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FALL 2013


In Memory of Estelle Yates Library Contributors & Friends Moving the Mural Architect Jose Zelaya Artist Isaac Salazar Chamber News & More!


Peter Hurd Mural

IN MEMORY of ESTELLE H. YATES Our sincere appreciation for the efforts of Estelle Yates and members of the Yates families in bringing the Peter Hurd Mural to our community and assuring the new Artesia Public Library became a reality.

Honoring the memory of

Mrs. Estelle Yates and Her dedication to the community of artesia

FALL 2013

We are proud to be a part of the Artesia community and join in welcoming the new Artesia Public Library and the Peter Hurd Mural. Santo Petroleum HeadquarterS

Artesia, New Mexico 575.736.3250

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A photo of a section of the Peter Hurd Mural, inside the new Artesia Public Library.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Coats of Jennifer Coats Photography • Staci Guy, Editorial Director - Lilly Anaya, Advertising Photography by Staci Guy - along with submitted photos Special Contributors: Hayley Klein, Beverly Kodesh, Laura Simon, Elizabeth Stephens, Caylee Morrison, Anniston McCaleb, Kristen Ponce, Vynnessa Croci, Kaitlyn Devine Susan Cotham, Rebecca Prendergast, Kyle Marksteiner & The Artesia Chamber of Commerce FOCUS ON ARTESIA IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY AD VENTURE MARKETING

Ad Venture Marketing, Ltd. Co. • 866.207.0821 • All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission of the publisher is prohibited. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy of the information provided. The publisher assumes no responsibility or liability for errors, changes or omissions.



F O C U S from the editor

a Community

LIKE NO OTHER IF I’VE SAID IT ONCE, I’VE SAID IT A THOUSAND TIMES. People who are fortunate enough to call Artesia home are some of the most blessed people around. It’s that simple.


Editorial Director


My family and I moved back to Artesia in 2005, shortly after the birth of our son. Like most young people returning home after a stint away at college and beyond, we had our trepidations. What will people think? How will we survive without shopping malls and a plethora of restaurants? What will we do for fun? I mean, these are legitimate questions, right! Well, it turns out, the more involved I became with my community and the more connections I made, the more I realized that Artesia is a community like no other. It’s small, but mighty; it’s remote, but packed full of big-city offerings. It’s like no place I’ve ever traveled to or lived in, which is what brings me to my point. We live in a day and time when many public libraries are dying off and falling into ruins and when small-town America is being edged out by big cities and sprawling metropolises. But not here, not in Artesia. Everywhere you look you’ll see the fruits of our labors – from the bronze monuments depicting our heritage, to the football stadium and sports complexes, to the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, and



now to this – the new, state-of-theart Artesia Public Library. Our cup runneth over. What many people might not realize is that the new multi-million dollar “public” library was only made possible because people in this community – private citizens – worked together and donated the money needed to see it built. Whether they gave millions or thousands or even hundreds of dollars, people of all walks of life pitched in to see to it that it was fully funded. Equally as important are the countless volunteers who have attended meeting after meeting, poured over every detail, donated land and time and resources to make sure the library came to fruition. I’m here to tell you, things like that don’t just happen everywhere. In fact, you can take a drive several hours in any direction from Artesia and you probably won’t see anything like it for a long, long time. At Focus on Artesia, we wanted to honor those individuals who helped make the new public library possible, that helped usher in the historic Peter Hurd mural, and those that help create the fabric of our community. The best way to do so, we figured, would be by dedicating our entire fall issue to commemorating those very things. Inside this edition of Focus on Artesia, you will find stories about the businesses involved in making room for the library and important people whose vision and dedication brought forth the ideas and funds necessary for the mural and the library. You will

hear from school officials and students who are full of excitement and hope for what the library will offer our youth, and you will find stories about literacy and art and the public/private partnerships that co-exist in Artesia. We packed this issue full of stories that will hopefully inspire you to read and create and volunteer. Lastly, but most certainly not least, we wanted to make sure and pay special tribute to a woman unlike any other – a woman whose vision has had a lasting impact on the very essence of our town – Ms. Estelle Yates. She played a vital role in not only the building of the new library, but also in the procurement of the Peter Hurd mural. Her contributions to this community are priceless and appreciated more than she could have ever known. Unfortunately, she passed away in September, just shy of the grand opening, but there’s no doubt she would be thrilled with the finished product. It is our great honor to dedicate this issue to her! I hope that you will take the time to read through this commemorative issue and learn about all the great things this town has to offer and all the great people who make it possible. Oh, and make sure to like us on Facebook and visit our website for updates, stories and photos. We try to add fresh content as often as possible, so tell your friends about us and visit as often as you’d like!


Staci Guy is the Editorial Director of Focus on Artesia. She can be reached at FOCUSNM.COM

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F O C U S in memory

by Hayley Klein

Estelle Yates THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO PREPARE FOR IT. Once a slogan for Prudential Insurance, now the adopted name of the monumental Peter Hurd mural placed nine feet above the floor in the new Artesia Public Library. The mural name could have been the words of Estelle H. Yates, a beloved member of our community, who passed away September 16, 2013, at the age of 95. Already in her nineties, Mrs. Yates spearheaded the project that will be the new Artesia Public Library, featuring the monumental Peter Hurd mural. Throughout her life, Mrs. Yates had a love of learning. She opened the world to herself and her loved ones through books. She believed that a community with a healthy library was an enriched community. She believed in access to information for everyone. To that end, she made herself part of the process of building a library for Artesia … twice. After her arrival in Artesia in 1940, Mrs. Yates quickly engaged herself in community activities. Her grandson, Hanson Yates, has said, “She was a woman of action.” By the 1950s she found herself serving on the library board. In those days the



library was located in the basement of the City Hall on the corner of Fifth and Main. She inspired those around her to work collaboratively to raise money, convince City Council, design, plan and coordinate the construction of a new building for the library. Tom Brown Jr. fondly recalls that Mrs. Yates quickly and successfully educated him, as a new and young city councilor, on the need for a library and a bond election to support it. She was successful, and the town celebrated the opening of a new library in February 1958.

prevented her from leading the charge, she inspired others to collaborate and plan. Volunteers and city officials came together on a committee to select an architect and work with him to meet with the community and design the library that our residents described.

Decades later, Mrs. Yates recognized that the town and library services in the 21st Century had outgrown the little 14,000 square foot building she proudly promoted so many years earlier. While her age may have

The volunteers who have worked on the library have been driven by the vision Mrs. Yates laid out, and each hopes the new Artesia Public Library will meet her expectations and those of the community it will serve.

It was her desire to let the project truly belong to the community; she never dictated her own vision for the library, except that it must serve the community well in services and in aesthetics. It must be a place all visitors feel welcome.


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Artesia Arts Council presents

Santo Petroleum presents

Yates Petroleum Corporation presents

Arts and Crafts Fair SATURDAY, OCT 19, 2013 9am - 5pm Central Park - Artesia NM, 88210

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F O C U S on giving



rtesia Public Library is a shining example of private sector partnership with local government. Mrs. Estelle Yates provided the guidance with her vision for a new 21st century library that can provide research, technology, reading, learning and social gathering opportunities for the entire community. Mrs. Yates also insisted on involving a cross section of Artesia’s residents and City officials to ensure a design that would be accepted by and serve the needs of the community. Contributors and organizers came together to hire an architect, create a plan, and ensure construction of a beautiful state-of-the-art building. Through a community process and generous donations, the private sector will provide the City of Artesia with a library building that will be a gem in downtown Artesia. A prominent feature of the building is the Peter Hurd mural entitled The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare for It. Created by Hurd in 1952 in the lobby of the Prudential Insurance Building in Houston, the work symbolized the use of our resources and hard work to lay the foundation for a strong future for ourselves, our families and our community. When the building was slated for demolition, a local benefactor opted to fund an effort to extract the mural from the building, conserve it and relocate it to Artesia for our new library.

“The mural brings with it the challenge for all of us not only to prepare for our future, but to appreciate the arts and honor our cultural past,” says Peyton Yates, who not only played a significant role in paving the way for the library and mural projects, but contributed financially.



Other generous contributors jumped on board quickly to ensure the project’s success. HollyFrontier / Navajo Refining Co. community relations representative Shannon Johnson says, “Navajo Refining and HollyFrontier are pleased to join with our community in support of this beautiful new library and to honor the vision of Mrs. Estelle Yates and her dream for Artesia and its citizens. We consider it our privilege to operate in the Artesia area and respect the responsibility of being a good neighbor.”

The Concho team agrees that investing in the community is important as the company “aims to make a positive impact on the lives of those with whom we live and work.” Carl Everett, who grew up in Artesia, believes the library as it is designed will be a focal point for the community to gather and learn. His participation in the project allows him to be a “sponsor of curiosity.” The Westall family, also a longtime local family, were the first to jump on board after Mrs. Yates’ effort was publicized. Upon acceptance of the building from the private Artesia Library Foundation, the City furnishes and equips the building with the technology, books and staff necessary to provide library services to the public. The New Artesia Public Library would not have been possible without Mrs. Yates and the contributors who funded the architectural services and construction of the building.



