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A community’s beating heart

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By Sherry Robinson

It’s Christmas. Let’s talk about love. Specifically, love of community.
Last month, a friend and I had our noses pressed to the glass of the Artesia Public Library, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Peter Hurd mural rescued from Houston’s former MD Anderson Cancer Center, which was demolished last year. The construction foreman spotted us and invited us in for a tour.
The Hurd, even shrouded in protective plastic, was magnificent, and the rest of the library, with its inviting children’s area and computer stations was also impressive.
The mural, all 58,000 pounds of it, was trucked 840 miles to storage in a Midland hangar until the library was ready. Our guide explained how they removed a portion of the roof to lower the 46-by-16-foot painting on its original curved wall, ever so carefully, into place. It’s the largest fresco ever to be moved successfully.
Of the library’s $12 million cost, half is shouldered by private donations, and the name we kept hearing was Estelle Yates. Artesia’s first library was her doing, we were told, and she was the prime mover of this one.


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