It’s hard not to notice the bronze sculpture on the corner of Corona Avenue and Wyoming Boulevard. A bright yellow working fire hydrant sits just in front of the sculpture, which depicts a fireman releasing the water from a mock fire hydrant and a bicyclist with a passenger on back about to ride through the water. The lifelike artwork juts out of the landscape like a frozen snapshot of a carefree summer past.
With smiles on their faces, the riders look like they are having a good time finding some much-needed relief from the desert heat. The artwork, titled “A Cool Friend” by Reynaldo Rivera, is appropriately located in front of Fire Station #20, which is adjacent to North Domingo Baca Park. A plaque next to the sculpture shows the artwork was installed in 2005, three years after the fire station was built and four years after 9/11 – an event that is memorialized by another sculpture several meters south of “A Cool Friend.”
The sculpture is one of many by Rivera that can be found throughout Albuquerque. Other works include “Los Osos del Canyon,” “La Jornada,” “Seated Portrait of Herbert Candelaria,” and “Harry E. Kinney Memorial.” Rivera was born in Mesquite, New Mexico, south of Las Cruces, and has a studio in northwest Albuquerque. To find the locations of other public artworks in Albuquerque, check out the map below or visit cabq.gov/artsculture/public-art.