One of the projects being carried out by Diamond of the Desert Inc., formerly Socorro’s Beautification Committee, is a mural project the committee hopes will spur a little tourism in addition to the sprucing up of the town.
The first of the murals, a replica of a mural that once was at the present location of the U.S. Post Office on the Plaza, now adorns the north wall of the building at the corner of Manzanares Street and California Street that includes Nusenda Credit Union. The mural is a recreation of a mural painted and designed by Socorro High School art teacher Eleanor Wolf Oliver. Local artist Ken Hines painted the restoration.
The Socorro City Council recently approved a mural that pays tribute to the city’s heritage that will be featured on the outside of City Hall just off the Plaza on School of Mines Road. The mural was selected as part of a contest. New Mexico Tech also held a mural contest, with the plans for the winning selection to also be featured on a building in town.
And a fourth had been planned for a wall on John Brooks grocery store on California Street.
But they are not the only works of art visitors will be able to find if they just look around town.
Some can easily be found.
Perhaps the most prominent mural adorns the wall of M Mountain Coffee. The mural fits the theme with a large cup of java easily spotted at its location where Manzanares Street enters the Plaza. The recreations of paintings on buildings advertising products of an age gone by can be spotted just across California Street advertising Owl Cigars and Bull Durham on the building across from First State Bank and the New Loma Theater.
Others aren’t as easily spotted.
Just around the corner from the Bull Durham painting is a tribute to Socorro’s mining history with M Mountain in the background. The mural is showing its age, but still a work of art, if hidden from plain view on the back side of a building just off California Street and not far from Manzanares and Sixth Street.
Some works of art pay tribute to the Old West. Such are the cases with murals on the walls of Harold’s gift shop on California Street and on a pawn shop on Spring Street.
Some art works are reminders of Socorro’s past such as the roller skates that still adorn the old roller skating rink on Garfield Street.
Some art works contain vibrant colors such as the mural at the entrance of the Finley Gym complex. And some are simple, such as the sunflowers painted on an adobe wall outside of a residence at the corner of Grant and Garfield Streets.