Is there anything as boring as a blank wall?
The windowless back wall of 418-420 Montezuma, the old building that houses the Jean Cocteau Cinema, the Wheelhouse Gallery, Wild Hair Salon, and a dozen assorted offices has been largely featureless... well, for decades, since they knocked down the building that once attached to it, way back when.
Here's the way it looked when I acquired the building in 2013:
Pretty ugly, I think you'll agree. The back of the building fronts on the tracks of the Railrunner and the Santa Fe Southern Railyard, so there are often trains back there... but nothing else, aside from weeds, stumps, and some garbage. Not the most attractive scene to greet visitors arriving in our City Different for the first time on the Railrunner.
Of course, we cleaned out the garbage, cut down the weeds, and re-stuccoed when we took over the building, two years ago. After that the back wall looked like this:
Better, I think you'll agree. Cleaner. But still boring, still blank.
I couldn't let that stand. To me, "blank" means "blank slate," and that means art. So I commissioned John Pugh, the world famous muralist and trompe l'oiel master whose previous work I blogged about downstream, to paint a mural for the back wall at Montezuma.
John has been at work on it for a year and a half, and tomorrow he will arrive in Santa Fe to begin the process of installation. The official unveiling of the latest John Pugh "narrative illusion" will be next week, Tuesday, at 5:30 pm. Come and join us. There's no charge, and a reception will follow in the Wheelhouse Gallery next door.
Coming into Santa Fe by train will never be boring again.