Worth seeing: “Indian Canyon” Water Tank Mural

On the east side of Las Cruces, a beautiful piece of art awaits you at the top of Sedona Hills Parkway. The Indian Canyon Mural by artist Anthony Pennock uses the 2 million gallon Jornada Water Tank as a canvas, reflecting the images of an ancient people hunting deer alongside ponded water.

The 32-foot tall water tank (owned and operated by Las Cruces Utilities) measures 300 feet around and holds 2 million gallons of water. The tank is a vital component in the process of providing drinking water to residents and businesses on the east side of the city.

Las Cruces Utilities Director, Dr. Jorge A. Garcia, explains, “Without a doubt, water is critical to our region. We believe the gigantic murals painted on our huge water tanks help visually reinforce and remind our residents of the importance of this precious natural resource.”

This newest mural was completed in the spring of 2014, making Las Cruces home to six stunning artworks painted on the City’s water tanks. All have been designed and painted by local artist Anthony Pennock beginning in 1972. Each and every project has been supported and funded by Las Cruces Utilities.

On the website www.LasCrucesWaterTankMurals.com, Pennock’s son Brandon explains the connection between the art and the water tanks:

“From the earliest of times containers and vessels have been adorned with designs and images of symbolic meaning. The act of decorating such cups, cauldrons, amphora, and pots has had an almost religious significance suggesting that the container and the content are symbolically related. In this sense the decoration of water tanks is no different.”

This water tank artwork is spectacular especially against the backdrop of our beautiful southern New Mexico skies and set before the Organ Mountains.

Prior to the creation of the mural on the outside, the inside of the 24-year-old, 2-million gallon water tank was completely rehabbed, repaired, and a new steel floor was installed. Then, after going through the design phase and enthusiastic public meeting approvals, the Indian Canyon mural was painted for all to enjoy.

“The mural images are based on actual petroglyphs from our region that tell the story of an ancient deer hunt near the ponded rainwater,” says Pennock, who also says the images “call the rain.”

The six painted Water Tank Murals of Las Cruces can be found at these locations: 

  • “Agua Fria” on North Telshor
  • “Jornada del Muerto” at East Griggs/Triviz
  • “Journey to Tlalocan” on South Sonoma Ranch Blvd.
  • “In the Valley of the Moon” at Roadrunner Parkway and US Hwy-70
  • “Indian Canyon” at the top of Sedona Hills Parkway, off Sonoma Ranch Blvd.
  • “Quail Morning” at Sonoma Ranch Blvd. and Telshor

You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents.

Fall 2014

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