Art in Truth or Consequences


Truth or Consequences is not just a hot springs and bathhouse town; it’s also an art town. In addition to the art in the town’s multiple art galleries, there’s lots of art to see outside too.

According to, those colorful flower murals adorning the exterior of the Ralph Edwards Civic Center at 400 West Fourth Street are the work of Delmas Howe. IMG_4114 According to,

Howe (born October 22, 1935) is an American Painter and muralist whose figurative work depicts mythological and archetypal – sometimes homoerotic – themes in a neoclassical, realist style. IMG_4110


Another public building with murals is the Lee Belle Johnson Senior Center, at 301 South Foch Street.  IMG_3980According to, these murals were painted by a group called “the Young da Vincis.” This group of young artists (made up of Reed Tische, Megan Burke, Bethany Walker, Jannelle Knaus, Josh Candelaria, Kyle Cunningham, Jeannie Ortiz and Hannah Goldman) was organized and named by Jia Apple.

According to the above website, four months and at least 2,160 work hours went into these murals. Nine people worked on them about 12 hours a week for 20 weeks. The theme of the murals is local flora/fauna/habitat. The integrity of the historic adobe building–a WPA (Works Progress Administration/Work Projects Administration) project–had to be preserved.

IMG_3982The boarded-up windows of differing shapes were used as insets for the murals.

Again according to

Repeated design elements gave consistency and rhythm. The habitat was strongly delineated in curvy shapes and diagonals that pull you into the picture. Land, water, mountains and sky were depicted in a consistent palette of alternating oranges and blues.IMG_3984
The animal life was consistently depicted two ways—as strong black silhouettes, or set apart in a tondo/circle form, painted in “grisaille” or in shades of black and white with some tans.


Not all of the outdoor art pieces in T or C are murals. One of my favorite pieces of art in town is the sculpture of a steer called Joy, by R. William Winkler.  IMG_4005This sculpture stands in the parking lot at the corner of Main and Pershing streets. According to New Mexico Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff,

the statue is made from cedar planks, car parts, and other discarded items. The creature takes its name from the word ‘joy’ cast into the grill of an old wood-burning stove that the artist…scavenged from a cattle ranch along Percha Creek and integrated into his creation.


I took all photos in this post. I’ll share more examples of outdoor art in T or C tomorrow.

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