Estelle H. Yates HollyFrontier / Navajo Refining Company Concho Resources Andrea and Carl Everett Linda and Peyton Yates The Westall Family Mary & Frank Yates Jr. Mary & Raye Miller Guy Chevrolet Company Artesia General Hospital Greg & Tara Marrs Joe & Sheila Bullock Everett & Joy Crawford Rance & Diana Miles Lucas Strawn In Memory of Perry Andrews

Bill & Marilyn Mershon Raymond Welborn Elizabeth A. Stephens Sandi & Ron Lanning M. G. Casabonne Nikki A. MacDonald Zane & Tammra Bergman Kenneth Fadke

F O C U S on contributing

the library and

ITS FRIENDS by Beverly Kodesh

BOOKS ARE THE PASSPORT TO EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE. They teach. They entertain. They soothe and comfort. They inspire. They encourage. They recreate the past and forge a path to the future. They transport. Artesia is blessed with a good library that provides an abundant source of these magic carpets, and soon the repository will be grander and offer even more avenues for locals to pursue. For several years, through the various stages of dreaming, planning, allocating monies and construction, the project has simply been called “the new library.” Many hours have gone into this project, and soon it will be completed and open to the public. This offers an exciting opportunity for book lovers. An auxiliary organization called Friends of the Library is being organized to allow volunteers a chance to serve in a variety of capacities to ensure the new library is equipped to meet expectations and needs of the community. When the building committee started researching libraries and the services and programs they offer, it became apparent that extra hands would be of great value to help with children’s programs, computer classes, sorting, shelving, tagging books -- in short, assisting with whatever the library staff needs. And, of course, fundraising. There are always programs and services the library wants to offer that might not fit into the city budget. One librarian called their friends group the “Library’s Guardian Angels.”



“A Friends group in Artesia would be a welcomed organization,” said Sandi Lanning, recording secretary of the Library Building Committee. “With community interest in our new library high, now is the time to harness that interest and do something that will benefit the library in years to come,” she said. Friends could perform services similar to what docents provide in museums by leading tours and telling the magnificent story of the acquisition of the Peter Hurd Mural and its epic journey from Houston to Midland, where it was stored in environmentally friendly conditions for two years, awaiting its final journey to Artesia to be planted as the outstanding focal feature for the new library. A strong Friends group promotes the library in their community. They are usually the ones who can offer programs and activities that will both

educate and entertain residents. They are the ones who provide public relations, advocacy, fund-raising, sponsor programs and volunteers where needed. The Library Strategies organization in Minnesota was founded after their local Friends group became the national model of a library assistance organization. Library Strategies hosts a searchable website of information for any group interested in learning more about Friends of the Library. Everything from writing bylaws to potential projects is addressed in the web tutorial. The Artesia Friends group is modeled after this organization and is in the process of building its membership. Men and women with time, energy and a passion for what libraries can provide if they have the support and backing of the community are welcome. Applications for membership are available at the Artesia Public Library or by calling Sandi Lanning at 575-746-1577.


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F O C U S on the city


Take a look around your by Laura Simon, Librarian

THE OPENING OF THE NEW LIBRARY will provide the community with beautiful new spaces in which to read, learn, work, and relax. There will be more than twice as many public computers, several private study rooms, a conference room, and meeting rooms. In addition, the new library building will allow the City of Artesia to provide many new services. For the past couple of months, the library staff has been very busy creating unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for items in the library. The addition of RFID tags will enhance service in several ways: • Visitors to the library will now be able to check out their own materials. There will be several kiosks throughout the library available for this purpose. Simply scan the barcode on your library card, pass the items you wish to check out over the RFID reader, take your receipt, and you are on your way. (Of course there will still be staff available to assist you if you wish to check out your items in the traditional way.) • Items returned through a drop box will be automatically checked in the instant they pass through the slot. • Lost items can be found on the shelves with the assistance of a handheld RFID reader which notifies the user of an item placed on the shelf in a wrong location. • If an item is accidently removed from the library before it has been checked out, the security system will notify the front desk not only that an item has left the library, but precisely which item it was that wasn’t checked out. The library will be equipped with all new computers. These new computers,



called thin clients, work from a central server. This allows for a consistent experience, no matter which computer you happen to be using. The thin clients are also easier to maintain and are able to be fixed much more quickly than a standard computer if something does go wrong. Visitors will be able to make a reservation to use one of these new computers through an automated reservation system, without visiting

the front desk. The reservation system will track the amount of time used and automatically renew the time if no other visitors are waiting for a computer. A new printing system networked to the computers will allow visitors to print, copy, fax, or scan, and pay for these services with cash or a credit card. Printing can also be done through this system from wireless devices, from inside the library or even

new library! Welcome to the new ARTESIA PUBLIC LIBRARY We’ll be hosting tours of the new library on Grand Opening day, but until then take a “virtual” tour of the new building. START AT THE “YOU ARE HERE” ICON, and walk north to the main entrance on your right. As you enter the library, the first thing you’ll see is the curved circulation desk mirroring the Peter Hurd mural above it. On your left is the Teen Collection, and the 30 public computers with a dedicated computer training room beyond that. As you continue forward, you’ll see the spacious circulation room containing all of the adult books, music and magazines, comfortable seating and five private study rooms. Occupying the east wall is the Youth Collection, which includes the Story Time theater and the adjacent secure outdoor play patio. There is also a project room and a separate restroom. Heading back to the main entrance, you will pass the staff workspaces, and on your left is the Special Collection reading room, which will contain the library’s genealogy and Southwest collections. On the west side of the new building is a large community room which can be divided into two smaller rooms. The public will be able to reserve and use the rooms after hours, as the doors to the library can be secured separately. There is space for a café vendor and garden seating. The new Artesia Public Library offers something for everyone! CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU ON OPENING DAY!

from other locations. Remote services will also include access to a wide array of new electronic resources. In addition to the eAudio books that the library has already been offering, members of the community will now also be able to check out eBooks. New books will be continually added to this collection in order to provide a wide variety of new and classic titles. Many new database subscriptions have been added to the collection.

The new databases cover a wide range of topics and include:

by product type, brand, model/engine type, and model numbers

• Mango Languages, a language learning program that contains over 50 languages and has both Android and iPhone applications

• A to Z World Travel includes detailed travel topics for over 200 world cities, including maps, disease risks, weather, emergency numbers, and currency converters.

• Price It!, an identification, research, and pricing tool for antiques and collectibles • Small Engine Repair Reference Center, a collection covering routine maintenance issues, as well as extensive repairs, that are searchable

If you have any questions about these, or other new services that the library is offering, please talk to a member of the staff or call the library at 575-7464252.



F O C U S on mainstreet

The Artesia MainStreet District




The answer is NO- they cannot! Downtowns have traditionally been the center of retail shopping, and here in Artesia we still have many thriving downtown retail businesses, but discount centers and malls have become a popular option in addition to Main Street. There are several reasons why the MainStreet District is important in addition to great retail opportunities in Artesia. We know that the MainStreet District is a prominent employment center for several large service companies and dozens of smaller companies. There are a large amount of people that are



employed in Artesia that are employed in the downtown area. Our downtown is a reflection of our community -- and our pride and level of investment is evident in the design of the downtown. Our beautiful downtown is a critical factor in business retention and recruitment. Our downtown is also an ideal location for independent businesses, which keep profits in town, support other local business, families, schools and community projects. The MainStreet District is a large part of Artesia’s history and is evidence of

its independent spirit. The uniqueness of Artesia’s downtown is also a tourist attraction, offering wonderful shopping and dining. A healthy Main Street also increases property values, creating a ripple effect by improving values in larger areas even outside the district. Our MainStreet District also represents a huge public and private investment in our streetscape improvements and beautiful statues. In addition to great shopping and dining, we can see why a healthy downtown is good for the entire city and community. By shopping local, you receive a distinctive product or service and invest in our city’s future, all by walking down Main Street!



ADOPT A PET 1 & 2 • Members of the Girls Can Change the World

Club hosted an Adopt a Pet Day in September at Paws & Claws Humane Society. Visitors were given the opportunity to microchip their animals or adopt a pet during the event. Pictured standing from left are: Emma Paxton, Adrian Harvey, Angelina Bratcher and Elena Harvey. Seated, from left are: Carmen Harvey, Tayler Henry, Gracie Rand and Stella Rand. 3 4

FLOODING BY RIVER 3 • Unusually heavy rains in Artesia and the

surrounding areas in September caused flooding at and around the Pecos River. The river, which was nearly completely dry prior to the rains, was at full crest at one point and flood waters reached far to the east and west of the river. Excited onlookers could be seen for days stopped along the highway taking pictures.

HOMECOMING 4 & 5 • Artesia High School celebrated

Homecoming on Friday, Sept. 13. The Bulldogs took on the Valencia Jaguars and came out with their second victory of the season. Pictured are participants in the annual Homecoming Parade which begins at Bulldog Bowl, proceeds down Main Street and concludes at Second Street.


