Horse Public Art Project Builds Homecoming Spirit

Photo: Margaret McKinney/Highlands University Janel Herrera was among the Highlands University students and faculty who volunteered Sept. 16 to paint a Cowboy horse for a public art project for homecoming. Herrera is a senior media arts major from La Jara, New Mexico

Photo: Margaret McKinney/Highlands University
Janel Herrera was among the Highlands University students and faculty who volunteered Sept. 16 to paint a Cowboy horse for a public art project for homecoming. Herrera is a senior media arts major from La Jara, New Mexico.

Las Vegas, N.M – A new life-size fiberglass horse painted with a colorful Día de los Muertos theme will lead the way for the Highlands University homecoming parade Oct. 8.

Homecoming festivities kick off Sept. 30 and continue through Oct. 9.

Highlands media arts professor Mariah Hausman designed the Día de los Muertos theme for the horse and is coordinating the public art project.

“The design motifs for the horse are Hispanic, Anglo and Native American to represent our diverse student body at Highlands,” Hausman said. “It’s been wonderful to see all the students and faculty involved in this project. It has definitely stimulated HU pride and been fun.”

Highlands University President Sam Minner spearheaded the idea of painting a horse for homecoming to build spirit and create a lasting piece of Cowboy-themed public art for the university.

David Lobdell, a Highlands fine arts professor and iron artist, built a sturdy iron base for the horse so it can moved onto a trailer for the homecoming parade and to different locations on campus.

Liz Velazquez was one of the students who accepted the campuswide invitation to help paint the horse Sept. 16 at the Media Arts and Technology Department Trolley Building.

“This project helps me get into the spirit of a college homecoming and interact with other students,” said Velazquez, a criminal justice major from Dallas, Texas. “To me, it’s fascinating to help with this painting project because I’m from a family of artists, but am not an artist myself. It makes me feel closer to my family.”

Highlands students who want to help put the finishing touches on the Cowboy horse art project may meet at the Trolley Building Sept. 23 any time from 1 – 6 p.m. The building is at the corner of San Francisco and 12th Street. Or contact Hausman at mariahfox@nmhu.edu .

The finalized Cowboy horse art project will be on display in the courtyard of the Student Union Building Oct. 7 to greet those attending the homecoming alumni banquet and distinguished honorees awards event. For banquet ticket information, contact the Alumni Office at 505-454-3248 or foundation@nmhu.edu

After homecoming, the painted horse will be installed in the university’s Student Union Building.

The homecoming festivities and events are listed online at www.nmhu.edu/homecoming.

For more information about Highlands Homecoming 2016, contact the Alumni Office at 505-454-3248 or the Campus Life Office at 505-454-3590.