On Saturday, June 24th two murals representing the newest installations in the Endangered Species Act at 50 National Mural Project opened at Chelenzo Farms in Cerrillos, New Mexico. These murals are a part of a nationwide series of mural projects and art installations commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act- a landmark piece of legislation that has greatly contributed to the conservation, protection and restoration of endangered wildlife and their habitats. The opening was marked by a community celebration with local live music and statements from the artist and project partner representatives.
The murals are the culmination of more than a month’s work and collaboration between Chelenzo Farms staff and Mexico City-based artist HOKZYN. Both murals combine elements of Aztec mythology with imagery of regional endangered species significant to Mexican culture and folklore.
The first mural, titled “MAYÁHUEL” depicts Mayahuel, the Aztec goddess of fertility, agave, and sacred beverages emerging from an agave plant. Beside the goddess are Mexican long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris nivalis) which are a regional endangered species crucial towards pollinating agave and other flowering plants.
The second mural, titled “MICTLANTECUHTLI” depicts the Aztec god of death and the underworld, Mictlantecuhtli, surrounded by the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) and the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) which according to folklore acted as a messenger to the land of the dead. Both species are categorized as endangered, with the Mexican wolf considered to be the rarest subspecies of gray wolf in the world. To learn more, check out the Endangered Species Coalition’s wolf campaign.
About the Artist
The murals, distinguishable by HOKZYN’s unique graffiti-inspired art style, not only pay tribute to the rich Aztec culture, but also spread awareness of indigenous endangered species in Mexico and New Mexico. HOKZYN explains her intention was to “work with the original codex illustrations of each Aztec divinity, as a sign of respect and offering to the gods represented.” Combined, the projects take up an area 576 square feet and are a significant contribution to Chelenzo Farms’ goal of rejuvenating the local landscape and promoting education, community, and research to the greater Santa Fe community. For a in-depth interview about murals, the impact of art for conservation and the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Endangered Species Act, listen to the El Puente interview by host Lorenzo Dominguez, with HOKZYN and Endangered Species Coalition’s Creative Engagement Director Jeanne Dodds.
About the Project
In addition to the Endangered Species Coalition, these murals and the greater national mural project celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act were made possible through support from Bat Conservation International, Lobos of the Southwest, and WildEarth Guardians. Thank you to Chelenzo Farms and our amazing Member Organization partners!
Finding the Mural
Chelenzo Farms, 48B Rainbows End, Cerrillos, NM, 87010