Large Metal Buddy Holly Glasses (El Prado, New Mexico)

Large Metal Glasses
Photo by Sadie Ward

Contemporary art is sometimes found in the most unlikely of places, and while it’s often designed to stand on its own, apart from the rest of the world, that’s not always the case. Located on the property of the Bareiss Gallery in El Prado, New Mexico, just a few miles outside of Taos, a pair of rather large Buddy Holly glasses bring together an unexpected piece of art and an incredible piece of the world that alone would both be nice, but together create something really special.

Created by artist Steve Teeters in 2002, the giant metal glasses are a prototype of the later produced pair that were purchased for $15,000, and grace the entrance to the Buddy Holly Museum. Teeters grew up west of Lubbock, Texas, in the small town of Levelland. He graduated from Texas Tech in 1987 with a degree in elementary education and prior to his work as a metal artist, taught middle school for 22 years. Teeters worked primarily in blown glass art before trying his hand, and eventually moving to, metal-work.

The large metal frames hint that there is something to see beyond the art itself, and the striking landscape of New Mexico becomes as much a piece of the sculpture as the rusted metal from which they’re built. As you step out onto the gravel and look at the scenery through the lenses, it only takes a moment to realize that it’s looking back at you.

Philip Bareiss, owner of the Bareiss Gallery where the glasses now live, attended Yale University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Administrative Sciences (Operations Research and Economics). Which as everyone obviously knows, leads perfectly to specialization in contemporary art and large sculptures. After moving to New Mexico in 1977, he worked in galleries for a few years before opening his won in 1982. Prior to his work as gallery owner and art broker, Bareiss worked in international banking in Europe and the United States, specifically New York.

Large Metal Glasses Facts (sort of…)

  • The Large Metal Glasses are roughly 6 feet across and are constructed of deliberately rusted metal.
  • There is no glass in the frames.
  • The 750 pound sculpture of Holly’s glasses was made by artist Steve Teeters, in 2002.
  • Buddy Holly’s glasses were not simply part of his persona. He had 20-800 vision.
  • There are several other outdoor metal sculptures at the Bareiss Gallery.
  • The glasses are just about three miles north of Taos on the east side of Hwy 150, north of the Hwy 522 intersection.
  • The address of the Bareiss Gallery, and the glasses is: 15 NM-150, El Prado, NM 87529.