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Photo by Benita Muñiz: Community Connection Day volunteers celebrate morning accomplishments with lunch and birthday cake!

Mural Painting, Elm Removal, Weeding, and Chipping at Fifth Community Connection Day

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On Friday, September 17, in down-town Questa, 17 volunteers came to be part of Community Connection Day. There were three focus areas: adding a mural design to the shipping container at the Questa Farmers Market, beautifying the grounds around the Questa Visitor Center, and chipping elm branches and removing weeds at the historic adjacent property, site of future Casa de Cultura.

The new mural depicts a bright quilted landscape, featuring the mountains east of Questa. “This mural seeks to bring many small pieces together to create beauty through our brushes!” says Questa Farmers Market Founder Gaea McGahee.

Designed by artist Rae Lewis, a.k.a. Rubysofrae, the mural design was inspired by the local landscape and the practice of quilting that is richly carried on in this community. Intentionally created to be inclusive of all painters’ abilities, the pattern was pre-drawn and then filled with color by young to seasoned participants, all workng together. “It was great to be with so many people in the community working together with intentions of beauty and care for the land and each other,” reflected Rae.

Other volunteers removed encroaching elms and persistent weeds around the visitor center while still others (led by Daniel Hutchison and Scott Sutton) focused on branch chipping and weed removal at Estevan Rael-Galvez’s property, where Questa’s famous Grandfather apricot tree is located. The Casa de Cultura will be a center for creativity, consciousness, and community in downtown Questa. Learn more about this project at Localogy.org.

Everyone welcomed the pizza lunch, donated by Dominoe’s in Taos, biscochitos donated by Evelyn’s Treats, and cake and ice cream to celebrate a volunteer’s birthday. Thanks to all who participated in this morning to make downtown Questa a little brighter and more beautiful!

Keep your eye out for an additional group mural painting day at Questa Farmers Market soon! The last Community Connection Day this season will take place October 15, at Questa Park, 9 am -12:30 pm work time, followed by lunch. We will be installing commemorative plaques for the trees in memoriam, closing down the irrigation system, and continuing other care and beautification efforts at the park.

Community Connection Days are collaborative, inter-generational days of community give-back and celebration, taking place in and around Questa. This consistent coming together, showing up for each other and our community, is part of ongoing creative placemaking efforts in our area and is made possible by collaborators: Vida del Norte Coalition, LEAP, Localogy, Taos Behavioral Health Questa SUCCESS Center, the Village of Questa, Questa Economic Development Fund, Questa Farmers Market, and many community volunteers. For more information contact Claire (575) 224-9066 or emailforleap@gmail.com.

Authors

  • Claire holds a Bachelors in Fine Art and Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (summa cum laude, 2004) and a Masters in Art and Ecology from Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England (distinction, 2008). Claire's anthropological training and global travels inform her work. Her respect for the diversity of planetary ecology and the geo-socio-cultural particularities of Place are the basis for her commitment to environmental and social justice and life-long learning.

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