5 6

HURD MURAL DAMAGED SECTION 6 • While welding the frame for the mural’s

transport, embers caught a large portion of the mural on fire, causing extensive damage, including the area containing Hurd’s signature. David Olin, a conservator from Virginia, assessed the mural in September and will return in the spring to repair the damaged section.

BETHEL BAPTIST JUBLIEE 7, 8 & 9 • Bethel Baptist Church celebrated its



75th Anniversary in September with a Jubilee! Visitors from all over southern New Mexico attended the celebration and speakers from churches in surrounding communities took part in the ceremony by speaking and performing. After the ceremony everyone gathered in the fellowship hall where they enjoyed camaraderie and good food. Bethel Baptist Church is located at 609 N. Seventh St. and is pastored by Rev. Thomas E. Ford.



F O C U S on business

First American Bank

Is No Stranger to the Change Game DURING THE 110 YEARS SINCE THEY OPENED THEIR DOORS, First American Bank has seen its share of change, including that of their very own name. Their most recent undertaking, however, includes the revamping and reworking of the parking lot and drive-up window area to accommodate the new and highly anticipated public library. “We actually had plans in place to put in a new drive-through before Yates and the City of Artesia came to us with their ideas for a new library,” Greg Marrs, corporate president, shared. The bank’s original plans, it turns out, called for a new drivethrough building to be placed in the exact proposed location as the new public library. At the time of the request, the bank was using the space for employee parking. A change of plans was in order. “The fact is, it was our land and it was being heavily utilized; it was being used as parking for our employees,”



Marrs continued. “But when they came to us about Estelle’s (Yates) vision, we didn’t hesitate. We said we’d be happy to help make it all come together, and we’d do whatever we needed to do.”

IN THE BEGINNING Having done their last drive-through renovation in the 1950s, the powers that be at First American Bank (FAB) knew it was due for an update. So a couple of years ago they drew up their plans, which included swapping their employee parking lot and the drivethrough building. Primarily for safety reasons, they even had plans in place

for a sky bridge whereby employees could access the drive-through from the main building without ever having to set foot outside. All those plans changed, however, when plans for the new library were brought into play. Here’s where things get confusing, so pay close attention! The bank owned the land on which they wanted to build the new library. The City of Artesia owned the land on which the old library was located. And Jimmy Mason, owner of Bennie’s Western Wear, owned the land that needed to be utilized for the bank’s new drivethrough location and part of the new roundabout. And so the swapping began. First American Bank agreed to swap land with the City of Artesia. That meant their employees would be FOCUSNM.COM

works in the First American Bank marketing department. Marrs added, “We got our heads together and came up with this scenario and between these parties we were able to come up with a workable solution. It’s creating a win/win for the City of Artesia.”

ECONOMIC IMPACT Shipman said he believes the new library is a “quality of life” issue that will benefit the entire city. “So for us to be able to be a part of that thrills us,” he shared. “It is allowing us to update our drive-through, it will be a state-of-the-art facility, and we will be able to enhance our traffic flow for our customers.”

without parking, but only temporarily; it also meant the city would become the new landowner for the library’s new location. Once the new library is constructed, the old library would be demolished and a new parking lot would be constructed. In the meantime, First Baptist Church agreed to allow the bank employees to park in one of their parking lots to help ease some of the burden. “This never would have come together without the City, Jimmy Mason, First Baptist Church and other nearby businesses that made changes and did things that helped move this project forward,” said Bud Shipman, who

Recently, FAB reworked the parking lot at the front of the building, keeping in mind, Marrs stated, the vision and goals of Artesia MainStreet. “We tried to design it where it doesn’t impede the views of the library from Main Street,” he said. Shipman interjected, “It will be a campus-like setting once it’s all said and done. There will be a walking path that will lead from the Sally Chisum statue (in front of the bank) all the way to the library.” Like many in the community, FAB employees understand that while construction of the new state-of-theart library has caused some hardships and setbacks, the benefits will be well worth it in the long run. “At the end of the day we will have a brand new drive-through and the

community will have a brand new library,” Marrs said. “It will enhance the neighborhood and should make things more convenient for our customers. So considering all that, it should definitely be a ‘win’ for us and for our customers.”

FUTURE GROWTH By all accounts, FAB, a 110-year-old business with roots in Artesia from the get-go, is not going anywhere, regardless of how much they grow and expand across the state. “We’re very committed to this community,” Marrs admits. “We have grown a lot. We began branching out in 1996 and we’re in 14 communities and 20 locations now, but it’s important to remember that our corporate headquarters are right here. We have stayed true to this community, and we feel it’s important to stay here.” He went on to say, “We are also very committed to (Artesia) MainStreet. When it was being done in its initial phases, we were on board with that. We actually revamped our parking lot to accommodate the Sally Chisum bronze statue.” Shipman shared his sentiments and added, “It ties back into what’s being done with the library. We have been a good team player from the beginning. It’s a good project that’s helping the community out, so we want to be part of that.”

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F O C U S on history




Photos courtesy of Jennifer Coats of Jennifer Coats Photography





Artesia Public Library - 1957

The present location of the library, between Third and Roselawn Streets - facing Richardson, was formally opened on November 3, 1957.

Third Street Location (PICTURED BELOW)

The library was housed in various locations throughout the early years of Artesia. At one time, it was located in this building around 110 S. Third Street which later was the location of the Western Union Office.


On July 28, 1939, the Artesia Public Library moved to the basement of the Old City Hall. It was later moved upstairs. It remained housed in this building until 1957. It was at this location that the library first offered free library service to the community. Until that time, membership dues were $1 a year, or .25 for a three month ticket.



Current library after the 1985 addition.

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F O C U S on the mural



Photo courtesy of Jennifer Coats of Jennifer Coats Photography


One Last River To Cross by Elizabeth Stephens

“How would you feel about going down to Houston and driving back with the Peter Hurd mural?” Since spontaneous road trips are one of my favorite things, when that lastminute invitation to help photograph the move of the mural was offered, I could not believe my luck, and I didn’t hesitate to pack my bags. I was to accompany Suzee Corbell who had been commissioned to document the trip.

inside and outside of the building and the crated mural, and learning something about the mechanics of how they had accomplished all that. We photographed the workers and welders, their tools and their signatures on the mural crate. Their attitude, one of pride of ownership, was also visible.

The moving of the mural was anything but spontaneous. The library building committee had been able to take a look at the mural the year before, going over the pros and cons of taking on the project and ultimately deciding that this was an extraordinary opportunity for the city of Artesia. From there it was imagined, discussed, planned and poured over by architects and engineers who drew up stacks of papers about how to best manage the detachment and move. It was something that hadn’t been done before, and, I like to add “...never in the history of the world.”

Then we drove back to Artesia, commenting on how green Houston had been, and how deadly dry West Texas and eastern New Mexico were. Less than two weeks later, we were back on the same highway, this time the mesquites were leafing out and the azaleas were blooming in Houston. There had been last minute adjustments. A concrete slab was poured, replacing the wooden ramp to make a strong, level runway for the mural’s exit, and the truck’s trailer was adjusted to make sure the mural rode with no undue stress.

On the 10-hour trip from Artesia to Houston, Suzee and I had plenty of time to wonder what we’d find when we got there—how best to capture it? The one thing we didn’t plan on was their not being able to move it at all, at least, not right then. More preparation was needed. On that first trip down to Houston, we spent our time interviewing the engineers and art conservators, photographing the

The morning before the move, the crane came and was set with its counter weights, the rigging was assembled and balanced—those adjustments fine-tuned from 30 feet in the air. The final extraction of the mural from that shell of a building was excruciatingly slow—literally inch by inch, with two workers using comealongs, chains and skates. The actual FALL 2013 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE


loading of the mural did not take that long, but seemed like an eternity as we watched it float and sway, suspended in the air in a slow progression toward the trailer. And there were last-minute setbacks before we could leave. Overgrown trees required tying back rather than trimming; some pavement demolition had begun that morning, so one end of the drive was fenced in and torn to pieces, the exit piled high with dirt. Traffic was blocked in front of M.D. Anderson in both directions, but we sat for a time while ambulances that were already on their way rushed past. There was a small crowd, watching with a jaundiced eye, wondering if our driver really could finagle the 151-foot truck and trailer out of that narrow, difficult drive onto Holcomb Boulevard. We left Houston in a caravan of pilot trucks, city and highway law enforcement cruisers and motorcycles, support trucks, escort trucks, bucket trucks, supervisors’ pickups and a Jeep, all with lights flashing. Joel Kaufman, one of the engineers for Linbeck, opted to ride with Suzee and me, despite her Jeep being crammed full of cameras, video equipment and luggage. We made small talk and read aloud road signs that caught our eye, announcing the names of the bayous, creeks and rivers as we drove over— we crossed the Colorado just on the



