Spring is here at last! Flowers are blooming, leaves are turning green, and gardens are being planted. It seemed a good time to showcase one of our newest and brightest painted murals with an agricultural theme – Tierra Sagrada (Sacred Earth) located at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library amphitheater.
The Tierra Sagrada mural backstory is one of community partners coming together at a time of need. In 2019, non-profit organization Cruces Creatives received a grant for a community mural. The organization hired artist Eugenia “AO” Carmona to design and coordinate a paint-by-number style mural on an exterior wall on their facility. The design was approved by the community, and all was set to go. Then there was a serious glitch; the designated location was promised to another mural artist and just like that, the project had no location for the mural. Time was running out on the grant. They needed another location quickly. Not to be deterred, Cruces Creatives begin looking for another wall and fortunately, thought of the library.
The library had an aging mural that had been on the amphitheater wall since 1998, painted by Las Cruces High School Art Club. When Cruces Creatives came calling, it was serendipity. “Yes, we have a wall! Yes, we would love to partner with you. Wait, you need it when?!” The deadline for the project was extremely short considering government standards. However, as the old adage says, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Everyone involved had a will to get this done.
Above: LCHS Art Club Mural from a distance (Photo Credit: Unknown)
Below: LCHS Art Club Mural close up (Photo Credit: Murals of Las Cruces)
The pieces fell into place unusually fast; City building services sent a crew to prepare the wall with new plaster and a base coat of white paint. Cruces Creatives scheduled dates and times on three consecutive dates for painting and sent out a city-wide public invitation to join in the fun. The artist added the outline for the mural to the blank canvas of the wall. Incredibly, despite the hiccups and uncertainty of the project, it came together. All was ready for the big painting adventure.
And big it was. Over 300 community members showed up over the three-day period to brush paint from numbered cups onto the corresponding section of the design. The finished mural has bold, rich colors combined with abstract geometric shapes and larger than life depictions of objects that illustrate the fertile agricultural history of the Mesilla Valley. It beautifies the walls of the library’s amphitheater reactivating the purpose of the space, which is to provide a happy place for people to gather. It’s also visible from the interior of the building through the library windows, providing a beautiful view for patrons.
Community members painting mural. (Photo Credit: Cruces Creatives)
Family painting mural together. (Photo Credit: Cruces Creatives)
Finished Tierra Sagrada Mural (Photo Credit: Karla Walton)
Like so much in nature, Tierra Sagrada popped up unexpectedly in a place where a beautiful mural had bloomed previously and faded. It took a lot of elbow grease, some gentle tending, and a little luck to bring it to life once more. Tierra Sagrada is there for all to enjoy and be inspired by for as long as it lasts, especially on a beautiful, spring day.
Rubber Ducks blog is brought to you by the Las Cruces Public Art program to share ideas, information, discussions, trends and all things public art. Please send comments and ideas for future blogs to PublicArt@las-cruces.org
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