Locally renowned artist, Kirsten Mauritsen, completed a custom mural this week on The Derrick Floor pump house, owned by Artesia MainStreet. You’ve probably never noticed the small mechanical building behind the fountain and sculptures but it is now a vibrant, eye-catching piece of art for the community to enjoy.
Mauritsen, who recently completed the restoration project in Heritage Walkway, was excited to begin a new custom mural of her own.
“The design is inspired by the topography of the land around Artesia as well as the maps created throughout history that depict the area,” she explained.
“I used historical and current maps along with satellite imagery as inspiration for the composition,” Mauritsen said. “The top of the background reflects satellite views of the oil field east of Artesia. At the bottom, a line drawing of Artesia is inspired by older maps. The Pecos River cuts across the landscape, matching the current path the river takes as it passes by Artesia. Lines tracing along the river represent the different groups that travelled along the river or used it as a means to navigate the landscape.
“The quail is composed of sections of historical maps, ranging from the 16th century to the 1930s. In designing the quail, I wanted to show the history of the area as seen through changes that were recorded, from different names for the Pecos, to places and towns that appeared or disappeared, to the geological and early oilfield maps which reflected the new industries that were taking root.”
Mauritsen worked for nine days to complete the mural with the help of fellow artists, Kelly Speckhart and Natasha Wilde. This mural is the fourth mural completed this summer, funded by a grant from the TLC2 Foundation to Artesia MainStreet and the Artesia Arts & Cultural District. Make some time to come see it for yourself at 519 E. Main St.!