Public art seems so generous, something that the community purchased for everyone to enjoy. My favorite local public art covers water tanks. Huge, functional, iron water tanks. Our town has four or five tanks, two of which were painted by Anthony Pennock, a Las Cruces, New Mexico artist. One is right above downtown.
The other was just off I-25 at exit 79. The tank developed some leaks and for some reason in the repairing of it, the mural was painted over. Very sad. I wish I had taken more photos of it. ‘Not taking a photo’ seems to be a recurring theme for me, but it is not the story here.
On the way south to Las Cruces on I-25 another Pennock painting is easy to see at Radium Springs – a Buffalo Soldier honoring those who were stationed at Fort Selden. Across the Interstate is another, just not quite ‘public’ art. It’s behind a locked gate for a water company.
In Las Cruces itself there are several beautiful tanks, some quite public, some isolated – all worth seeing. My favorite is the Water Reclamation District tank with its stunning quail.
Also amazing is the most public tank – the one at I-25 and Lohman of Don Juan de Onate. I read that he approached the city council when he was a senior in high school and asked to paint it. He was 17! Remarkable talent and vision.
Anthony Pennock’s done many murals around Las Cruces too, but it’s the tanks that grab my attention.