outskirts of Houston. Getting out of Houston wasn’t simple. Going around that first corner, the wheels of the trailer seemed to be up on the curb with the mural at a highly unnatural slant that left my heart pounding. Later I would hold my breath, as if that would help, as the truck and its load squeezed under an overpass or threaded its way through traffic signals. But the mural was in good hands. The men in charge were competent men who had done this kind of work before and were respectful, but not in awe, of our big box. Men mostly built like refrigerators wearing company t-shirts and hardhats with their names on the crown, men used to hard labor who, despite the advanced technology of machines, had to physically climb, push, pull, strain against the steel, would fearlessly balance on the 12-point harness, lift electric wires, bend back stop lights and once, wrestle a tarp that could have yanked them up into the sky like they were parasailing. On the Route Inspection form issued by the Texas Department of Transportation, who charts out moves such as this, our Start City was Houston, and End City: Midland. In between are roads that are about as untraveled as you can get, roads that seemed almost forsaken, with only an

occasional pickup or tractor. When someone in a hurry did get behind us, and appeared determined to pass, it was a source of worry; that driver was going to be in the left-hand lane a lot longer than he expected. Passing required speed and horsepower and the space that the Texas rolling hills don’t often provide. People meeting us would wave, but that is the custom in our part of the world. The change in landscape is not so noticeable on the interstate, but on the trip back, which took the better part of three days driving the two-lane back roads, you can take in things most people don’t have time to. In Wallis, there’s the Guardian Angel Church, established in 1892, and we prayed that their angel would travel along with us for a while, getting us safely away from there. Hallettsville has a beautiful county courthouse— we saw several courthouse squares along the way, some thriving, some almost abandoned, but we bypassed most of them, as do many travelers these days. The caravan worked its way west to Shiner, a town of 2,000, best known for Spoetzl Brewery and Shiner beer, and stopped for the evening. We made about 135 miles that first day. Traveling with this sort of load is a sun-up to sun-down proposition, so you get your coffee early, load up

your luggage, have a bite of truck stop breakfast, and most importantly, be ready to roll just before the sun rises. Leaving Shiner, we turned north to La Grange, again crossing the Colorado River just north of town. We continued to shun the wider highways, driving on roads that most people probably don’t know about, even if they live there. We zigzagged north, going through little towns every few miles, most with a population now under 3,000, many originally established by the railroad. I was happy to be driving through Rockdale, home to some of my relatives, and Rosebud, birthplace of the Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson, according to the billboard at the edge of town. We came across the Brazos just south of Calvert where we and the river both veered west. At Temple we crossed I-35 with no fanfare, sitting on the east side of the highway until all the stars were aligned and the escort vehicles were able to halt traffic long enough to get us through the intersection. In those few days we got to know something about the people we were traveling with—it seemed important to do that—we were a team. And the morning Suzee and I were awarded purple t-shirts with the KENCO logo on them, we were much more than proud, we were accepted. We felt

“I am a regionalist. My world centers in the Southwest, and it does not extend very far away. I find in it enough material to delight and inspire me not for one lifetime but for several.” - Peter Hurd comfortable standing in that circle that forms on gravel parking lots or by the sides of the highways where people stand and talk and tell jokes and stretch stories. We passed through towns that not a lot of people have heard of, towns like Moody and McGregor, and some they have, such as Crawford. (Mr. President, you sure have a pretty place there.) Local law enforcement would join our dwindling caravan to help direct the traffic. Stop lights tilted up as the crate slowly eased under them; long strips of wood protected the top of the crate and helped keep wires from snagging on the metal box. We waited for almost an hour outside the city limits of one town that does not permit traffic such as ours to pass during the lunch hour—a midday curfew. People notice when you are hauling a 15 x 50 x 12 foot crate. Grown men, teenagers, women with their babies would all come to a standstill after a first glance. They’d stop for a longer

look and then wave and wonder what could possibly be in that box. Even the livestock would look up in mild amazement as we barreled past, tossing the tree limbs and blowing up dust. We went through Hico, where my grandfather had been postmaster in 1880, and on up to Stephenville, home of Tarleton State University and Ty Murray, champion pro rodeo cowboy. Skirting around the south edge of town, we made a rare stop, filling up with fuel and answering questions about what we were hauling. There we turned almost due south, driving down to Dublin, pausing long enough to stock up on their special recipe of Dr. Pepper. It was prairie with bluebonnets, pastures with scrub oak, but very little livestock—it was dry in that part of the country, too, and some of it was on fire by then. From there we dipped further south to Comanche, so named because it had once been their land, then back up to Rising Star, where the city hall is built



of stone from a buried petrified forest. Turning north just south of Baird, we stopped for the second night. That day we made about 350 miles. I don’t have a recommendation for an interstate motel along that stretch of road—I can advise you to pack your own coffee filters if you don’t want to use a paper towel. On the other hand, one of the best restaurants in the state of Texas is in Clyde—“Bon Terra Blu.” According to our desk clerk, it’s “one of them high dollar fancy places up the road a’ ways”—believe me, it’s worth your time and money to find it. Just as the sun was rising, we continued on north to Albany, where there’s another fine example of the type of magnificent courthouses that are common in that part of the state. We turned due west, crossing over the Clear Fork of the Brazos more than once between Anson and Snyder, passing cotton fields, oil fields and wind farms. On this side of Gail, we drove up onto the Caprock, the rolling hills flattening into plowed sandy fields, the sky open and empty. Then the country changed again, this time to ranchland and oil fields with drilling rigs, pump jacks and storage tanks. We approached the Midland airport from the north, other vehicles still pulling over, some practically in bar ditches, to watch this



giant truck make the sharp turns to get in through the gates. After we’d finally reached the airport, again we waited. Air traffic had to be considered; the route to the hangar included an overgrown field with no visible tracks. And as the trucks pulled into position preparing to unload the crate, pilots taxiing down the runway craned their necks the same as farmers had, wondering at that huge box. Unloading and storing the mural was a long, hard day’s work. It was spring.

The wind threatened to pick up to the point that the crane could not even be extended. And, there was a large grass fire just to the south of the airport, smoke billowing up to the point that some flights were delayed. A wild day, but the men kept on working, and finally, using cranes, riggings, fork lifts, chains and a lot of elbow grease, the mural was maneuvered into the rear of the hangar. Dinner that day was 10 boxes of pizza from the backend of an SUV. And then, there she sat, literally cooling her heels (a climate system had been installed around it) waiting

The present library and the bank drive-through were shut down for safety reasons. People dressed up for a party came in droves, packing the streets and sidewalks, setting up their umbrellas, camp chairs and tripods. People lined both sides of the highway from the railroad tracks all the way to Richardson and stood on the roof of the First American Bank, all waiting. It was a hot day, but they stayed, occasionally walking to McDonalds to get a cold drink or a snack and take another picture with their cameras and cell phones from a different angle. Across the street from the library, Lois Oliver Real Estate invited people in to have a bite to eat, something to drink and the chance to cool off. Artesia had thrown a welcome party. People had started gathering the day before to watch the roof come off, applauding when it happened. for the new space to be built, waiting until August 29th, 2013.

CROSSING THE PECOS At last it was time—there was one more loading and unloading, one more river to cross. This time it was the Pecos River, a New Mexico river, and Mr. Hurd’s mural would be home. Moving took basically the same, precise, time-consuming steps that had been used before, but the trip

from Midland to Artesia had its own challenges. The forecast of rain delayed the move by a day. The diverting of our law enforcement escort stopped us in Eunice overnight. The next morning there were detours onto dirt streets with mammoth potholes. We traveled the potash roads west of Andrews toward Artesia, where we were held up again for almost two hours. A truck just in front of us had high-centered, dumping gravel onto the highway. We got to Artesia by 1:00 p.m., only a little later than the train that passes through about that time.

It was a historic trip. It was a trip that Mr. Hurd could have been predicting for his mural even before he painted it, spanning the Gulf Coast plains across the prairie and central plains to West Texas and into New Mexico. Driving so far, for so long, even with two other people in the car, there were times when the conversation lulled, sputtered, came to a complete halt. Sometimes the only sounds were



New Mexico & Texas Locations of

the tires on the rough pavement and the constant clicking of the warning flashers. And that gave me time to wonder, “What would Mr. Hurd think of all this fuss?” Really, I think he’d like it. I think he’d be glad to know his work was closer to home. Mr. Hurd had written, “I am a regionalist. My world centers in the Southwest, and it does not extend very far away. I find in it enough material to delight and inspire me not for one lifetime but for several.” Mr. Hurd had lived in Artesia, taught at the college. His studio was where the Adobe Rose is now. He was one of us. And, I believe he would have enjoyed the drive back. He would appreciate the process, relish talking to the drivers—one or two might have ended up in another one of his paintings, a model for his next mural. More than one appeared to have the rivers of Texas etched into their sunbaked faces. Mr. Hurd might have been pleased, certainly surprised, deeply satisfied to see people’s determination and ingenuity, and most likely shocked that anyone would go to such lengths for one of his frescos. Life has changed, the world has changed several times since Mr. Hurd painted that mural—it is of a simpler, more rural time. As he had written, the landscape itself is timeless, yet alive with activities of man at work, improving and developing his natural resources for the present and the future. The right hand side of the mural could be New Mexico, and is so purely Peter Hurd. I don’t know if Prudential’s territory reached this far—Mr. Hurd may have told them that it’s West Texas, but people here feel differently— we believe it’s New Mexico, and we know, for sure, the mural is finally where it belongs.



