Meditative native animal & plant scenes now live along Columbia St SE
A new public mural project by local artist Courtney Angermeier is expanding nicely along Columbia St SE. I first learned about the mural scenes from an ABQJournal article that described Angermeier's work as Mimbreño-style. The Mimbres were an Anasazi tribe, a culture that flourished in southwest NM about 1200 years ago. Here's an example of their pottery artwork.
Angermeier, a Media Arts Collaborative Charter School teacher & adjunct UNM professor, depicts stylized native southern New Mexican plants & animals: A wild boar family trots across a concrete block wall, near where a family of skunks are spending time, perilously close to the family of quail, all set among perfectly blooming yuccas & sunflower scenes. Her's is a fantastic project set to help beautify the area.
The area, south of the University of New Mexico & east of CNM in the Victory Hills neighborhood, is a stretch of private greenspace that makes up the back of residential homes--fences & walls set back from the sidewalk, separated mostly by overgrown weeds & garbage. The blank canvas of those fences & walls is what attracted Angermeier, who has lived in the area for over 20 years. When her school closed this spring & she suddenly found herself with a little free time, she went work creating her meditative murals.
The Mimbres group was an Anasazi tribe from the Mogollon region of southwestern New Mexico that may have arrived there as early as 600 CE. They created
earthenware--mostly striking ceramic bowls--for everyday uses. There is a lot to learn. From Archeology.org:
"For more than a century, beginning in the late tenth century A.D., thousands of these black-on-white bowls were produced, with distinctive designs more spectacular and elaborate than those of any other culture in the Southwest...While their undecorated outsides appear unremarkable in technique & form, their insides are magic, a canvas for haunting depictions of jackrabbits, tortoises, fish, & sometimes humans, as well as intricate geometric designs. The black forms on a white background create an arresting contrast." The Gila Cliff Dwellings, where the Mimbres group lived, is a stunning place!
On a random April day I walked the neighborhood to see the block-long murals. There was already a lot of activity in the area: cars wandered slowly down the street as the occupants gazed at the artwork from behind rolled-down windows. A few folks were in the cemetary across the street. A man was cleaning up weeds & garbage on the Columbia-facing greenspace of his back property, seemingly in preparation for his wall to be painted. And a woman was mixing paint nearby. We were fortunate to meet the artist, Courtney Angermeier, two images below, mixing her paints & setting up her next concrete block wall canvas.
Great to talk with, Angermeier said that since the Journal article, many more folks have been walking & driving by the murals, enjoying & commenting on the scenes. She said she has permission from five more property owners further south, to expand her vision onto their walls & fences. Stop back in a month or two to see the progress...