MONAHANS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) -Big and bright murals are popping up on city streets. If you’ve been to the City of Monahans lately, then you have noticed it.
Transformative Leadership Academy Director Lindsey Balderaz said this all stems from a mural art project spearheaded by students there.
The Monahans Mural Project is a work in progress and a labor of love by many people who care about their community.
“One of the things of all our murals that they have in common is that we kind of showcase the colors of West Texas,” said Balderaz who is also the coordinator of the project. “A lot of the community members were just hoping you know to have various things that we see in other communities that kind of bring interest and some life and some color in the community.”
Born and raised in Monahans, Balderaz said she started the project in collaboration with other community members to keep art alive.
“We just kind of started gathering people and artists [and] people who would be interested in working on this project with us,” said Balderaz.
The project is designed to showcase local artists, beauty, and the city’s history. Especially, at the corner of 4th and Betty.
“[This mural] starts with the Native Americans and buffalo kind of running through the Sandhills which is kind of paying homage to the fact that this used to all be desert land,” showed Balderaz to Fox 24 News.
If you travel to Monahans which is about 40 minutes from Odessa, you can easily spot four murals on different public spaces. According to Balderaz, the goal is to have a total of eight murals complete in the next few months but says it takes a village to make that happen.
“Monahans basically is an oilfield service-related town everyone gets up early [and] everyone gets home late,” said longtime resident Kathy Fausett.
It’s a hustle and bustle town. Fausett who is also the Jazz Cafe’s former owner said art helps bring present and future generations together.
The Jazz Café is now permanently closed, but Fausett was able to show Fox 24 News the endless amount of art the restaurant once shared with the community.
“You can drive by any of these murals and look at the beauty, color and have the freshness of life,” said Fausett.
She is also an artist and adds to a collaborative mural in the city and is no stranger to mural painting.
Fausett showed Fox 24 News the first mural she did. Tucked inside the Jazz Cafe’s men’s bathroom is what she said is one of the reasons for the start of her painting journey.
“It’s just a representation of jazz … it’s just a free form,” said Fausett.
She said she’s now able to continue contributing to the future of Monahans with the mural project.
“You just never know who it’s going to touch [and] not just the town folk, but people coming through,” said Fausett.
Picture after picture, the murals have slowly gained traction on social media showing the colors and uniqueness of the town. One of the things that really helped bring this project to life is people like Fausett who volunteered.
“And that volunteer time is what it really takes to make a community feel like home and to bring these special things to life,” said Balderaz.
The project is open to anyone who wishes to join and showcase their artsy side.
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