PETER HURD WORKS OF ART Paintings New Mexico Museum of Art Santa Fe, New Mexico Charcoal Lincoln Historic Site Lincoln, New Mexico WPA Mural Otero County Office Building Alamogordo, New Mexico Paintings Hurd-Wyeth Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico Paintings Hurd-La Riconada San Patricio, New Mexico Paintings/Lithograph Carlsbad Museum and Art Center Carlsbad, New Mexico Paintings Roswell Museum Roswell, New Mexico Mural-Private Collection Roswell Country Club Roswell, New Mexico

Paintings Johnson Gallery Of University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico Paintings Museum on New Mexico Santa Fe, New Mexico WWII Life Magazine Covers American Air Power Heritage Museum Midland, Texas WPA Murals Terminal Annex Dallas, Texas WPA Mural Big Spring Post Office Big Spring, Texas 16 Panel Fresco Murals Texas Tech University Rotunda, Holden Hall Lubbock, Texas Paintings El Paso Museum of Art El Paso, Texas

New Mexico Military Institutes

Paintings The Grace Museum Abilene, Texas

Charcoal Study Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare New Mexico Farm and Ranch Las Cruces, New Mexico

Paintings Sid Richardson Collection of Western Art Dallas, Texas

Unknown Works Las Cruces Museum of Art Las Cruces, New Mexico

Paintings Panhandle-Plains Hist. Museum Canyon, Texas

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F O C U S on architecture

TheMan Plan by Kyle Marksteiner


was hired to design a building, but a background that also includes training in urban planning gave him the edge when it came to visualizing Artesia’s new library. He visualizes a city as a home, and the library plays a very special role in that picture. “It’s the living room of the city,” he noted.

investigative, preliminary work,” he noted.

Zelaya originally came from Honduras, where he obtained a graduate degree in architecture and urban planning. He’s lived in the United States since 1998, and he received a master’s degree in architecture from the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning. He has also studied Urban Environmental Planning in Holland, and he worked in Minnesota before returning to New Mexico.

A total of 12 architectural firms submitted proposals for the library about three years ago. A committee narrowed it down to five interviews and ultimately selected Zelaya’s firm – JMZ Arquitectos, LLC. Albuquerque firm Jaynes Corp. handled construction and installation of the Peter Hurd mural.

Zelaya has worked a wide variety of projects in Artesia over the past ten years. But the library design was a dream come true. “When I heard about the interest to have a library, I started doing some



“At that time, my strongest point in the proposal was that I felt this would have to be a downtown library,” Zelaya said. “So much investment in the city has been downtown, and the library has to capitalize on that.” PHOTO LEFT: Jose Zelaya, Architect of the new Artesia Public Library. SKETCH BELOW: The initial conceptual design for the new library.

It would have been possible, Zelaya noted, to build an excellent library two miles to the west. “But that would suck some energy out of downtown,” he added. “My argument was that a huge asset like a library should remain in your downtown corridor.” The committee apparently appreciated Zelaya’s vision. The same day he was selected, he received a phone call telling him his design should consider incorporating the Hurd mural. “Before I drew a line on paper, I flew to Houston,” he noted. “I wanted to look at the mural and understand what it was, what it meant for the 50 something years it was at M.D. Anderson and what it meant now that it would be in Artesia. The mural didn’t rule the design, but it was definitely an integral part of the design.”

Zelaya’s next step was to address the operations of the library. Libraries are changing organizations, and what is needed today may not be what is needed in 25 years, where most books may be electronic. He got to work on a programming document that would address the functionality of the library, in terms of staff and the likely collections of books and CDs. “The library in Artesia has a very small staff,” Zelaya added. “We were going from 13,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet, so we wanted to be very precise with our measurements. Imagine a nurse’s station in the hospital. How many steps does it take a nurse to get to a room?” His first diagram was designed to make sure the library’s current and future staff and patrons can get around the building as needed. After that, a series of public meetings took place in Artesia to gather input. Feedback was

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put into the design. “From that document came the design of the library,” he said. “We knew what the city desired, and we know how the library needs to function.” A design goal of flexibility is expressed in the large central room of the library. It may be used for shelving today, but can be redesigned in the future for couches if the library goes digital. Many design elements also considered the Hurd mural. “The mural is a gift to Artesia, and I wanted it to be visible even when the library is closed,” Zelaya said. Zelaya’s design uses concrete blocks for most of the building. “There’s something tactile about masonry work,” he said. “There’s a certain craftsmanship of a building being laid out by hand, one block on

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“Libraries are wonderful organizations,” Zelaya shared. “It’s a great idea for a city, and I commend Artesia for investing in its library. Choosing a library to put resources into is fantastic. A library is filled with inspiration, and a building has to reflect those ideas.”

top of another. The other reason is that, with the idea of transcending time, this material feels like it will be there for a long time.” Other parts of the library, such as the children’s tower, use COR-TEN steel to add a rustic but equally timeless appearance.

Moving the mural to the library was stressful for the architect. A portion of the library’s roof was specifically designed to be removed for the specific purpose of adding the mural later, and the design had to be flawless before, during and after the process.

As far as the design’s geometry goes, Zelaya said the flare of the roof is the most characteristic part of the building. “Buildings must be a part of their street,” he said. “But some buildings, such as a library, you want to begin a new skyline.”

Zelaya and other members of the design team knew the weight and general dimensions and plans. They’d

The shape of the building’s top is actually inspired by the Sacramento Mountains to the west. In fact, the outline of the building matches the outline of the mountain silhouette seen in the distance while heading north from Artesia.

even tested it on a computer model. “But it wasn’t until the crane operator performed the action that we knew it was working,” he stated. “None of us had ever done that before. I was stressed and excited, but it went very smoothly.” Another interesting tidbit was the behind- the-scenes negotiations to get the library in the right spot. “We had to create new blocks, do land swaps and change property lines to make this work,” Zelaya added. “Otherwise, the library wouldn’t have fit.” For more information on Zelaya’s vision, visit

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F O C U S on literacy

Literacy Council Working to Improve Reading Skills in Artesians by Susan Cotham

Imagine that one out of ten people in Artesia cannot read this sentence. Sounds impossible, right? Wrong. According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy, 14 percent of U.S. adults cannot read. June Marie Avery, of the Artesia Literacy Council, says that there are hundreds of Artesians that struggle with reading. “Possibly hundreds can’t read above 5th or 6th-grade levels and their math skills are below third grade,” she said. According to U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy, published April 28, 2013, Avery is correct. It says 21 percent of Americans cannot read above a fifthgrade level.

“I see people eager to progress,” said Avery, praising the volunteers and board of directors, who also volunteer their time. “We use everything from phonics to computer software applications. It’s whatever will help that student achieve his or her goals,” she said. According to a 2012-2013 report, the ALC had eight tutors who donated a total of 241.25 hours, along with other in-kind volunteer hours totaling 513.1. At a standard wage of $22.40 per hour, that equates to $16,897.44. As a result, one student obtained employment, one obtained citizenship, one obtained a GED and two obtained a library card.

However, Artesia doesn’t believe in ignoring this problem. Instead, the Artesia Literacy Council (ALC), located at 2002 Grand Ave., has been actively working on improving reading skills since 1995, when some concerned citizens wanted to do something for people who “fell between the cracks,” said Avery.

The ALC also works with other agencies to bring as much assistance to Artesians as possible. ALC sponsors include The New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, North Eddy County United Way, Yates Petroleum Corporation and other private donations. “We are so proud to be in a community that gives so much,” said Avery.

“The need is tremendous,” she said, citing a recent example of a young mother who came into the program after embarrassing her first-grade child. Avery said the woman helped her child with a first-grade math assignment, and all the answers were wrong. The youngster asked his mother not to help him again.

Avery hopes more people use the ALC in the future. “It’s definitely an underutilized resource,” she said, noting that many people don’t get help because of embarrassment. Others might assume that because they failed in a classroom environment, they cannot be successful.

This is where the Artesia Literacy Council makes the difference. The ALC is a no-cost, one-on-one tutoring program for people who need to learn basic literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), pre-GED studies, U.S. citizenship studies and workplace and daily life survival skills, like filling out forms.

make sure students are successful, often meeting outside the ALC facility. “The library is used as a meeting place for the tutor and student outside of regular hours,” she said. The ALC is currently seeking more tutors to provide services for the program. According to Avery, anyone interested should have a working knowledge of the subject and a desire to help people. ALC will provide training. Avery also wants to create more community awareness of the program so that others can get help. She said there are many benefits for students. “They can get a GED, which means a better job or training, and possibly college,” she said. Reasons to read include GED, better job or training, family needs and to go to college. The service is completely free. Anyone interested can stop by and get help. All it takes is an application, and then he or she is placed with a tutor and agrees to make a commitment of two to three hours a week. According to Avery, the investment is priceless.

