board of directors. The organization is led by females of color who also teach full time in public education and know the importance and value of bringing opportunities and healthy outputs to youth through the arts.
Collaboration is one of the essential skills used in ALMA. The entire process of running an organization and a mosaic mural program revolves and relies on working together. In our most recent project, we have found that working with the community to gather their words and stories has given us so much rich and beautiful content to incorporate into our murals. This community engagement allows all participants - not just the artists and apprentices - to have a voice and ownership in the process and mural. We also acknowledge that the knowledge shared is priceless and should be treated with respect and reciprocity, anything less is unacceptable. We do find that we run into problems when there is not a clear common goal or there is a break in lines of communication or a lack of planning/preparation.