10/23/2014 12:26 EDT | Updated 12/23/2014 05:59 EST

New Mexico pushes for influential artist Luis Jimenez's home to be listed on historic register

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The larger-than-life works of public art created by sculptor Luis Jimenez are on display in cities across the United States. He's credited with helping transform the definition of public art and open the door for other Mexican-American artists.

Now, state preservation officials are pushing to get his home and studios in southern New Mexico on the National Register of Historic Places.

Steven Moffson with the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division says Jimenez's work is relatively recent but there's little debate among art historians and museum curators about his importance in late 20th century American art.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Jimenez was known for his fiberglass forms of Mexican cowboys, fiesta dancers and wild mustangs, including the fiery-eyed blue horse outside the Denver International Airport. Jimenez died in 2006 while working on the "Mustang."