However, the ALC is not a typical classroom setting. “We find the one-on-one particularly effective with our non-traditional students,” Avery said, explaining that tutors go out of their way to PHOTO: June Marie Avery with the Artesia Literacy Council.



F O C U S on education

Educating Artesia’s Youth Is a Crossover Effort NOBODY KNOWS BETTER THAN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

how a library can help bring a community together. Libraries of today are not just places to house books and computers; they are places where connections are made, ideas are shared and partnerships are built. The Artesia Public School system, aware of the fact that technology plays a vital role in the education of today’s youth, is eager to partner with the new Artesia Public Library in providing students of all ages a place to learn and share ideas while still fostering their desire to read. “I think kids will be more drawn to the library than ever before, and we’re excited about that,” said John Ross Null, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Testing for the Artesia Public School system. “The new library has so much more to offer than just to a place to go check out a book. It will have different rooms that target different age groups, murals, cool architecture, access to technology; it’s just an inviting place to be, and I think our kids will really be drawn to it.” Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton agreed and said he believes students as well as their families will benefit immensely. “So many places have libraries that aren’t being utilized as much. I feel like the new library will end up being the heart of the community, a good place for Artesians to gather and get information,” he said.


So what specific services will likely benefit students the most? According to library staff, the new facility has an abundance of features and offerings that students are sure to enjoy, such as a Teen Collection, 30 public computers, private study rooms, a Youth Collection, a Story Time theater and the adjacent secure outdoor play patio. The facility also has a project room and a café. With so many offerings, it’s easy to see why educators FOCUS ON ARTESIA | FALL 2013

across the board believe students will benefit on various levels. “The fact that the new library will have computers will greatly benefit our students, especially those who might not have access to computers or technology like that at home,” Caton suggested. He went on to say, “I really think we’ll see an increase in our summer reading program as well. I think it will help with the lag we see over the summer. Now they’ll be able to pick up right where they left off. The crossover won’t be the same, but it will be compatible, which, any time we can get students to read more, we’re all for it.” According to Null, school librarians and public librarians are currently working to put together other programs that will bring the two entities together. APS students will eventually enjoy field trips to the public library and will have opportunities to work and conduct research there as well. “I don’t think it can do anything but have a positive impact on our schools and our students,” he shared. “I don’t think it will pull away from our libraries; our libraries will be used while school is in session. In fact, it will be nice because it will add more resources.” It’s easy to see why library staff and school staff alike are prone to believe the new public library will become a hub for Artesia’s younger population. “Look at our newest school, Yeso (Elementary); the library is right in the center and everything else goes off of that,” Null said. Caton interjected, “Libraries are like a revolving door now. Our circulation has gone up significantly because of AR (Accelerated Reading program) and I think having more resources will benefit our students greatly.” Features such as the ones available at the new public library make it so the public library isn’t just a place to pop in and grab a book to take home. Instead, it will likely be a place for dialogue and shared learning and cultural experiences for the whole family. FOCUSNM.COM

Libraries as Champions of Youth MORE THAN JUST HOUSING BOOKS

and banks of computers, libraries are still places where individuals gather to explore, interact and imagine. According to an online article published in April by Published Libraries Online, public libraries add value to communities and serve as cultural centers for patrons. Below is a list of ways public libraries serve youth, in particular, in various capacities:


The skills that teens pick up from teen advisory boards, volunteer opportunities, programs, and jobs can prepare them for success in high school, college, and the workforce. Brooklyn Public Library’s Multicultural Internship Program provides teens with positive work experiences, while also providing the library with a diverse staff that more closely mirrors the demographics of its community.

We would like to say “Welcome Home” to the new Artesia Public Library & Peter Hurd Mural!




These programs help bridge the economic divide that impacts students’ academic performance. The cost of hiring a private tutor is well beyond what many library patrons can afford, so libraries offer homework help and tutoring online, by phone, in person, and even through social media and homework apps. Annual summer reading programs also have a positive impact on student performance and, according to a 2010 study conducted by Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, students’ reading skills get a boost from these popular nationwide events.

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Through library collections, programs, and physical spaces, children learn to share, to be engaged in their communities, to participate in the arts, and to explore their immediate world and the world at large. There are surely endless examples of innovative library services for children, including the Middle Country Public Library’s (in Centereach, N.Y.) Nature Explorium, which engages children in learning about the natural world. These examples are just a few of the many amazing things that public libraries around the United States (and the world) are doing to build and maintain strong community connections. We encourage you to try some of these ideas in your own libraries, and we hope that these ideas will help you be better able to convince your community leaders of the important role that public libraries play in communities large and small. References Brooklyn Public Library, “Multicultural Internship Program,” accessed June 6, 2011 • Homework NYC homepage, accessed June 6, 2011 • Susan Roman, Deborah T. Carran, and Carole D. Fiore, “The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap,” Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, June 2010, accessed June 7, 2011 Middle Country Public Library, “MCPL Nature Explorium,” accessed June 7, 2011


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F O C U S on students

The New Artesia Public Library from the Students’ Perspective by Caylee Morrison, Anniston McCaleb, Kristen Ponce, Vynnessa Croci and Kaitlyn Devine JO U R N A LI SM ST U DEN TS AT A RT ESI A H IGH SCH O OL


ive Artesia High School Journalism students had the pleasure of sitting down with Sandi Lanning, Elizabeth Stephens and Sandra Borges with the Friends of the Artesia Public Library, and Hayley Klein, Executive Director of Artesia Chamber of Commerce and Artesia Library Foundation Director, to discuss the brand new Artesia Public Library. The excitement radiating from these women when they spoke of the library was contagious, and it didn’t take long before we felt this excitement too. They spoke about the logistics of the planning and construction, the Peter Hurd mural, the various people involved in the process, as well as the outcome of all this work, the library itself.



As high school students, the new library will be a new place to learn, a place to express ourselves, a place to have study sessions, as well as an awesome place to hang out. With the state-of-the-art teen area, we have the chance to leave the feeling of a small town and have experiences most often found in bigger cities. For our town to give us this opportunity is pretty amazing. Our needs were obviously taken into consideration, with the study rooms, computer access, hangout spot, and teen collection. The furniture is designed with comfort and functionality in mind, as well as being eye pleasing. The Peter Hurd mural is a valuable asset to our town, thanks to both the

history of the piece, as well as the monumental work it took to get it here. The mural was acquired from a building in Houston, Texas, set for demolition. When asked how the mural was chosen, Mrs. Stevens said, “We didn’t pick the mural…,” and Mrs. Lanning finished with, “It picked us.” The mural depicts agricultural lands, as well as the people working the lands. It was created by Peter Hurd, a native of New Mexico, who passed away in 1984. Having a library as breathtaking as ours brings pride to us, as well as Artesia. The library boasts many interesting and unique details. The roofline that mimics the Sacramento

Mountains will appear to float at night, thanks to the use of LED lights, which are environmentally friendly. The children’s area is a fun and exciting place for children to play, learn, read and explore. The area is accommodating to children from reading nooks in the walls to an outside play area. The reading tower is designed to resemble a “torreon,” or defensive tower which is to represent the children “protecting their castle, the library.” The carpet in the children’s area incorporates twelve bright colors to represent the twelve years before the child becomes a teen. The parent area provides a sense of comfort by providing a view into the children’s area. The new library will offer the community a vast selection of 50,000 books. We are so excited for the opening of the new Artesia Public Library, and we cannot wait to utilize all of its great features. We encourage all of our

classmates, as well as the community, to see what the library has to offer. Artesia can take pride in the library for many years to come.

COMMENTS FROM THE STUDENT WRITERS “I think the new Artesia Public Library is going to be great! The current library doesn’t seem to have much to offer me, but the new library will offer me plenty. I think this library will help kids get more studying done, and maybe less time out causing trouble. It will keep the kids busy with all the library has to offer.” - KRISTEN PONCE

“I’m most excited about the new books and how the teen zone will look when it’s done. Being a bookworm, I am excited for a new town library. The town has been in need of a new library for awhile, and I think we deserve it.” - KAITLYN DEVINE

“I’m really excited to see the mural! I’ve seen it in pictures, but I think it will be better in person. I want to see the details in it and how realistic it is. I’m looking forward to the study rooms so I can have a place to go study with my friends.” - VYNNESSA CROCI

“I believe the new Artesia Public Library will be a great addition to our town. I am excited to have a new place to study, hang out with friends, and learn. I appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this project.” - ANNISTON MCCALEB

“I think the new library was a wonderful idea. It allows people to go somewhere they can work in peace. It should be very beneficial to the community.” - CAYLEE MORRISON

