Jana Greiner

Art to build awareness of New Mexico’s history as the birthplace of the Atomic Bomb and the growing population of people without permanent shelter. . .

In 1943 J. Robert Oppenheimer set up Los Alamos Laboratory in a remote location in the Hemez Mountains of Northern New Mexico to continue working on the concept of nuclear fission and how to weaponize it. The research and development were named the Manhattan Project after the New York City borough of the same name.

Physicists from all over the world came to Los Alamos, New Mexico to work with Oppenheimer in this secret local.

“the Fat Man” atomic bomb
Photo credit US Department of Defense
Trinity Gadget wired for detonation
Photo credit US Department of Defense

On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated near Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was called the Trinity test and the round encasement was named the Gadget. It’s detonation in the early hours of the morning created an enormous mushroom cloud some 40,000 feet high that lit up the sky as if it were daytime.

Mushroom cloud from Trinity test site photo credit US Department of Defense

My father told me that when he was a baby, he was born in 1944, his family was camping in southern New Mexico and saw the Trinity test explosion from a distance. The sound and light scared my grandfather so much that he packed up the family and hit the road abandoning his early morning fishing agenda for safer ground.

the BOMB Shelter Project

Inspired by the determination and ingenuity of the Manhattan Project, the BOMB Shelter is a sculpture shaped to resemble the first atomic bomb, named the Fat Man. This work of art has the option to also be used as a temporary shelter.

Built to transform, the BOMB Shelter, can be disassembled and compacted for easy travel and storage. When turned on it’s side a person can access the interior with a double sided zipper and enjoy the BOMB Shelter as a sleeping receptacle.

The 2019 poll, done by the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, reported that Albuquerque hosts 1,525 homeless and unsheltered individuals.

Resources :

New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness www.nmceh.org

Steel Bridge Shelter www.mysteelbridge.org

The Rock at Noon Day therockabq.com

ABQ Healthcare for the Homeless www.abqhch.org

NM Crisis Access Line 855-NMCRISIS 855-662-7474

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History www.nuclearmuseum.org