RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Roadside Murals

More Murals:
by Israel Palma
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Contributed by Jerry Kendrick of Birmingham, Alabama
Guadalupe Mountains Painted Pony
Jerry Kendrick

A 2001 public art project based in Santa Fe, New Mexico known as "The Trail of the Painted Ponies" led local artist Israel Palma to paint flowering cactus and mountain views inspired by Sitting Bull Falls in the nearby Guadalupe Mountains on the flanks of this full-sized resin horse. The horse stands six feet tall and is nearly eight feet long. A resident of the Carlsbad area for most of his life, Palma drew on his personal knowledge of the canyons and mountains of the region to paint this piece in acrylics.

Palma has been a school counselor for the Carlsbad Municipal School District for 35 years and uses art as a means of facilitating communication with his students and counseling clients. In addition to his work as artist and counselor, Palma is an activist working to ensure the protection of the Otero Mesa.

(In 2006, this horse & mural were on display in the lobby of the Carlsbad Caverns Visitor Center right near the elevator that transports visitors into the main cave. We are not entirely positive it is still on display. If you can confirm that this painted pony is still there, please write and let us know!)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Visitor Center
798 Carlsbad Cavern Hwy Carlsbad, NM 88220

Photographed by Jerry Kendrick 6/28/06
Posted on RoadTrip America 3/09

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