Land acknowledgement dedication & artists celebration

Photo Credit: SWI

Artwork created by Ute Mountain Ute artist Babe Gallegos 

The Southwest Institute for Education and Conservation (SEIC) along with Conservation Legacy and the Durango Adult Education Center are celebrating a new Land Acknowledgement artwork recently installed at the entryway to the Commons Building. This open house dedication event will be held in- person and virtually from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25. Light refreshments will be served, and a link will be available to hear the artist speak (at approximately 11:30 a.m. MST). 

The artwork is created by artist Babe Gallegos and represents her interpretation of the land acknowledgement statement that accompanies the painting and now welcomes guests to the learning environment that is home to multiple tenants supporting local families. 

Gallegos is the daughter of Norman Lansing and Kristine Lansing and a descendant of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. A long-time La Plata County resident, Gallegos is a high school graduate of Ignacio High School and a 2011 graduate of Fort Lewis College with a degree in art and graphic design. She also became a certified Colorado peace officer in 2011 and became a Ranger for the Southern Ute Tribe. In 2017, she was awarded “Ranger of the Year” by her colleagues for her work as tribal ranger since 2011. Gallegos is a freelance artist for Babe Gallegos Design who is currently studying to be a registered nurse. She is also a new mom to her 18-month-old son. 

The artist was commissioned earlier this year by the SIEC board of directors to complete artwork that would help recognize the ancestral lands of the Puebloan and Ute peoples. The piece is prominently placed at the entryway to the Commons Building along with two permanent plaques that acknowledge the land and the artist’s personal interpretation. 

To celebrate the installation of this piece, the artist and her family will join building tenants and their guests to dedicate the piece. Storytelling, education, and light refreshments will be shared in this open-house style event. A calendar invitation will also be sent to all building tenants with a link to join virtually provided. If you have any questions, please reach out to Shirena Trujillo Long, Director of Diversity & Recruitment for Conservation Legacy; 

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