Public art can be found throughout Las Cruces, from tiled walkways to sky-high water tank murals and almost everything in between. The city’s public art collection is constantly growing but you can keep up with the changes by visiting the City of Las Cruces’ Public Art page and exploring the interactive map.
Murals of all kinds adorn Las Cruces– some by professional artists and some by amateurs, many are decades old while others are temporary. The nonprofit ‘Murals of Las Cruces’ catalogs the important murals that document the agricultural life in the Mesilla Valley, environmental awareness and vibrant indigenous and Hispanic street art.
Some of the largest, most visible murals are painted on the City’s water towers. The depictions on these towers range from realistic and abstract representations of Native American history, flora and fauna of our region and New Mexico history.
Downtown Las Cruces
In addition to specialty shops, galleries and museums, Downtown Las Cruces is home to several murals.
- Near the entrance of the Branigan Library, “Tierra Sagrada (Sacred Earth)” is a vibrant mural illuminating the outdoor amphitheater. Over 300 people from the community helped paint the mural using a paint-by-number technique.
- Color Me Cruces, located on the north side of Instacopy (318 Main St.), is an interactive postcard featuring iconic Las Cruces visuals.
- Gratitude: This mural found on the north side of Coas Books (317 Main St.) features quotes submitted by community members.
- Con Amor shows off some of Las Cruces’ most recognizable features. Located on the east wall of Visit Las Cruces (336 S Main St.)
- West Picacho Antiques District
- Located in a working-class neighborhood between Hoagland Drive and Amador, and 1st and 17th Streets. The area is traditionally known for its antique stores, but the area has recently been increasing its murals.
- Jardin de Mesquite (Mesquite Garden): 1039 N. Tornillo St. As the gateway to the Mesquite Historic District, the adobe-like walls enclose a pocket garden oasis with seating areas and tiled murals depicting the history of the neighborhood. Kevin Wolverton, Alma D’Arte Students, 2005.
- Entrada del Sol (Sun Entrance): 711 E. Hadley Ave. The historic neighborhood gateway located in a pocket park is detailed with handcrafted tiles designed with signature, local culture aesthetics in mind. Glenn Schwaiger, 2008.
- Earth and Cosmos: 145 N. Main St. The tiled mosaic walkway depicts an interplanetary scenario with abstracts of the sun, night sky, galaxies, and other elements of the earth. It paves the entire "La Placita" area from N. Main Street to N. Water Street in downtown Las Cruces. Glenn Schwaiger, 2010.
- Gathering: 300 Bell Ave. The artwork consists of six geometric forms covered in hand-crafted ceramic tiles representing a theme: architecture, food, family, future, animals, and desert. The 1700 tiles were made by children. Glenn Schwaiger, 1994.
- Recycled Roadrunner: Interstate 10 eastbound rest stop. The Recycled Roadrunner is made from materials salvaged from a long-gone City landfill. The sculpture was relocated to rest stop and measures 20 feet tall and 40 feet long. Olin Calk, 1993.
- The Power of Difference: 850 S. Walnut St. The art piece was commissioned as part of a contest held by NMSU. The winning design was inspired by the community's strong culture. Abstract depiction of diverse outlooks. Cliff Flint, 1987.
- Eagle Man: Created by Michael Naranjo of Santa Clara Pueblo, a blind veteran, this bronze statue stands in the courtyard between the Branigan Cultural Center and Museum of Art. Michael Naranjo, 2011.
- Refuge: 701 W. Picacho Ave. The cave-like structure features tiles made by elementary and high school students. A labyrinth-inspired bench inside the dome provides a resting place in the natural cooling station. This is a NM Arts Art in Public Places project. Andrew Nagem, 1996.
- The Fine Arts Flea Market takes place the first Friday of each month 7-10 p.m. at Plaza de Las Cruces, located in downtown Las Cruces. Enjoy live music, artist booths, craft vendors and food trucks.
- The annual Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts takes place Labor Day weekend at the Holy Cross Retreat Center. The festival includes up to 90 artists showcasing painting, ceramics, jewelry, photographs, clothing, fiber arts and more. Food vendors, a beer and wine garden and live entertainment round out the event.