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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future: City celebrates 10th anniversary of Hurd mural’s journey to Artesia

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ARTESIA — A decade ago, Artesia welcomed an artistic treasure that has since become an integral part of the town’s cultural fabric — the iconic Peter Hurd mural.

Standing as a testament to the town’s rich history and the artistic brilliance of Peter Hurd, the mural has transformed from a historical relic into a beloved symbol of Artesia’s past, present and future.

The mural’s journey to Artesia a decade ago was met with excitement and anticipation. Local citizens, private funders and art enthusiasts worked tirelessly to ensure the safe transportation and installation of the mural in its new home at the Artesia Public Library.

Mack Chase provided the hanger in Midland, Texas, for two years before the mural was brought to Artesia. In 2013, Wilbanks Trucking provided the cranes that placed the mural in the library; Jaynes Construction, architect Jose Zelaya, and local roofing contractor Ottie Spier ensured the roof was properly removed and installed.

The painstaking restoration efforts by David Olin, known for work at Smithsonian institutions in Washington, D.C., and around the country, breathed new life into the artwork, allowing it to shine as brightly as it did on the day it was first unveiled.

The past 10 years have been a period of celebration, education and reflection as the mural has become a cornerstone of Artesia’s cultural scene. The Artesia Public Library, where the mural resides, has become a hub of activity, attracting art aficionados and history buffs from far and wide. The mural’s grandeur and the stories it tells have sparked a renewed interest in Artesia’s past, fostering a sense of pride and connection among its residents.

“Over the past decade, the Peter Hurd mural has transformed from a work of art to a living embodiment of our town’s spirit,” said Hayley Klein, executive director of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce. “It has served as a constant reminder of our shared history and the importance of preserving our heritage. This mural has enriched our community in countless ways.”

As Artesia reflects on the past decade, the Peter Hurd mural has become more than just a piece of art; it is a living connection to the town’s heritage and an enduring source of inspiration. As the mural continues to weave its narrative through the fabric of Artesia, the community looks forward to the next decade and beyond, embracing the mural’s role as a bridge between generations and a beacon of creativity and culture.

For a complete story of the mural, search online for “Putting the Art in Artesia,” written by David Pike in New Mexico Magazine.

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