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F O C U S on the arts

Accountant by Day, Renowned Artist by Night


y day he crunches numbers for one of Artesia’s largest employers. But by night, he’s Isaac Salazar – world renowned book artist whose work can be found in university libraries, private collections of the rich and famous and countless national and international publications. At first glance, Isaac Salazar looks like any other young, active husband and father. He is soft-spoken and is quick to greet people with a sweeping smile. But there’s more to this talented book artist, who is quickly building a following that spans the globe, than meets the eye. Five years ago, while watching his wife, Veronica, work on various arts and crafts projects, Salazar tapped into a side of himself that he didn’t even know existed. Out of sheer boredom, he said he picked up a book and began folding the pages to create images. “I had seen folded books with designs before, so I started off doing that,” he shared. “I took the book A World without Trees and folded the pages to create the recycle symbol. But I got bored pretty quickly.” He went on to say, “I stared at a book one day and noticed all the words and thought, ‘I wonder if I can fold the pages into actual words?’” And just like that, an artist was born! So what exactly is this book art sculpture Salazar creates? It’s the precise, time-consuming, tedious work of folding pages of books so that when complete, it forms an image or a word. It doesn’t sound like much until you stop to consider the precise angles that have to be folded just so and the measurements that have to be extremely accurate in order for the image to come across accurately. Each and every page of the book he is creating has to be



folded in a different spot, each and every page. Salazar’s book art has fostered the merging of ideas – recycling old books to reduce landfill waste while at the same time producing a creative outlet. His winning formula consists of browsing used books for titles that appeal to him and selecting a word or phrase from within the book to create the design. For example, a book with a love story to tell might very well become folded into the word “Love.” Like any artist with a lengthy resume, Salazar can quickly tell you his favorite creation, his most unusual request and his most popular design. “So far my favorite one is the Superman symbol I recently completed,” he admits, pointing to the finished product displayed on his fireplace mantle. “I started it a couple of years ago and since I was doing it to keep, it would get put on the back burner a lot. I finally finished it and it’s one of my favorites.” Most unusual request? “Definitely the anarchy symbol,” he says with a grin. Not long after he started his book art, a woman whose husband created a


book of posters of rock bands of the 70s sent Salazar one of her husband’s books with which she wanted him to create the anarchy symbol. “She wanted me to do the anarchy sign because that was one of the posters from the book,” he noted. “It was a difficult project because the pages were poster-type pages, so they were thicker and very slick.”

As if not even aware of his global status, Salazar is unassuming in his tremendous talent, and to say he is humble would be an understatement. In fact, most people right here in Artesia don’t even know this quiet accountant has an artistic side that rivals that of the most elite in the art world.

But that was then. Today, Salazar said he is more selective with his orders. “When I first started, I wasn’t sure of the direction I wanted to take, so I didn’t really turn anything down,” he explained. “Now I prefer projects that are more inspirational and positive.”

“He is very, very humble,” he wife whispered as she laid out piles of publications displaying his work. “He doesn’t say much about it, and he doesn’t go around talking about it. That’s just who he is.”

To date, the most highly requested and sought after word Salazar is asked to create is “Read.” Many publications include photos of “Read” in book review segments of magazines and websites.

Even his co-workers at Holly Frontier didn’t find out until recently that there’s another side to their local accountant of which they were not aware.

This type of art, folding pages into actual words, has never been seen before and often appeals to bibliophiles and art collectors alike. “When I compare my early books to what I do now, I can tell the difference in quality because I was trying to figure it out myself,” he said. “It was all trial and error.”

“When I first started doing my book art, I would work on it during my lunch breaks,” he recalls. “My coworkers just thought I was reading PHOTO LEFT PAGE: Artist, Isaac Salazar, with one

of his favorite pieces, the Superman “S”.

PHOTO BELOW: The Salazar Family, from left -

Isaac, Bella, Veronica and Isaac E.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Coats Photography.



or studying or something. But after I started getting published, I would bring the magazines and stuff to work and show them. They were so surprised that that’s what I had been working on. They had no idea!” “I guess it’s something kind of out of the norm for an accountant,” he quipped.

HOW IT ALL STARTED So how exactly did this local artist find such a following in the art and publication world? He’ll tell you it all started on the popular website, a site that allows artists to sell their works online, almost like a virtual shopping mall for handmade items. “I started getting a lot of interest from there,” he said. “Actually, it got too big, and I had to stop selling on Etsy and just go through my personal website.” After Etsy, he went on to post his books on another website called Flickr, which further boosted his popularity.



“It’s been an interesting ride to say the least,” he admits. When asked if he has any plans to quit the numbers game and focus on his art full-time, Salazar is quick with his response. “No way,” he says. “It’s a hobby. It’s recognized worldwide, I guess, but it’s still a hobby. I could never do it full-time because then it wouldn’t be a hobby anymore; it would become a job. In fact, I only work on my books at night and on the weekends, and I still have to walk away sometimes and take a break.” “He has a lot of patience, a lot,” his wife interjected. “I think that’s the key to his success. It takes a lot of patience – and of course talent!” That perfect mix of patience and talent, in fact, is what prompted her to nominate her husband for the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed annually upon a New Mexico resident by the governor. “Isaac has accomplished as much in a few years as a lot of people accomplish in a lifetime,” she explained.

And while the accolades would be appreciated, Salazar isn’t in the bookcreating business for the fame or even the money. “The most rewarding part of it for me is the emotional connection or the reaction I get from other people when they see it,” he shared. “The monetary part of it doesn’t make a difference. I just like to create things that are positive and inspiring and something for people to look forward to.” Salazar has donated the proceeds from his art auctions and fundraisers to organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen foundation. He has also donated pieces to assist local families in Artesia raise funds for medical expenses and most recently donated a book that Friends of the Library auctioned off for fundraising purposes. In addition, once the new Artesia Public Library is complete, a book he donated will be on permanent display. To view some of Salazar’s creations, visit his website:

INTERESTING PLACES AND PEOPLE DISPLAYING SALAZAR’S WORK: • The founder of the popular website Etsy commissioned him to create a book spelling out Etsy for his personal collection. • Broadway Paws, a non-profit organization in New York, had him create two paw print books that were presented to actors Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters, founders of the charity. • A company called Filigranes in the country of Belgium (similar to Barnes & Noble) commissioned him to create four books for an unveiling of a new advertising campaign titled (translated into English) “And you, why do you read?” The company flew his wife and him out for the unveiling. Photos of his work were then featured on buses, billboards and in advertisements throughout Europe.

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• Emory University commissioned him to create a series of books that when displayed together quote Albert Einstein: “Information is not knowledge.” The books are on permanent display in their library. • Illinois State University Milner Library commissioned Salazar to produce “Create” and “Read” books for display. • Nordstrom Department Stores commissioned Salazar to create three books for each of their 18 stores nationwide that they used for their 2010 wedding and bridal displays. “A while after I did those, a lady tracked me down out of the blue and asked me to create a book that said “Love.” She said she saw them on display when she registered for her wedding, and she had been trying to track me down ever since. She said, ‘You’re a hard person to find,’” he recalled with a laugh. • This summer, he was asked to create the letter O for the book segment of O Magazine, which was published in July. After they used the book for the photo shoot, they sent the book back to Salazar, which is now displayed on his fireplace mantle.


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• He has also exhibited work at Libreria Galleria Demetra in Milano, Italy. • W.W. Norton, a prominent publishing company, commissioned a book that was used as their catalogue cover image and was distributed worldwide. • Other prominent collectors of Salazar’s work include authors Pauline Farrar and Jessica Pressman; book artist Joy Campbell; and David Lopes, Vice President and Editor in Chief of Gingko Press, Inc. Other publications: Martha Stewart Living magazine • Reader’s Digest Esquire Magazine (twice) • Woman’s Day magazine Redbook Magazine • Glamour Magazine • Harper’s Bazaar Pasatiempo Magazine • Papercraft 2: Design and Art with Paper Bright Magazine • San Diego Jewish Journal • Trends Belgium Crazy Art book • Merge: Art + Craft + Design book Illinois State University has one of Salazar’s books on display Huffington Post online • • Artist a Day Site

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F O C U S on reading

TAKE TIME TO READ, For It Is the Fountain of Knowledge TAKING THE TIME TO READ

We’re surrounded all the time by claims on our attention. We have so many things to do—worthwhile, important ways to spend our time, to the point where we have to say “no” to some things that really matter. We have learned to be discerning, but as we say “yes” and “no” both, personal, quiet time alone with a book continues to fall further and further down the priority ladder. Many people will go to the computer or television before picking up a book. Research indicates that reading time is significantly down for adults. From 1982 until now, it has dropped around 25 percent, with only a little over 40 percent of adults having read any fiction in the past year. (17,000 adults surveyed)


A recent article titled “Family Unplugged,” by author Shawn Bean, addresses technology, and he begins by pointing out how very alluring it is, how the little red blinking lights, the unopened envelope that dings, the vibration you feel in your pocket, can tempt you in almost any situation, luring you away from the present. Bean writes about his family being on vacation; they are all sitting in a cabin in Cape Cod, four people with four screens, rather than talking to one another. That’s when he decided to do something. It was time to break up with the blinking lights! Take an Internet Sabbath! From bedtime Friday to sunrise Monday, all pluggedin devices were off-limits, including laptops and smart phones. Another man took his sons on a five-day digital sabbatical. What they



noticed was that the house felt very different, that they kept catching themselves reaching for a tech fix. They were going through withdrawals. And when they began thinking of alternatives to electric entertainment, they were planning high energy, visually stimulating, fast-paced activities, until the father asked, “Why am I trying to recreate television or a video game?” If we were to deliberately unplug, there would be time for other things—including reading. It would be good to rediscover undivided attention, eye contact, stillness. An appreciation for and appreciation of technology is essential in this era, but it is also increasingly important to take deliberate control in avoiding the pitfalls.


