Out of great respect for the veterans and our county, Artesia MainStreet teamed up with the City of Artesia and local veterans in creating a design that enhanced Baish Veterans Park. The new park design includes the permanent installation of the Freedom's Fire bronze statue, flag holders and a Wall of Honor displaying names of Veterans in our community- past and present. This park is a place for remembrance, honor, reflection, and communicates that the community of Artesia cherishes the sacrifices and dedication to all veterans.
New Mexico Main Street 25th Anniversary Award for Overall Design in Downtown Excellence.
Friends of New Mexico MainStreet Centennial Legacy Project Award: 2nd Place Award for Construction of Veterans Memorial Park.
The Cattle Rustler
Located at 2nd and Texas, Robert Summer’s statue titled “The Cattle Rustler,” is the final piece in our Cattle Drive Series. The Rustler is being watched by both the Vaquero and Trail Boss, as he attempts to make a living stealing cattle on the trail. At a cost of $350,000, this project was funded privately, and completed in July of 2009. The roundabout that the statue is placed in, as well as the surrounding streets, was provided for by city and state funding.
Sculptor Mike Hamby has captured the independent spirit of the "Vaquero," or cowboy, with the second stature in our Cattle Drive series. The 125 percent life-size bronze statue depicts a Vaquero signaling to the Trail Boss (located on First and Main) of a possible confrontation ahead. This $317,218 project was funded entirely through private donations.
Parking Utilization Study
Due to growth and expansion in the downtown area, AMS decided to fund a comprehensive study with a proactive solution as a result. The results of the study will be used as a tool for AMS and their downtown partners to encourage current and future entrepreneurs to utilize the downtown area. This $21,390 project was funded privately.
AMS hired a consulting team to complete an analysis of our historic assets within the community. A residential historic district was identified, and the information collected was used in an application to the State Historic Register of Cultural Properties. This nomination can be used as a marketing tool for the community as a whole, and contributing individual buildings can apply for grants and loans through New Mexico Historic Preservation Division. The total cost of this project was $68,000, with $14,727 being paid for privately.
The Trail Boss
AMS commissioned sculptor Vic Payne to create the first monument in the three-piece Cattle Drive series. This 125 percent life-size bronze sculpture is located on the corner of First and Main. This $364,400 project was funded through public-private partnership. This sculpture recognizes the rugged and determined individuals in the early ranching industry who set the stage for the development and growth of Artesia. Click to see pictures of the
10th Year Anniversary Celebration
September 2007 was a milestone for Artesia MainStreet. This is the month that we celebrated our 10th Anniversary! Started in 1997 to revive our downtowns dilapidated appearance, we’ve made great strides in only 10 years. Many projects continue today to improve the appearance of our downtown and to attract new businesses to the area. We celebrated this milestone in high fashion on September 15, 2007. A progressive dinner was enjoyed by 200 attendees, past volunteers, contractors, and friends. A beautiful presentation took us on a trip down memory lane as we looked back at the past 10 years through hundreds of pictures and personal anecdotes. The presentation commenced with the unveiling of our new logo design and, in true Artesia form, an indoor fireworks display by Dean’s Pyro Team! Guests left with hearts full of memories and special gifts in hand. Artesia MainStreet looks forward to going strong for 10 more years and beyond.
In August 2006, the Artesia Garden Gusher Farmers' Market opened its first season in Heritage Plaza. The experimental market ran for 10 market days (every Thursday from early August to early October). Six local farmers vended fresh produce, salsa, and local honey. Artesia joined membership to the New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association in 2006 and received grant money and training for this new market.
2007 was a year of great growth and progress for the Garden Gusher Market. Vendor participation, customer attendance, and number of market days doubled from 2006. Total gross sales more than quadrupled from the 2006 market! Besides fresh produce, the 2007 market boasted fresh-cut flowers, potted plants, cooking demonstrations, gardening demonstrations, and family-oriented activities. The market is now held every Saturday from July through October in Heritage Plaza downtown.
Artesia's Centennial Year
During 2005, Artesia MainStreet collaborated with Greater Artesia Chamber of Commerce and the City of Artesia to raise more than $400,000 and plan a year of events to celebrate the City’s Centennial Year. The events were a huge success and included concerts, the state Historic Preservation Division Archaeology Fair, arts and crafts shows, an art crawl downtown, and even a state MainStreet quarterly meeting. The year was a lot of fun for locals and brought in visitors that helped boost our lodgers tax receipts by 42% for the year.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the New Mexico MainStreet Program certify that Artesia MainStreet, Inc. has been recognized as a National MainStreet Program for meeting the 10 standards of performance for a MainStreet organization.
The Derrick Floor and Pioneer Bronze Sculptures
AMS commissioned sculptor Vic Payne to create a life-size sculpture of a drilling rig featuring a four-man roughneck crew. The 125 percent life-size sculpture puts the emphasis on the individuals who built the oil patch. A landscaped plaza, featuring a relaxing fountain, trees, decorative brick work, benches, and educational plaques was created to compliment the monument. The $1.637 million project was funded entirely by private contributions to AMS. Simultaneously, three families commissioned sculptures of oilfield pioneers. Mary and Martin Yates, titled Woman’s Intuition, and Van Welch, Pioneering Endurance, were sculpted by Robert Summers. Mack Chase and Johnny Gray, together as Partners, were created by Vic Payne. These pioneers and their stories now add to the history of the Oil Patch Plaza. Total cost for all three sculptures is $442,000.
U.S. 285 Entrance Signs
Artesia MainStreet commissioned tile artist Shel Neymark to create two tile signs to welcome drivers to Artesia. The Design Committee opted to utilize the sun feature that we see on the Land of the Sun fountain in Heritage Walkway and on the Landsun Theater ticket booth. The signs are placed on First Street south at Hermosa and north at Roselawn. The $10,000 project was funded with federal enhancement funds.
Wonder Wall Mural Project
Local muralist Noel Marquez was commissioned to paint a horizon scene on the Wonder Wall in Heritage Walkway that would blend with the existing fountain feature on the wall – the Geologic Fountain. The Artesian Landscape mural was completed in August and dedicated in October. The $15,500 project was paid for with privately donated funds.
Sally Chisum Bronze Sculpture
AMS commissioned sculptor Robert Summers to create a 200 percent life-size sculpture of Artesia pioneer woman Sallie Chisum located on the corner of Third and Main Streets. This $286,000 project was privately funded. The sculpture, called First Lady of Artesia, celebrates the importance of women in Artesia’s early history.
First Street Tree Planting
AMS dedicated $53,000 to planting nearly 100 trees on the two miles of First Street from Richey to Hermosa. Water meters were purchased and installed by the City of Artesia, and the irrigation system was paid by federal funds.
Downtown property owner Ralph Nix contributed a new town clock to be placed on the corner of Seventh and Main Streets. Mr. Nix and his daughter worked with the AMS Design Committee to select the clock, which plays a variety of chimes and songs.
AMS spent $61,000 in private dollars to reshape the entrance to Heritage Walkway, including tile work by Neymark and a custom iron gate designed and built by artistic welder Debbie Rottman. The entrance attracts the attention of Main Street travelers toward the Walkway.