March 18, 2014
High school and middle school students from Mountainair have recently completed an eight foot long mosaic mural with the help of artists from the Manzano Mountain Art Council and financial assistance from New Mexico Arts. This colorful and lively mural depicts running horses framed by tiles hand-made by the students with instruction by the artists. It took approximately three months to construct the thirty-two square foot mural with ten students participating during after school hours. Students included Keasly Kerbo, Gary Starr, Carol Grace Torres, Aubriana Fondy, Brittney Sheppard, Ricky Lopez, Lorenzo Griego, Manuel Lopez, and Shirley Nieto.
The process of creating the mural involved students first drawing horses and coming up with possible designs for the mural. They then worked on clay tiles and made bas-relief (3D) images which were later fired and glazed to make them permanent. These tiles were later cemented to backer-boards and embellished with colorful pieces of broken commercial tile. Grouting between the hundreds of pieces of tile was the final step before the panels were screwed to the wall outside the main entrance to the high school.
Principal Eliza Romero of Mountainair High School was an enthusiastic supporter of this project and hopes to continue having more of these community art projects in the future. Other professionals involved were Irene Weinman, principal artist; Tomás Wolff, project director; Lenora Romero, Michael Godey and Rebecca Anthony, supporting artists; Deb Vetterman, coordinator; and Chris Rubi, installer. Thanks also to the Manzano Mountain Art Council, New Mexico Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.