Experts will tell you the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. In that wording—“the single most important activity”—the experts are saying reading aloud is more important than worksheets, homework, assessments, book reports and flashcards. One of the cheapest, simplest and oldest tools of teaching is being promoted as a better teaching tool than anything else in the home or classroom. There is conclusive evidence to support reading aloud is important not only in the home but also in the classroom. “It is a practice that should

continue throughout the grades.” Here’s eye-opening research that’s uncomfortable, but so important it can be compared to all that smoking and cancer research—except this tells us why certain kids’ brains live long and why other children’s brains die young. The daily number of words for different groups of children was projected across four years; the fouryear-old child from the professional family will have heard 45 million words, the working-class child 26 million, and the welfare child only 13 million. There is one skill that matters above all others because it is the prime predictor of school success or failure:

the child’s vocabulary upon entering school. Yes, the child goes to school to learn new words, but the words he or she already knows determines how much of what the teacher says will be understood. And since most instruction for the first four years of school is oral, the child who has the largest vocabulary will understand the most, while the child with the smallest vocabulary grasps the least. All three children will show up for kindergarten on the same day, but one will have heard 32 million fewer words. The message in this kind of research is unambiguous: It’s not the toys in the house that make the difference in children’s lives; it’s the words in their heads. The least expensive thing we can give a child outside of a hug turns out to be the most valuable: words. You don’t need a job, a checking account, or even a high school diploma to talk with a child or to read to them! --Drs. Betty Hart and Todd Risley, University of Kansas. Jim Trelease, educator, author You see, reading truly is the fountain of knowledge!

WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO HAPPEN FOR READING TO BE SUCCESSFUL? Reading Fact #1 - Human beings are pleasure-centered. Read what you enjoy! Reading Fact # 2 - Reading is an accrued skill, and we get better with practice. It’s important to read things that may be difficult at first in order to challenge your brain. “The Uncommon Reader” posits the theory that the right book at the right time can ignite a lifelong habit. “It can be like a drug in a positive way,” said Daniel Goldin, general manager of the Bookshop in Milwaukee. “If you get the book that makes the person fall in love with reading, they want another one.” Ultimately, reading is a private act. “Why people read what they read is a great unknown and personal thing,” said Sara Nelson, editor in chief of the trade magazine Publishers Weekly. When asked, people have countless reasons for reading.

“A book changed my life. In my house, each room has its own book. I read for business and to expand my knowledge. I read for sheer pleasure! On public transport it kills time. I can escape into books; I enjoy the tactile feeling—a book in hand, sitting in a comfortable spot. It’s a different reality. I see myself in the characters—I can relate. The author gives me something to talk about at dinner. I read for inspiration, for education, to learn about history and culture. When I read, I use my imagination. I love language. I read for spiritual growth. It’s good for my mind. I can learn about the past, go on adventures, dream with my eyes open, and have access to the world I’d never get otherwise. I get different perspectives. I read for the romance!” Perhaps Mark Twain best sums up the importance of reading with this quote: “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read.” Take the time—reading is important!

Congratulations Artesia on the New Library and Peter Hurd Mural!

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F O C U S on the economy



ate 19th Century industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie said, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” This quote is a fitting and poignant way to describe the new Artesia Public Library – it is a visually stunning building that rivals those in more populous cities. In recent years, libraries in general have been seen as a repository for dusty old tomes, but in today’s technology driven world, how we use a library and its role in the community are changing. Embracing change and moving forward isn’t a new concept for Artesia, and the new library isn’t an exception. The new Artesia Public Library has faced the challenge and encompasses the new and the old in a space that is inviting to the public. The construction of the new library has changed the visual landscape of the downtown, creating another

cultural asset for the community, but has also made a measurable and lasting economic impact on our local economy. A significant investment made by private entities was leveraged with public money to complete the design, construction and completion of the interior of the building, as well as the infrastructure surrounding the building. This public/private partnership is a hallmark of Artesia, as much of what has been accomplished downtown can be credited to this. $4.5 million dollars invested by the City of Artesia, combined with $7.277 million dollars that was donated privately has shown the commitment and willingness of the community to invest in our future. While the investment of money made into the building is quite significant, the lasting economic effects of a new public library will be seen for years to come. In a report commissioned by the Urban Libraries Council entitled Making Cities Stronger: Public

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Library Contributions to Local Economic Development, renovated and technologically updated libraries are established engines for the development of business and local economy and cultural endeavors. The direct economic benefit of the new library can be linked to Artesia in three specific ways: • Improving early literacy and school readiness • Building workforce participation • Providing small business support Strengthened public libraries help make healthy and economically vibrant cities, contributing to quality of life for its current residents and future residents. Our strong local economy and large number of cultural assets have positioned Artesia as a hidden gem in southeast New Mexico – a one-of-a-kind city that invests in our best asset – the people of our community.

F O C U S on the chamber


Executive Director


Director of Administration

VICKIE GROUSNICK Events & Marketing Coordinator

KELCEY McCALEB Office Assistant


Artesia’s Economic Development Director

Artesia Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome the following businesses as new members.


1021 Rancho Rd Roswell, NM 88203 575.622.7880

HARLOW ENTERPRISES, LLC 26 Chalk Bluff Rd Artesia, NM 88210 575.703.1664

SUNBELT RENTALS 700 E. Mill Rd Artesia, NM 88210 575.746.2385



Artesia Chamber of Commerce and Trailblazers celebrated the opening of Gentiva Hospice July 31, which was formerly VistaCare. Gentiva provides expert nursing care, coverage of medications, equipment, and much more. They are located at 400 N. Pennsylvania Ave. #500 in Roswell and also do Hospice care in Artesia. Visit or call 575. 627.1145.

406 W. Richardson #5 Artesia, NM 88210 575.736.1562 tevenlofquist.cpp


105 S. 1st St. Artesia, NM 88210 575.746.2334

MBS SOLUTIONS, LLC 1702 W. Washington Ave Artesia, NM 88210 575.520.8235 consultant/keithderrick

EASY STREET SPORTS & GRAPHICS 110 S. Richardson Roswell, NM 88201 575.578.4823


Artesia Chamber of Commerce and Trailblazers celebrated the grand opening and welcomed IHOP to our community August 13. The place for all of your 24 hour breakfast needs, also offering delicious lunch and dinner meals. They are located at 105 S. 1st St. Open Monday- Sunday 24 hours. Visit or call 575.746.2334. FALL 2013 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE


F O C U S business directory

Serving South Eastern New Mexico Since 1947


CALL LILLY ANAYA 575.302.0815

or email:


575.746.3822 1405 W MAIN STREET

F O C U S calendar of events OCTOBER 2013

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05 • Altrusa Golf Scramble – ACC 15 • Henry & Mudge Performance – OPAC 19 • 37th Annual Art in the Park – OPAC 19 • NM 4-H Foundation Clover Buster – ECSRA 23 • Sierra Machinery Golf Tournament – ACC 26 • 6th Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration – AHM 26 • PAVLO Concert – OPAC 26 • United Way Benefit Golf Tournament – ACC


02-03 • Balloons & Bluegrass Festival - CoC Family Fun combining Hot Air Balloons and Live Bluegrass Music 16 • Jane L. Powell: Chocolate Goddess of Love - OPAC 11-30 • “Honoring Artesia’s Veterans” will open with an all new display of military memorabilia from the museum’s collection plus our Walls of Honor display. A reception will be held on November 11th directly following the ceremony at Baish Veterans Park until 2:30 pm. We invite everyone to join us as we show our appreciation for all of Artesia’s veterans, past and present. - AHM 23 • 2nd Annual AHS Band Booster Turkey Shoot - ECSRA 23 • Turkey Trot & Gobble Wobble Fun Run/Walk AMS


• Fly-In & Breakfast at Artesia Municipal Airport (1st Saturdays) • Open Clays (2nd Saturdays) - ECSRA • Registered Shoots (4th Sundays) - ECSRA

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call The Artesia Chamber of Commerce at 575-746-2744 or visit • Artesia Chamber of Commerce (CoC) • Artesia Clean & Beautiful (ACB) • Artesia Country Club (ACC) • Artesia Historical Museum & Art Center (AHM) • Artesia Main Street (AMS) • Ocotillo Performing Arts Center (OPAC)


05 • Light Up Artesia - AMS Enjoy downtown lights, late night shopping & Santa at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center 05 • Legislative Reception 26 - Jan 10 • Christmas Tree Recycling - ACB


27 • Eddy County Legislative Reception in Santa Fe




Teach us about the past and prepare us for the future!


Focus on Artesia Fall 2013  
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